MORRIS – Julie Applegate was recognized for her accomplishments as the executive director for Morris Downtown Development Partnership.
Applegate, who is is retiring after 14 years of service to the city of Morris, was honored by the City council at its meeting Monday.
“In the last 14 years as the leader of he Morris Downtown Partnership, Julie has taken the reins of leadership and made our downtown one of the best in the state,” Mayor Chris Brown said. ”She has always been an advocate for our downtown business store owners and a champion for our city. She was instrumental in the development of the Morris Downtown Master Plan which created a blue print for future prosperity for generations to come. During her tenure we have seen business thrive and downtown events become happenings that residents and visitors look forward to every year.”
The Morris Downtown Master Plan was adopted by the Morris City Council on August 3, 2020. It included a survey asking the citizens of Morris what they thought would make the downtown area more prosperous. The ice rink that opened in December was a product of the plan.
Applegate was essential in ensuring local businesses were able to stay open during the COVID-19 pandemic, Brown said.
“With all of her efforts through the years, it is my belief that her most valuable work and her crowing achievement was leading our downtown through the COVID-10 pandemic. Like many other communities, our business owners were facing a challenge unlike any other in our history,” Brown said. ”Julie rose to the challenge and worked with local business owners on several shop local campaigns and created a raffle, which supported local merchants. These efforts were instrumental in preserving our downtown and helping to keep the doors of most of our businesses open. As we move past the pandemic and continue on the road to normalcy we will always be indebted to Julie for her guidance.”
Applegate was presented with an award for her dedication.
“I’m really thankful for the opportunity to work at something I love and I was proud to promote and move forward. Its a little bittersweet, because some great things are happening but they are in great hands and that makes leaving much easier knowing how things are going to go,” Applegate said.
Source: The Daily Chronicle