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FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 19, 2020) – Transforming communities through vision and planning was the theme of the Kentucky Main Street Program (KYMS) winter meeting Feb. 10-12 in Frankfort, which culminated with the presentation of annual awards Wednesday. Presented in the Capitol Rotunda, the awards recognized outstanding programs and volunteers, innovative projects, and initiatives that generate economic vitality and encourage local preservation and beautification.

“Kentucky Main Street’s investment in our local communities is exciting and so important,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “I can’t wait to visit even more of the project sites honored at the Main Street Program Awards.”

Kentucky Main Street is the oldest statewide downtown economic revitalization program in the nation and currently supports 29 communities accredited by both KYMS and the National Main Street Center. The program is administered by the Kentucky Heritage Council/State Historic Preservation Office (KHC).

Award recipients were:

Volunteer of the Year: Melanie Cain, Salyersville, and Colby Slusher, Pineville

Spirit of Main Street: Individual, Robby Mays, Perryville; and Local Leader, Mayor Pete Shepherd, Salyersville

Best Fundraising Effort: Redbud Ride, London Downtown

Best Economic Vitality Initiative: Pikeville Main Street

Best Adaptive Reuse: The Cozy Building, Morehead, Dan & Jennifer Markwell and Ryan & Debbie Neff

Mr. Muddle: The Burley Market & Café, Cynthiana

Best Outdoor Space Rehabilitation: Maysville “Hole in the Wall” Basketball Court

Best Downtown Beautification: Springfield Farmers Market Mural

Best Downtown Promotion: Maysville Main Street

Best Main Street Project: Springfield Crafters Market

Preservation Hero: Rusty Justice, Pikeville; and Wendy McAllister and Peggy McAllister, Winchester

On Monday, Main Street directors and board members from across the Commonwealth convened at the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet building to hear from KHC Executive Director and State Historic Preservation Officer Craig Potts. Presentations focused on planning, grant-writing, volunteer development and more.

Tuesday, participants toured the community of Gratz in Owen County to meet with residents and city leaders for a community planning workshop, followed by lunch and program updates.

Kentucky Main Street’s mission is to prioritize the preservation and adaptive reuse of historic buildings as the framework supporting downtown revitalization and economic development strategies. Participation requires local commitment and financial support, with a Main Street director to administer the program in partnership with a volunteer board. In turn, KHC provides technical and design assistance, training and educational opportunities, on-site visits, a resource center, national consultants and grant funding, when available.

Since its inception in 1979, KYMS has been responsible for supporting $4.5 billion of public-private investment throughout the Commonwealth. For information, contact Kitty Dougoud at 502-892-3605.

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