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City, Army focus on drawing military downtown
Downtown Hinesville Manager Sandy White works in her office. - photo by Courier file photo
A new program is supposed to attract Fort Stewart personnel downtown and give civilians the reason and means to revive and revitalize the historic area.
The Army-Community Heritage Partnership Program will work in conjunction with the local community to advance the capabilities of downtown Hinesville to serve the military families, including active duty and retired soldiers, their families and civil servants, program coordinator Sara Streff said.
The second objective is to gauge the potential for improved heritage and eco-tourism attractions, which will benefit both the Army and the community.
Downtown Hinesville Manager Sandy White represents the community portion of this partnership.
“This program has worked with eight other communities in four years and we would be the ninth,” she said. “What they found in working with the other communities is there’s a disconnect between the soldiers and their families utilizing the downtown area.”
True, a Hinesville resident seldom sees a man or woman in fatigues strolling down Main Street. Moreover, it’s commonplace not to see anyone walking down Main, especially during the weekends.
Fort Stewart’s Deputy Garrison Commander Paul Amdreshak said there will be another meeting this May to get the program up and running
“It is absolutely a great idea, and it is very possible the Heritage Program could do some good for a lot of people in the county, both soldier and civilian,” Amdreshak said.
This program will take 18-24 months to implement and the Downtown Development Authority believes preserving the heritage of Hinesville, while taking steps to commercialize it will be a positive element in the revitalization process, White said.
Specifically, more shopping opportunities, product availability and the total number of services will rise for all interested parties in Hinesville, Streff said.
The opportune arrival of this program will also bring the commercial development that county commissioners and city officials have been looking for, as they continue their industrial development and prepare to open up 500 new jobs at Target in Midway.
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