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The Texas Historical Commission (THC) commended Huntsville for successful annual progress as a designated Main Street community, one of 58 to be recognized this year.
The Texas Main Street Program (TMSP) began in 1981 as one of the first state coordinating programs in the country. 2016 marks TMSP’s 35th anniversary. Local Main Street programs focus on responsibly utilizing a community’s historic assets for economic benefit and to increase quality of life. During 2015, more than $216 million was reinvested into Texas’ 90 Main Street districts. Additionally, 327small businesses and 1,710 jobs were created.
Main Street programs in Texas are staffed, but rely on community volunteers to carry out the program. In 2015, Main Street volunteers reported more than 115,000 hours of work donated in support of the program.
“For 35 years, the Texas Main Street effort has provided substantial return on investment to local communities across the state,” said Mark Wolfe, THC Executive Director. “Recognizing these individual local programs through an annual accreditation process proves that Main Street’s ambitious annual goals are being achieved.”
The THC’s Texas Main Street Program (TMSP) made the announcement February 10 at the winter gathering of Texas Main Street managers in New Braunfels, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary as a Texas Main Street city.
“The combination of effort by Main Street volunteers, staff and other local partners reaps great dividends. The state recognition and national accreditation recognizes these efforts,” said Debra Drescher, TMSP state coordinator.
Accredited programs show above average performance in ten categories on an annual report. Selection criteria focus on planning, partnerships, staffing, volunteer effort, preservation ethic, training, and program assessment through reporting. The state office also works with programs throughout the year by providing various services based upon local needs.
For additional information about the national Main Street effort, visit the National Trust Main Street website at www.preservationnation.org/main-street. For more information on the THC’s Main Street program visit www.thc.state.tx.us/mainstreet.