The city of Hinesville was recognized Jan. 26 at the annual Georgia Main Street luncheon as one of 17 communities that are graduating in 2015 from the Georgia Main Street Start-up Program to receive the national designation of a Classic Main Street Community.
In fall 2013, the city of Hinesville was selected out of 25 applicants to participate in the largest Main Street Start-up class in the history of the Georgia Main Street Program. During the succeeding 14 months the city worked closely with the Office of Downtown Development at the Georgia Department of Community Affairs to prepare our community, downtown business owners, volunteers and elected officials for the journey ahead.
“This is another step forward for the city and for downtown,” Hinesville Mayor Jim Thomas said. “As more businesses come together, I believe our downtown merchants will enjoy the fruits of our revitalization work.”
Through downtown development training, community-visioning sessions and capacity-building activities, Hinesville’s newly designated Main Street program now is ready to meet and exceed the guidelines for the 10 national standards for accreditation, as laid out by the National Main Street Center.
“Each of the communities recognized has worked hard to earn the distinction of calling themselves a Main Street city. They join an expansive statewide network now comprised of more than 100 designated Main Street communities. We know that no matter what challenges lay ahead, each of these cities has worked hard to build a solid foundation upon which a successful Main Street Program can be built,” said Billy Peppers, director of the Office of Downtown Development.
Hinesville officials also
were elated to receive the news.
“We are delighted to receive this designation,” Hinesville City Manager Billy Edwards said. “It is a very positive step in the right direction in the context of our ongoing downtown-redevelopment efforts.”
The Hinesville Downtown Development Authority board of directors also will serve as the Main Street Program board. The HDDA board meets monthly at
4 p.m. on the fourth Thursday at Bryant Commons.
“The prestige of the Main Street Program will help attract quality businesses that will beautify and bring jobs to downtown,” HDDA board of directors Chairwoman Melissa Carter Ray said.
“Our staff is excited about working with businesses, volunteers, officials and property owners to establish a sense of community and a sense of place in downtown Hinesville,” Hinesville Downtown Development Authority Executive Director Michelle Ricketson said.
For more information on the Hinesville Main Street Program, call the HDDA at 877-4332.