Paducah Main Street Receives Reaccreditation from Kentucky Heritage Council

Date of Release:  February 24, 2017

Pmain street directors on Senate floorictured are Main Street directors from across the State of Kentucky gathered with Sen. Robin Webb (front row, 3rd from right) on the floor of the Senate chamber on February 15, 2017.

Kentucky Main Street, a program through the Kentucky Heritage Council, has notified Paducah Main Street, a division of the City of Paducah Planning Department, that it has been reaccredited as a Nationally Certified 2017 Accredited Kentucky Main Street Community. 

In the February letter to Paducah, State Main Street Coordinator Kitty Dougoud says, “You have accomplished this by meeting or exceeding the highest standards for the National Main Street Center, which works to advance the preservation-based revitalization of commercial districts throughout the country.  The hard work of Paducah, the city, and its volunteers is reflected in your designation and benefits your entire local community.”

Downtown Development Specialist - Paducah Main Street Director Melinda Winchester says, “I was thrilled to receive the news that Paducah has once again achieved its designation as an accredited program.  Achieving this designation is a credit to all of the volunteers, stakeholders, the Main Street Board, and committees who actively work to revitalize Paducah’s downtown, promote the variety of businesses and restaurants in the district, and develop exciting events that encourage people to make Paducah’s downtown their destination.” 

Winchester adds, “I’m also so proud of the 2016 accomplishments for Paducah’s historic downtown.  Seven new businesses opened.  Also in 2016, numerous businesses used the revitalization programs that the City has put in place to assist the businesses in the district.  We had four receive façade and beautification grants, eight are receiving roof stabilization assistance, and two locations qualified for upper story residential grants.  I’m also excited to see several building rehabilitations underway.  Paducah’s downtown continues to grow and change.  I encourage people who haven’t visited to come downtown.  You’ll be thrilled with the variety of businesses and all of the activity.”

To receive and maintain accreditation, a main street program is evaluated and scored annually on ten performance standards set forth by the National Main Street Center, each with numerous subcomponents.  These include broad-based community support for the commercial district revitalization process from public and private sectors, a relevant mission statement and comprehensive work plan, a paid professional program manager, an adequate operating budget, and commitment to reporting key statistics. 

Also this month at the Kentucky Main Street Program’s Winter Meeting in Frankfort, main street directors from across the state displayed exhibits about their programs and met with legislators.  Rep. Chad McCoy of Bardstown and Sen. Robin Webb of Grayson introduced House and Senate floor resolutions, respectively.  The adopted resolutions honor the success of the Kentucky Main Street program which has 39 participating communities, including Paducah, that are administered and funded through private investment partnered with public support.  These programs are successful at addressing a variety of issues that face traditional business districts and re-establishing downtown as a community’s focal point and center of activity. 

These 39 participating Kentucky communities reported cumulative public and private investment of nearly $110 million in their commercial downtown districts in 2016.  This is a significant increase as compared to the 2015 cumulative investment of $76 million.  Furthermore, for 2016, Kentucky Main Street communities reported

  • 1,452 new jobs created in Main Street districts
  • 234 new businesses created
  • 81 new housing units in downtowns 
  • 198 building rehabilitation projects completed 
  • $51,433,241 invested in historic building rehabilitation

Paducah Main Street follows the National Main Street Center Four-Point Approach® emphasizing organization, promotion, design, and economic restructuring. The goal is to encourage downtown revitalization and economic development within the context of historic preservation.  For more information about Paducah Main Street, contact Winchester at mwinchester@paducahky.gov or at 270-444-8690.

Administered by the Kentucky Heritage Council/State Historic Preservation Office, Kentucky Main Street is the oldest statewide downtown economic revitalization program in the nation. Since the program’s inception in 1979, Kentucky Main Street can document more than $3.9 billion of public-private investment throughout the Commonwealth.  For more information, visit www.heritage.ky.gov/mainstreet.

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