By Scott Meeker
JOPLIN, Mo. —
Voting is set to conclude at midnight Sunday in Benjamin Moore’s “Main Street Matters” contest.
The contest — which was launched on May 16 at www.paintwhatmatters.com — is seeking votes for 100 nominated cities in North America to get a facelift from the exterior paint manufacturer. The top 20 cities will receive the award.
Trisha Patton, executive director of the Downtown Joplin Alliance, has been coordinating the local effort to turn out the vote for Joplin. She said that she has mainly relied upon social media sites and the alliance’s e-newsletter to help spread the word.
“We’re getting a great response,” she said. “As of Monday, we were within the top 10 cities in the U.S. when it came to votes for the weekend. We’ve had dozens of people sharing the message and hundreds of people voting.”
According to a news release from Benjamin Moore, the winning cities will receive “the paint and supplies needed for facades, porches, railings, shutters and other exterior building trims.”
What that would mean exactly for Joplin’s downtown district should it be among the top 20 isn’t entirely clear, said Patton.
“It seems like the winners will receive a significant amount of paint, but I don’t know if that’s for one building, one block or the entire district,” she said. “I do know that the Benjamin Moore company will send out some paint experts to match the colors to the project.
“We would need to find out what our resources were and then identify which projects in downtown, midtown and southtown would be most effective to the economy and the design of the district.”
Winning communities will be announced online in July. The painting in those cities will be completed over the next year, according to the company. Professional painters will be hired to perform the work.
Patton said that she’s pleased with the growth that is being experienced in downtown Joplin, but being among the “Main Street Matters” winners certainly couldn’t hurt.
“We have seen tremendous redevelopment of the downtown core over the last 10 years,” she said. “However, there is always more to do, and sometimes something as simple as a coat of paint can go a long way.”
Votes for Joplin
To cast a vote, residents may visit www.paintwhatmatters.com and click Missouri on the map, select Joplin from the list of cities, and then click “Vote now.”