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Saltillo Main Street ready to get to work

Saltillo Main Street ready to get to work

Thomas Wells | Buy at photos.djournal.com Saltillo Mayor Rex Smith began lobbying for the town to join the Mississippi Main Street Association about a year ago. While he asked to join as an associate member, the Saltillo Board of Alderman decided to spend the extra money to become a full member.

Thomas Wells | Buy at photos.djournal.com
Saltillo Mayor Rex Smith began lobbying for the town to join the Mississippi Main Street Association about a year ago. While he asked to join as an associate member, the Saltillo Board of Alderman decided to spend the extra money to become a full member.

By William Moore

Daily Journal

SALTILLO – Lindsey Hines has wanted to sing Saltillo’s praises since she moved to town more than a decade ago. As the city’s new Main Street director, she now has the chance.

“I have waited on this opportunity,” Hines said. “I am excited to be on the ground floor as we start.”

Saltillo formally became the 52nd member of the Mississippi Main Street Association Tuesday morning. In the coming months, officials with the state organization will spend plenty of time in Saltillo, trying to develop a strategy to help the town.

“Over the next few months, we will work closely with Lindsey to gather information and get things organized,” said MMSA field services director Jan Miller. “We will bring in a resource team, probably in the later summer, and they will spend three or four days in town.”

Saltillo Mayor Rex Smith pushed for the city to join MMSA and wants to find a way to pull together the traditional downtown of Mobile Street along with the new business corridor of Highway 145.

“Folks talk about Old Saltillo and New Saltillo,” Smith said. “That bothers me. I just want it to be one Saltillo.”

The mayor wants the city to tap into folks passing through or close by the city of 4,500 people. A traffic study showed 13,000 cars a day travel Highway 145 and another 40,000 pass by on U.S. 45.

“We’ve got the Natchez Trace less than a mile away and Lake Lamar Bruce just outside the city limits,” Smith said. “We have so many resources, there is no reason for us to fail.”

The cost of joining MMSA is steep on the front end – $10,000 for the first year tapering down to $2,000 annually after the fourth year. In exchange, the city will receive a wealth of information, training and assistance.

According to MMSA, designated Main Street communities receive a minimum of $25,000 in technical assistance during the first year alone. Since 1993, MMSA has provided more than $4 billion in public and private re-investment back into Main Street communities.

william.moore@journalinc.com

 

Local City receives Main Street Designation

By Wayne Hereford

WTVA

SALTILLO, Miss.  (WTVA)—Residents and local leaders were all smiles at an official designation ceremony for Saltillo's Main Street program Tuesday.

The program has proven to be a successful one for many cities and towns across the state.

Leaders are hoping that same type of success happens here.

"You know, there's no way that I feel that we can go wrong with it. Of course we have to do our part, and we’re committing to do that," said Saltillo Mayor Rex Smith.

As part of that commitment Smith says the city has already hired a Main Street Director, Lindsey Hines.

"Being a member of Mississippi Main Street opens us up to all kinds of resources with design and economic vitality. It helps us with our historic preservation," she said. 

"It will help our image overall from the community's point of view, and help our citizens and just help us all to be a bigger better family up here," replied Second District Lee County Supervisor Mike Smith.

City officials say that Saltillo is already showing growth both in its historic downtown area as well as the growing business section on Highway 145. 

But, officials admit that the Main Street designation, like the growing business sector, has not happened over night.

"It takes a year, as I said, for the application process. Now, how long does it take to become a Tupelo? They’ve had a Main Street program for 30 years," said Stacy Pair of Mississippi Main Street.

"We're going to be working hard to make big things happen," said Mayor Smith.

Main Street officials say the program provides technical, architectural, and other services.

They say Saltillo is now part of a network of some 1,800 Main Street members across the country.

- See more at: http://www.wtva.com/news/Saltillo_Main_Street_Designation_.html#sthash.4JZIdRnj.dpuf

 


National Main Street program aims to ‘refresh’ Biloxi

National Main Street program aims to 'refresh' Biloxi

By Steve Phillips
WLOX

 

Biloxi is one of 10 cities chosen nationwide that will benefit from the vision and knowledge of experienced planners with the Main Street program.  (Photo source: WLOX)

Biloxi is one of 10 cities chosen nationwide that will benefit from the vision and knowledge of experienced planners with the Main Street program. (Photo source: WLOX)

 

At a city hall news conference Thursday afternoon, the visitors talked about their favorable impressions of Biloxi and the promise and possibilities they see for future progress. (Photo source: WLOX)

At a city hall news conference Thursday afternoon, the visitors talked about their favorable impressions of Biloxi and the promise and possibilities they see for future progress. (Photo source: WLOX)

 

Biloxi is uniquely positioned to draw upon its history and geographic location to enhance both tourism and economic development. (Photo source: WLOX)

Biloxi is uniquely positioned to draw upon its history and geographic location to enhance both tourism and economic development. (Photo source: WLOX)

 

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

 

Biloxi is uniquely positioned to draw upon its history and geographic location to enhance both tourism and economic development. That assessment comes from visiting planners who've spent the past two days surveying the city as part of the National Main Street's "refresh" program.

 

Biloxi is one of 10 cities chosen nationwide that will benefit from the vision and knowledge of experienced planners with the Main Street program.

 

At a city hall news conference Thursday afternoon, the visitors talked about their favorable impressions of Biloxi and the promise and possibilities they see for future progress and economic development.

 

Mayor Andrew "FoFo" Gilich told the group, "We are all passionate about this city and would like to see another 300 years of this being a special place."

 

The planners will take their suggestions and compile them into a report that will be presented during a future visit in the next 18 months.

 

Copyright 2016 WLOX. All rights reserved.

 

 


Mississippi film company shows off small-town successes

Mississippi film company shows off small-town successes

 
Royce Swayze, Clarion-Ledger
 

Many small town success stories have a difficult time making it past the city limits, but one Mississippi-based documentary film company recently made the first step at changing how these tales of success are told.

At the Oxford Film Festival last weekend, Blue Magnolia Films introduced four short documentaries that depict how Mississippi small-town businesses are revitalizing and inspiring their communities.

From an artisan ice cream company in the Delta to a beer brewery in Water Valley, these films explored and offered an inside look at how businesses are buying locally and employing locally to spur community growth, and by doing so, forging the state’s creative economy.

Hearing about how these startup companies ignited economic and cultural growth inspired Jackson native Chandler Griffin and his wife Alison Fast — the founders of Blue Magnolia Films — to spread these success stories to every corner of the state.

So with the help of state agencies like the Mississippi Main Street Association, Mississippi Film Office, the Mississippi Development Authority and the Mississippi Arts Commission, the couple set out to make 25 films highlighting small-town success stories leading up to the state’s bicentennial in 2017.

The screening at this year’s Oxford Film Festival was their official premiere. The group's entries won the competition’s coveted audience award. And while Griffin said it’s important to show the story, he said it’s equally important to talk about it.

“It’s all centered around the conversation,” said Griffin. “If you don’t have a conversation afterwards, then the film’s useless.”

Griffin explained that’s how Blue Magnolia Films would achieve its intended effect — by sparking a dialogue among audience members in the hope that, in some way, they’ll go back and embolden their own communities.

After the screening in Oxford, a panel of some of the business owners featured in the documentaries was led by former director of Mississippi tourism Malcolm White, who’s returning to lead the Mississippi Arts Commission in March, in a discussion about their businesses and their role in molding the state’s creative economy.

One of those business owners, Andy O’Bryan, founder of Yalobusha Brewing Company in Water Valley, spoke about how his company started out from scratch and has grown to selling beer throughout the entire state and in Louisiana and, most recently, Tennessee. Eventually, O’Bryan wants to market his product in every state that has a Southeastern Conference football program.

But for now, his mission still lies in winning over beer lovers from the big-name brands.

“If I can convert one person from drinking a Budweiser product to drinking mine,” O’Bryan said “…that’s creating a job, that’s helping us grow,  that’s adding new tanks, it’s helping Water Valley, and it’s helping Mississippi, one person at a time.”

The panel elicited numerous questions from the audience who engaged the entrepreneurs with inquiries about their businesses, and it was just what Griffin and Fast wanted.

“It was great,” said Griffin. “It wasn’t a huge crowd, but … there was a lot of conversation. A lot of dialogue, a lot of back and forth, and that’s way more important than having 500 people where no one asks questions.”

Once all 25 films are completed, Griffin and Fast will tour them around the state to 40 small cities in what Fast describes as a “rolling, small-town film festival.”

As Griffin and Fast complete the remaining films in the series, they do so with the mission of spotlighting the small-town success stories that are transforming and inspiring the state of Mississippi. And by spreading the word through film, they fully expect these documentaries to make a difference in small towns.

“We consider these films to belong to you,” said Fast, “this is for Mississippi; it’s not for anybody else.”

 


National Main Street ‘Refresh’ program begins this week in Biloxi

Main Street America

National Main Street ‘Refresh’ program begins this week in Biloxi

First series of site visits to be held Feb. 24-25, 2016


BILOXI, Miss. ~  Biloxi Main Street District was one of seven national programs selected as a demonstration site by the National Main Street Center, Inc. to carry out community revitalization and preservation based economic development techniques.


“Biloxi is just now, 10 years after Hurricane Katrina, recovering,” said Kay Miller, Main Street Director/Downtown Services Manager of Biloxi. “Downtown development has been in the works and the ‘Refresh’ project is beginning at the perfect time. Biloxi is soon to be very up and coming in the very close future.”


Kathy LaPlante, Senior Program Officer with the National Main Street Center, and Kennedy Smith, who is best known as the longest-serving director of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s National Main Street Center, will be conducting the Biloxi Refresh program.


Biloxi has invited local leaders to take part in the first two-day revitalization efforts, to plan and execute long-term strategic action, and effectively measure the outcome for downtown Biloxi. 

 
The two days will consist of a tour of the district and community, strategizing sessions with city officials and will close on Thursday with a Press Conference at Biloxi City Hall at 1 p.m.



The communities selected will receive 12 to 18 months of free hands-on technical and community assistance from experts nationwide, funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.


For more details of the nationwide refresh project and its upcoming role in the City of Biloxi, visit preservationation.org/mainstreet or mainstreetbiloxi.com.
 

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P.O. Box 55747 | Jackson, MS 39296
Phone: 601/944-0113
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Mississippi Main Street is a program of the National Main Street
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