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Marilynn deChant will return to the helm of New Port Richey Main Street on July 1.

NEW PORT RICHEY — An old hand has again taken the reins of New Port Richey Main Street.

Last week, the downtown redevelopment group appointed Marilynn deChant as its executive director, effective July 1.

She was the first executive director of the New Port Richey Main Street, from 1987 to 1997, and was a City Council member from 2005 until 2009.

New Port Richey Main Street President Steve Schurdell said in a press release that he remembered meeting deChant back in the late 1980s, while she was leading the New Port Richey Community Cooperative, a forerunner of the local Main Street program.

“She was full of energy, and had a love and vision for our downtown. Marilynn paved the way and set things in place for the city to receive designation as a Florida ‘Main Street’ City,” Schurdell said. “Now, as the downtown continues to blossom, it’s exciting to have someone with her ability step in to help take our Main Street Program to the next level.”

Past directors and volunteers have kept the program alive and active, even in lean years after the economic meltdown that led to the Great Recession, radio executive Schurdell said.

“During those trying economic times, Main Street never missed an event, and never stopped working to improve our downtown,” Schurdell remarked. “In many ways, we’ve gone ‘Back to the Future,’ bringing a person who was there at the beginning to lead us into the future. I am thrilled to have Marilynn on board.”

The New Port Richey Main Street office, at 5837 Main St., is in the heart of the historic downtown area.

The program helps organize and promote community events such as KiaFest MainStreet Blast, which is scheduled for June 29 and 30, as well as Coteeman Triathlon, Cotee River Christmas Boat Parade and Cotee River Seafest.

In addition to Schurdell, managing partner of Hits 106 WGHR, the New Port Richey Main Street board is comprised of: Bob Smallwood, FI Grey & Sons, vice president; David Dorsey, David A. Dorsey, CPA, PA, treasurer; Patti Ammons, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Property Group, secretary; Debbie Leone, Independent Printing, past president; and board members Doug Ferris, Jose Cardenas, Ann Moore, New Port Richey City Manager Debbie Manns and Mario Iezzoni, the city’s economic development director.

Anyone interested in becoming a board member or volunteering for Main Street committees or events can call 727-842-8066 for details.