Thursday, November 6, 2008
Main Street seeks ideas, vision for community
By SUE WATSON
With Holly Springs set to begin work on its Main Street program in November, public participation will be the key to the success of this program.
And developing Main Street concepts to be put into action in the city will be fun as well as purposeful.
Jeannie Waller, director of communications with Mississippi Main Street, had fun on her first three visits to beautiful, historic downtown Holly Springs and thinks there is a lot of potential in this town.
“I had a fun visit when I came in the spring and was excited about the potential there,” she said. “I can’t wait to see what ideas the townspeople generate and how the resource team will interpret those ideas into a realistic vision for the future of Holly Springs.
“Our resource team recently did a similar program in Carthage. The people of Carthage were so excited about the results there.”
The standing Main Street committees will address four key issues in the charrette: marketing, image, design/planning, and implementation.
These issues fit into the Main Street four-point approach – organization, design, economic restructuring and promotion.
The planning program will be asset-based and committees will develop a list of assets that are unique to Holly Springs, while following the model that has been used in charrette programs in more than 40 towns in Alabama and now starting in Mississippi, Waller said.
A town hall meeting Monday, Nov. 17, at 6 p.m. at the Eddie Lee Smith Multi-Purpose Building will kick off the planning process.
“Townspeople are encouraged to come out and state their ideas about what they would like to see happen in Holly Springs,” Waller said. “This opening session is about seeing the good things already in place and then connecting the ideas into an implementable vision,” she said.
A second meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 19, at 6 p.m. at the Multi-Purpose Building.
“The planning program is called a ‘charrette’ because the work sessions by the Main Street Resource Team are open to the public,” she said. “Posters will be created from the work done which can then be printed and posted around town to get people excited about moving the plans forward.”
Retailers, city officials and the general public should be interested in one or more aspects of the planning process. The program seeks to beautify downtown Holly Springs and strengthen its longterm economic validity, Waller said.
“Branding and marketing for the city will be addressed as well as special events and business recruiting in regard to the local economy,” she said. “The people of Holly Springs must keep in mind this is a beginning rather than an end. This process will serve as a solid foundation to build the new Holly Springs Main Street program.”
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