New speakers in downtown Americus get good feedback - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

New speakers in downtown Americus get good feedback

Kay's office is also working to make sure downtown buildings that need repairs are fixed up. (Source: WALB) Kay's office is also working to make sure downtown buildings that need repairs are fixed up. (Source: WALB)
Main Street Director Patrick Kay headed up a project to put speakers around town. (Source: WALB) Main Street Director Patrick Kay headed up a project to put speakers around town. (Source: WALB)
"I feel like they add a little 'umph,'" said Americus resident David Tyson, Jr. (Source: WALB) "I feel like they add a little 'umph,'" said Americus resident David Tyson, Jr. (Source: WALB)
AMERICUS, GA (WALB) -

If you walk down the street of Americus any time soon, you might hear the sound of Frank Sinatra, or maybe even some Ray Charles.

Main Street Director Patrick Kay headed up a project to put speakers around town.

"People get a lot more relaxed, more comfortable," Kay said.

"I feel like they add a little 'umph,'" said Americus resident David Tyson, Jr.

Kay's office installed 10 sets of two speakers each around downtown last Wednesday.

However, he said the initiative is not just about boosting people's moods.

He said it's possible this initiative will boost sales downtown as well.

"We have studies that have shown increased shopping traffic with music playing in the background," Kay explained.

Crews did not have to mess with any infrastructure to put the wireless speakers up.

Kay can control the speakers right from his office.

"If it does bother a particular shop owner or an area, we can individually turn down each speaker," he said.

From businesses to residents alike, a lot of locals say they are on board.

"It just gives people a good feeling when they hear music that's pleasant to the ear," said Jody Wade, a sales associate at The Kinnebrew Co.

"It's not so pale when you come through or ride past and you got your window down and you can hear some good music," said Tyson, Jr.

Kay said his office does hope to purchase more speaker sets next year.

The One Sumter Foundation provided the funding for the project.

The speaker sets cost about $16,000.

Kay's office is also working to make sure downtown buildings that need repairs are fixed up.

His office has sent out letters to owners of certain downtown buildings.

Those letters remind the owner of an existing ordinance that historic buildings downtown must be well-maintained.

Kay said he hopes enforcing that ordinance will help boost business.

"For a tourist, for a visitor, coming in and seeing a business or a building that's not well-taken care of, it tells that particular shopper that that particular business doesn't care," he explained.

Kay's office does have a facade grant program that will help building owners pay up to half what it costs to get their buildings fixed up.

Another upcoming project includes installing string lights in two well-traveled alley-ways over the next few months.

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