A group of hardworking and dedicated residents have made sure “Georgia’s Greatest Little Town” remains in the national spotlight for historic preservation and economic development.
Social Circle’s Main Street program was named a 2014 Nationally Accredited Main Street Community, marking the 16th year the city’s program has been given such a designation.
Any Main Street program must meet the National Main Street Initiative’s 10 Standards of Performance and prove it is adhering to each aspect every year.
The “major driving points” of the standards are to demonstrate community involvement, show a successful and well-working Board of Directors and sustain a preservation ethic, said Mike Miller, director of Main Street Social Circle.
“It takes a lot of work from our Board of Directors,” Miller said. “One of the things we’re really proud of is we pull our community together using our webmaster and website.”
“Receiving National Main Street Program status is a prestigious achievement, and you and your community should be extremely proud,” said an email from the National Main Street Center.
Following are some highlighted accomplishments credited to Main Street Social Circle and the Better Hometown (BHT) Board, according to Miller:
-Organization and outreach: Newsletter reinstated to reach more than 1,900 homes each month; Began the Jr. Ambassador Program “Partnership with Social Circle City Schools”; Five BHT board/committee members appointed to the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) or the Downtown Development Authority
-Business development: Conference room added to Welcome Center; Five free websites provided to downtown businesses; Opportunity Zone for the central business district; A Guide to Doing Business in Social Circle website in 2012 to include business and industrial contact information
-Design and preservation: Welcome booklet for residents of the historic district developed and distributed; BHT intern developed new design guidelines for HPC; Helped save the Mill Store and Dupree Home; Knox Block (1899) added to the National Mesker Database; Façade Grant Program painted 30 store fronts in the central business district
-Promotions and tourism: Bike trailhead; Easter, 4th of July, Friendship Festival, Circle of Lights and annual yard sale events; Installed toddler playground adjacent to the central business district; Historic Wellness Walk; Remodeled the Welcome Center to include historic displays