Council provides support for Main Street program
By By BILL CRIST – Publisher
After holding several meetings, the Brewton Main Street project went public at last Tuesday's Brewton City Council meeting.
The group asked for and received the city's endorsement as well as $2,000. According to Carol Gordy, who sits on the group's board of directors and addressed the council, the money will be used to help serve as matching funds for several grants that are available to the group.
At its core, the program is designed to improve all aspects of the downtown or central business district, producing both tangible and intangible benefits. According to the national organization, Main Street National Trust, this is accomplished by improving economic management, strengthening public participation and making downtown a fun place to visit.
Locally, though, the group has even more plans to help improve economic conditions in Brewton. According to Gordy, the group will develop and implement a plan to increase the city's tax base through local education, specifically through programs at the schools that teach the importance of shopping locally. One of the tools that will be used in the classroom is to take real world examples of how making a purchase in Brewton generates tax dollars, and how those dollars go to work in the community.
Another mission of the local group is to work to attract retirees to Brewton, helping the local real estate market grow. Along with a growing population will come more retail businesses and service industries to meet increased demand.
Revitalizing downtown Brewton is the cornerstone of the project, though. The group will develop a master plan for downtown Brewton that will include not only the existing buildings, but will also include additions and rehabilitation of existing attractions.