Vision LaFayette a group of community leaders, business owners, and concerned citizens met Tuesday night at Vines Funeral Home Chapel to discuss the application process and development of gaining a designation of Main Street Alabama for the city of LaFayette.
“The event was held to better inform our community what Vision LaFayette was all about and to gain more support from the community. If our Main Street Alabama application gets approved by the state it will make our town more attractive and bring in businesses and bring more people to the city” said Vision LaFayette Chair Jimmy Stewart.
Mary Heflin, Director, Main Street Alabama says’s “Our mission statement of Main Street Alabama is to work with downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts to revitalize those areas. In a lot of communities, that’s where the city began. Some of these may have a commercial district that’s adjacent to them as well. Main Street’s job is to revitalize.”
Stewart went on to say, “I truly believe we all have the common goal to make our city a better place to live and to leave the next generations a thriving growing town.”
LaFayette’s downtown square is rich in history and is already listed on the state and national historical registers.
If LaFayette received its Main Street designation, it would follow in the path of several other small towns in using Main Street’s comprehensive and incremental approach.
Other Designated cities include Alexander City, Anniston, Atmore, Athens, Birmingham, Calera, Columbiana, Decatur, Dothan, Elba, Enterprise, Eufaula, Florence, Foley, Fort Payne, Gadsden, Headland, Heflin, Historic 4th Avenue Business District in Birmingham, Marion, Monroeville, Montevallo, Jasper, Opelika, Oxford, Scottsboro, South Huntsville, West Huntsville, and Wetumpka.
Each Designated community listed above reports its success by tracking its reinvestment statistics. Main Street Alabama’s Designated communities have reported 889 net new businesses, 2,876 net new jobs, $572,163,325in private investment, $94,667,497 in public improvements, and 130,342 volunteer hours in their districts collectively since June of 2014.
Stewart, “At this time I estimate that we have around 20 volunteers, but we need more. Our application is due around May and along with our application, we need to show that we have the support of the community. We need letters of support from every local business.”
“We would like to see more participation and hear more citizens speak up. There are narrative questions that we must answer in the application like what our community expects to achieve in the program. We need to hear more from the town” said Stewart.
Stewart explained Main Street Alabama reviews all the applications received and then accepts up to four new communities a year for the full Main Street Alabama program. The application process includes several aspects of full community involvement, to ensure the goals of the project align with the goals of the community.
Stewart, “My goal is to have our application completed in April and then have all of the task leaders collaborate. I use the analogy that we are in this together, so let’s work on what is best for the initiative.”