Local City Recognized nationally for bringing people downtown

MILLEDGEVILLE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – After holding 121 promotional events and having 37 public improvement projects, Milledgeville got a national accreditation.

The Main Street Accreditation is given to cities that meet requirements designed to better a community’s downtown area.

Carlee Schulte is the Main Street Downtown Development Director and she worked hard, with help from others, to get Milledgeville another accreditation.

“Your downtown is the heart of any community, so it’s important to make sure that it is vibrant and active,” Schulte said.

The city was evaluated by the Georgia Main Street Program and the National Main Street Center.

Schulte said the requirements determine if the communities are building comprehensive and sustainable revitalization efforts.

She said some of those efforts include standards such as, fostering strong public-private partnerships, securing an operating budget, tracking progress, and actively preserving historic buildings.

“We have a historic preservation commission, so that all of these bright neon signs aren’t showing up in our downtown,” Schulte said. “We’re not having buildings torn down and things like that, so we can preserve the historic nature of downtown.”

Justin Jones is the owner of J C Grant Company Jewelers and he said the accreditation helps his business.

“I’ve seen more foot traffic, particularly when we’re having different events. It’s nice to look out and see people on First Friday,” Jones said. “And those people may not be shopping that day, but they may see something they like and come back and purchase it.”

Jones is also the board chair of the Main Street Program in Milledgeville. He said the accreditation brings more people downtown.

“A nice downtown, people want to be a part of that, whether they want to come or they want to come move here, or go to school here or just do business here,” he said.

Schulte said the downtown area encourages more students to go to Georgia College and State University and Georgia Military College.

“They’re both right here so it’s important for us to focus on the downtown because that also helps draw more students to Georgia College and GMC, ” she said.

In 2016, Milledgeville also had 36 rehabilitation projects and added eight new businesses downtown.





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