Karen Pieters, one of the originators of Crystal River Main Street, is stepping down from the downtown-revitalization group.

Pieters submitted her resignation as Main Street’s executive director on June 4 in an email to the organization’s board, noting that her last day is Friday, according to board President Carol Kimbrough, who said the board “was saddened” by the news.

“She definitely made the Main Street program the success that it is today, and we hate to lose the institutional knowledge that she brings,” Kimbrough said. “We’re not happy that we’re losing her. ... You can’t buy that passion; someone has to have that, and she does.”

Pieters could not be reached for comment.

Pieters, who is the only executive director the program has had, is working with board members to find a replacement for the paid position, Kimbrough said.

Pieters helped draft the application that lead up to Florida Main Street designating Crystal River as a Main Street community in August 2015.

Crystal River Main Street spearheaded numerous public-private projects, including the installation of the Crystal River Boat Builders replication scow, Spirit, on the empty lot on U.S. 19 and South Citrus Avenue; and the temporary creation of the pop-up gallery in the old chamber building.

Kimbrough said the board will continue working on ongoing projects, like downtown murals and restoration of the city’s water tower pump house.

Contact Chronicle reporter Buster Thompson at 352-564-2916 or bthompson@chronicleonline.com.

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