Americus may separate Main Street and Tourism - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Americus may separate Main Street and Tourism

Chuck Smith Chuck Smith
Sharlene Cannon Sharlene Cannon
Mark Minick Mark Minick
AMERICUS, GA (WALB) -

Americus city leaders are poised to make a decision on the future of their downtown development. The council and mayor will decide whether to split the Main Street department and the Tourism Department.

 Businesses like The Maze in downtown Americus are vital to the local economy. "When you got a historic district, like Thomasville's got, you're going to grow out," said The Maze owner, Chuck Smith.

City leaders want to see the area grow. A consultant spent weeks walking around interviewing businesses citizens and others. Those interviews found that the city needs to promote their Main Street program.

"Using the Main Street name, creating a Main Street board, creating the four committees that make up the Main Street structure involving the community, creating an active merchants group," said Sharlene Cannon.

The biggest decision that comes from that is splitting up the Tourism and Main Street programs. It's one job. But Cannon thinks it should be two.  "They're both huge tasks and if you have one person trying to manage both, then something goes lacking in one area or the other," said Cannon.

This effort to promote downtown is the latest by city leaders. Businesses appreciate it. "We constantly work to improve our businesses, but we need backup. And so I think the plan Sharlene put forth last night was to get us somebody in here that can really help lead us," said Smith.

"We're looking for more businesses, different businesses and little bit of new life in downtown," said Mark Minick, owner of Minick Interiors.

Cannon's says this plan brings citizens back into the mix, and gives overall structure and identity to the city.
 
The council is reviewing Mrs. Cannon's recommendation and will vote on what to do at next Thursday's meeting.

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