15th Annual Fred White Royals Alumni Clinic is TODAY in Russell at Memorial Park Complex! Lunch at Noon. Clinic from 1-3 PM. Autographs to follow!

UPDATE: Sound on Downtown Nearing Goal

Russell Main Street Inc.
Russell Main Street Inc.

Russell Main Street, Inc. has been actively raising funds to turn the "Sound on Downtown" since March 2020.

Recently, a bid has been approved, the city council has granted permission for installation on poles and funding is nearly 70% complete.

"Sound on Downtown" will replace the current speaker system which is no longer in working condition in downtown Russell. The project consists of 16 weatherproof speakers, 16 pan and tilt brackets, a loudspeaker processing system, a new amplier, mixer, and CD, SD, USB player and wireless mic system.

The current speaker system in downtown Russell was installed nearly 20 years ago. As time has passed, the speakers have stopped working and, to date, the entire sound system has been disabled due to only one or two speakers in working condition.

The project will not only replace the speakers but will also replace the entire system powering the speakers, as well as updating the wiring from the sidewalk to the speaker. The speakers will be up-to-date with current technology and the sound will improve immensely.

"I remember going to a Kansas Main Street conference where the Main Street Directors from all over Kansas were discussing future goals to have a downtown speaker system in their community. One of the directors turned to me and said 'If I remember right, Russell has already had a speaker system for quite some time, right?' At the time, I didn't realize how fortunate our community was to have the system," Krista Whitmer, RMSI Executive Director.

Throughout the years of having a working speaker system the community of Russell has utilized the speaker system for airing our local radio station, KRSL Russell Radio, for everyday listening, for playing holiday themed music, and for broadcasting on-site radio announcing during events. Slowly the speakers began to malfunction, leaving only one or two functioning speakers. Due to the lack of functioning speakers, the system was shut down in 2019.

There is a need for sound to be back on downtown for everyday listening, holidays, and events.

During the 2019 Lighted Christmas Parade, the community did not have the speaker system downtown, and it was evident through the feedback we received from the community and from the overall feel of the event the speaker system was missed.

Our goal if for our community to be able to provide an extraordinary experience downtown. The new system will also offer a broadcasting system, not previously available. "Sound on Downtown" will impact the citizens of Russell by creating an extraordinary environment downtown to create an experience and boost the economy while also building pride throughout the community.

RMSI has approved a bid from DK Audio Video. Owner Dan Keller is a graduate of Russell High School Class of 1967. The City of Russell will assist in installing the equipment. The city council also approved the speaker replacement project which allows the installation to occur on city polls. Currently, $8,600 has been raised for the project. RMSI has a few funding sources currently pending. The goal is to have the speaker system back up and running prior to the 2020 Christmas Celebration.

If you are interested in hearing more about the project or would be interested in providing a donation, call the RMSI office at 483-2897, e-mail at mainstreet@eaglecom.net, or stop by the office at 207 East 8th Street.

(Story and photo courtesy RMSI.)