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Russellville serves as pilot for new Main Street tier

Main Street Alabama released a new tier of service Aug. 17 that will be available in 2023 for qualifying communities – aside from Russellville, which has qualified now as the pilot for the program.

The new tier, Aspiring, is a one-year track intended to prepare communities for designation while also building capacity, establishing organizational structure and putting volunteers to work on short-term projects.

Requirements include employment of a part-time director, attendance at Main Street Alabama trainings and tracking of the economic impact of the focus area.

Since becoming a Main Street Alabama Network community in 2016, downtown Russellville has seen improvements including an updated streetscape, eight loft apartments and a new five-room boutique hotel. With the help of Main Street Alabama, downtown Russellville aims to retain and strengthen existing businesses, encourage the preservation and rehabilitation of historic buildings, find the best uses of available properties and coordinate downtown activities.

Downtown Russellville and Main Street Alabama are hosting a community meeting at the Historic Roxy Theatre Sept. 6 at 6 p.m. At the meeting, participants will learn more about the Main Street Four Point Approach and can provide input on activities and projects for the downtown district. That feedback will guide the group in establishing short-term goals.

Main Street Alabama is a private nonprofit and state coordinating program of Main Street America. The National Main Street Four Point Approach is a more than 40-year model that focuses work in four areas: organization, design, promotion and economic vitality, with strategies unique to each community and based on market-based outcome.

Downtown Russellville is now seeking a part-time director. The job description can be found on the Newsroom page on Main Street Alabama’s website, www.mainstreetalabama.org. For more information, contact Julie McKinney at downtownrussellville@gmail.com.

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