To keep the site active, and to give the folks who are doing the work a revenue stream, perhaps it is possible to allow academic advertising on the site?
There are better avenues for advertising things other than academic papers, I don't mean toothpaste ads. But academic papers sometimes are ignored for no good reason. If the author could pay a modest fee, like 10 to 50 dollars per week, their paper would be put in a prominent position, so it would get a quick referee report, and some attention and feedback. This can allow the site to function as an advertising venue for important work targeted at the appropriate audience, and perhaps this can be useful in allowing the folks who run it to continue indefinitely and independently, including perhaps hiring a programmer or two in the future. If the refereeing on the site gets a good reputation, and it should be easy to exceed the quality on any existing journal, then the revenues can be increased in several obvious ways.
If you want to do this, then it is important to ensure that the academic integrity is preserved, so that no amount of money can influence the refereeing content itself. This is not so difficult to do, since the refereeing is user contributions, and any politically influenced contributions are easily and convincingly rebutted. But perhaps it requires a commitment to not kick out those who criticize good customers?
Just throwing the idea out there. It would be good if there is a revenue stream for the folks running it, even if they have other sources of income, just so that they don't lose heart when the going gets tough (and it will, things like this are difficult to start up).
I can say from experience that academics are desperately in need of any kind of way of advertising papers better than giving talks (when invited) and getting on the cover of nature or science (a handful of times), especially when the work is difficult and mathematical. Mathematical work is the LAST thing people want to advertise in science and nature, many now famous folks languished in obscurity because they didn't have an avenue to advertise their results, some of them lost their positions, and some of them lost their minds. If Scherk and Schwarz could have presented their results in a public way, perhaps string theory wouldn't have been as obscure as it was in the 1970s. I could name thousands of examples. Heck, even I would pay $50 for a week's worth of attention to some papers of mine.