In 2015, the City of Tonawanda, New York received funding from the New York Department of State to establish a Main Street Program for the City’s designated downtown commercial area. The program will be in accordance with the National Main Street America Program, which is an incremental and grassroots, economic and community development program modeled after the National Main Street America initiative. 

The City in partnership with the Western Erie Canal Alliance (WECA), will establish the City’s program. They will first establish a Board of Directors. The Board, with WECA, will then hire a Main Street Program Manager. Other consultants will be engaged as required. Tonawanda’s Main Street Program’s development then will be coordinated by WECA following a comprehensive economic development model to create a customized Tonawanda Main Street Program (TMSP) through: broad community input, the Main street America’s strategic planning outline, and a combination of Smart Growth, Placemaking and Complete Streets guidelines. Monies for the Program are being provided by the NYS Department of State Environmental Protection Fund, Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP) and the City of Tonawanda.


The Main Street Program’s goals are to incrementally develop a strong, synergistic and sustainable downtown district through an organized Main Street Program. The overarching goals of a Main Street Program are to: 

  1. Leverage the community’s physical and intrinsic strengths to promote economic reinvigoration and revitalization of the commercial district and community.
  2. Engage broad base grassroots community support for Main Street’s mission, goals and objectives.
  3. Increase people and community capacity that will result in positive change to their    community through strategic planning and marketing.
  4. Maintain the historic fabric and integrity of the community. 

Board of Directors (BOD) Overview 

  • Responsibilities

Lead, facilitate and supervise the development and sustainability of the Tonawanda Main Street Program

Assure the creation of mission and vision statements, policies, budgets and funding, etc., to sustain the TMSP organization.

Specified members of the BOD will be part of the interview and hiring process for the new TMSP Program Manager. The Main Street BOD will then serve as the direct supervising entity for the TMSP Program Manager.

  •  Board of Directors Memberships: (as of 06/01/2016) 


Joanna J. Chen                   Associate, Law firm of Phillips Lytle, LLP

Tom Flynn                           Branch Manager, Tonawanda M&T Bank

Barbara Hughes                 General Manager of Horizon Club Tours; Owner of Webster’s Bistro restaurant

Jason Knight                       City resident, Associate Professor Planning and Geography at Buffalo State College

Alice Roth                            Former Mayor; Historical Society of the Tonawandas member 

Douglas P. Taylor             Advisor to the Board; Chairman of the Lumber City Development Corporation  

Program Manager:  Allison D. Harrington, AICP, MCIP, RPP
                                   Principal, Urban Planner/Urban Designer
                                   Sustainable Planning Design, LLC