Main Street Director Mickey Howley touted the success of the Water Valley Main Street Association during the last decade as the organization will mark 10 years next month. Speaking at the July 5 city board meeting, Howley shared statistics that include $10 million in private investment on Main Street during the last decade which has spawned 90 new jobs. The investment includes the rehabilitation of 30 buildings and the addition of 26 new businesses.
Howley noted that taxpayer cost from the city level during the last decade has been $250,000, or $25,000 annually for Main Street. He cited the value of the taxpayer investment, compared to the creation of big-industry jobs in the state, as the city’s investment equates to an average cost of $2,700 per job.
In comparison, Howley cited the federal and state incentives for Continental Tire in Hinds County where the cost is approximately $250,000 for each of the 2,500 jobs created.
“We are kind-of beating the state right now by 90-to-one, in terms of dollars,” Howley told city officials.
After thanking the city for the past support, Howley closed by requesting the same annual appropriation in the coming fiscal year.
“We believe that we are doing a good job with the money that the city gives us and we wish to keep that dollar figure to same. We hope that we continue to work together and Water Valley can progress,” Howley said in closing.
“Give Mickey a hand,” Mayor Larry Hart said following the presentation.
Howley’s presentation also included a long list of accolades the Water Valley Main Street Association has received during the last decade including:
• Received $400,000 in free publicity during the last decade from numerous articles in national and regional publications;
• Invited to the White House to share the local success story;
•Requested to help advocate for historic preservation bills in Congress for all small towns.
• Cited as example of where Main Street communities are going by National Main Street three different times.
• Won a dozen best-in-state awards
The local association in Water Valley is one of 52 Main Street communities in the state and one of 2,000 across the country.