|Director of Tennessee Main Street Program visits downtown Martin |
|Posted: Thursday, June 13, 2013 9:56 am |
| By BRAD GASKINS |
MARTIN — The Martin Historic Business District has spend a lot of time and money revitalizing itself throughout the past several years.
It got to show off its progress Thursday afternoon (June 6) when the new director of the Tennessee Main Street Program visited the city.
Todd Morgan told The Press he liked what he saw in his first visit to Martin.
“You’ve got a great town. It’s nice to see the progress that’s occurring downtown,” he said. “We’re so glad that Martin could participate in the Tennessee Downtowns Program, and we look forward to maybe bringing them into he Main Street Program someday as well.”
The Tennessee Downtowns Program started in 2009 and Martin received the designation in 2010.
“Todd was here to talk with us a little bit further about that,” said Brad Thompson, director of community development for the city of Martin. “Plus, he wanted to see our community.”
Morgan visited several downtown businesses and got a brief history on the city.
“He took the time to talk with us about how well organized we were, and how well we were doing as a community for our downtown area,” Thompson said, adding Morgan said they should “strongly consider” becoming a Tennessee Main Street Program.
Thompson said Martin is “considering seriously” applying for the program.
One big difference between the Tennessee Downtowns Program and the Tennessee Main Street Program is that the latter requires hiring a part-time or full-time director.
“That’s something that we’ll be meeting further about as a group,” Thompson said, “to see if we’re ready for that next step and to see how we might approach that.”
Thompson praised the Martin Historic Business District officers, including president Kim Longacre and vice president Daniel Fitzgerald, for their efforts.
“That core group is very good with organizing events and coming up with new events and looping in everyone in the community. That’s the whole point. Downtown is not just downtown. It’s the heart of the community.”
(Published in The Press on 6.11.13)