Starkville will officially become the 50th Mississippi Main Street community in a formal designation ceremony Thursday.
The public event will take place at 10:30 a.m. at the Greater Starkville Development Partnership office, located at 200 E. Main St.
“The City of Starkville is in an ideal position to join the Main Street program,” MMSA Executive Director Bob Wilson said in a statement issued Tuesday.
“We look forward to working with the current city, university and county leaders as well as other local and regional partners who are investing in downtown Starkville to make it an even better place to live, work and play for residents, students, alumni and visitors.”
Starkville is the only community designated for 2010.
Jennifer Gregory, vice president for tourism development for the GSDP, will oversee the Main Street program and Robyn Cain will serve as the Starkville Main Street program coordinator.
“We are thrilled to become a member of the Mississippi Main Street Association primarily because of the vast amount of resources that will be available to us as a member community,” Gregory said.
These include grant opportunities, networking with other, similar communities and staff and at a regional and state level who can help local officials troubleshoot and plan for upcoming downtown events and overall beautification and revitalization projects planned for the upcoming year, she said.
Local officials also hope to receive a grant through the Appalachian Regional Commission for charrette, a community design workshop where professionals in marketing and branding, landscaping, community planning, design and preservation will come into Starkville, Gregory said. With feedback from community members – these professionals will evaluate Starkville and provide recommendations and resources “for taking us to the next level as far as appearance, aesthetics, preservation and functionality,” she said.
Gregory also said: “We did have to go through a pretty rigorous application process, so we’re pleased that we were selected and we look forward to working with downtown merchants and restaurants in the future.”
Jan Miller, MMSA Central District director, has conducted training for committees based on the Main Street Four-Point Approach® – Organization, Promotion, Design and Economic Restructuring. Miller and MMSA staff will work with Gregory, Cain and the Main Street committees on work plans to revitalize and promote downtown Starkville.
Speakers on Thursday will include: Mike Armour, director of the Appalachian Regional Commission, Office of the Governor; Wilson; Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman and Joy Foy, director of Asset Development with the Mississippi Development Authority.
For information, visit http://www.msmainstreet.com/ , call Jennifer Gregory at 323-3322 or send her an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org .