The reaccreditation means the authority has met the commercial district revitalization performance standards set by the National Trust Main Street Center.
Doug Loescher, director of the National Trust Main Street Center, said in a letter to DDA Executive Director Ann Arnold that accredited Main Street programs are meeting the challenges of the recession head on and are using a comprehensive revitalization strategy to keep their communities vibrant and sustainable.
“It certainly says we are doing things right,” Arnold said. “I think it speaks volumes to the work that is being done by the city and the DDA.”
At the same time, Rome was recognized among the top 25 Main Street cities in the entire United States by Travel+Leisure magazine. Rome was the only city in Georgia included in the May issue of the publication and one of just eight in the entire Southeast.
A photo of downtown Rome taken by Bekah Cundiff of Lindale, who was 13 years old when she submitted it to the Greater Rome Convention and Visitors Bureau in a photo contest two years ago, is the photo that was published in the magazine.
“Other developers or people thinking about opening businesses see something like the recognition (in Travel+Leisure), and it piques their interest, and they know that it’s a good place to invest,” Arnold said. “There are a lot of benefits from the recognition.”
Arnold said she thinks downtown can still stand to make some progress in design work.
“We’ve been able to do a lot of renovations,” she said. “Thanks to both the DDA and the Business Improvement District, we are providing even more money this year. For that leadership to understand we’ve got to be able to offer incentives (is important).”
The Business Improvement District has allocated $60,000 for the improvement to downtown properties this year in addition to the $5,000 it has been earmarking for façade improvements each year for the last several years.
A number of property owners have responded to notices of violations of the property maintenance code issued by the Rome-Floyd Building Inspection office in February, and two property owners, Ira Levy and Ed Hine, have been summoned to the Environmental Court on May 9 to answer to the violations.
Rome was initially designated as a Main Street City in 1981. Rome was named a National Great American Main Street City in 2003, one of only two in Georgia.
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