WVMSA Membership Meeting Set For Oct. 15
By Mickey Howley
Every October we at the Water Valley Main Street Association have our general membership meeting. Now, before you get the idea we meet only once a year, we have an open board meeting every month and our four standing committees meet on a regular basis. Plus, we have meetings for special focus activities.
But, the general membership meeting is that once a year event where we look back at our accomplishments and credit the people who did them, We also look forward to what is coming, and elect new board members. And, we try to have a little fun at the same time.
The meeting this year is Thursday night, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m. in the Main Street Office at 207 N. Main. The meeting is open and we welcome all who have an interest in Main Street.
Here’s a partial listing of what WVMSA has accomplished since last October. Our Better Back Street project took a $3,000 grant and parlayed that into $9,000 worth of improvements to the Duncan Street area, winning a statewide award in the process.
Our Movie On Main series put on a six film movies series that once again brought public movies downtown. Our Farmers Market was a twice weekly May to October event that was a tasty and fresh success. Our Main Street Market Fest was a big (but wet) street party.
The Charrette last January brought a dozen design and architectural professional here for an intense week of forward-looking planning and possibilities. We published a shopping guide to downtown, had a great downtown pep rally for the Blue Devils (the second one was rained out).
We are soon publishing our Driving the Valley tour, a brochure highlighting Water Valley’s architecture. Our two local banks helped us win a Federal Home Loan Bank grant of $30,000 that will directly benefit Water Valley’s public spaces downtown. The newly formed Water Valley Arts Council brought a bit of culture and a bunch of fun and a real crowd with the first downtown Studio Crawl.
Here are a few of the things we think we can take partial credit for. A 10% increase in retail sales in the last fiscal year. Buying local is buying smart as it re-invests directly in our community. We think we have attracted several home buyers to Water Valley through our project and promotions, just ask our hard working realtors if you don’t believe me.
Recent renovation of several downtown buildings by Main Street members have brought buildings back to life with public offices, a coffee shop, art gallery, and dance studio. In addition to new jobs downtown in those offices and businesses there is the substantial money spent in the local economy by renovating those buildings with local labor and locally bought materials.
Here are a few things you will see in the next year. Downtown streetscape improvements: WVMSA will use the grant money to develop pocket parks, spruce up public spaces, improve pedestrian crosswalks, post banners and improve building looks.
Promote Water Valley: via brochures, advertising, our local market and festivals, host downtown events and projects.
Downtown business: We will keep beating the “Buy Local!” drum and continue to promote and support our established businesses as well as help new ones move in and prosper. If you like what we are doing and want to be a part, come visit us at the Main St office the evening of October 15th.
Last week’s survey on this year’s Farmer’s Market had fresh produce such as tomatoes, peaches, squash and okra as number one in a whole list of delicious things. See www.watervalleymainstreet.com for your favorite Main Street event of the past year.