“The riverfront is under-utilized, there’s nice building stock and it seems the community is engaged,” she said. “It’s nice to see a room filled with people who want to see something done.”
Hamilton said by having the DART visit, Franklin has become an affiliate member of the Main Street program and can access best practices and other information through its collaborative network. Once the city has completed all of the steps, it will become a full member of the Main Street program.
The program uses a four-point methodology: creating a total image for the community: providing the retail/professional area with it’s necessary market niche, creating a united visual identity unique to our community and work toward preserving our community’s location, appearance and way of life. The Main Street approach builds on existing resources and encourages community collaboration with community leaders and business owners
Currently there are about two dozen cities in Ohio, including Middletown and Lebanon, that have been designated as Main Street communities.
Councilman Brent Centers who helped to organize the DART team visit said about 20 local people participated in the Tuesday morning tour and 36 people attended the community session on Tuesday night. About two dozen people attended the final sessions Wednesday morning.
Centers said the DART team will prepare a plan and various recommendations for the community to consider to help revitalize downtown Franklin in about 30 days.
: Franklin explores downtown improvements, seeks advice
During Wednesday’s wrap-up session, Mayor Denny Centers said, “this is a different approach and we need to work on this with the (Franklin City) schools and the businesses we have.”
“I’m really excited about this program,” Centers said. “It’s going to take a long time to do this to help Franklin but this will benefit our community.”
Councilman Michael Aldridge agreed.
“I like getting unbiased opinions from a third part to get an objective view,” he said.
Stewart remained just as enthusiatic Wednesday morning as she was the night before.
“I love it,” she said. “It’s all about making it (Franklin) better. It’s going to take some time, but it’s exciting.”