Two towns in Pulaski County have been added to the list of Indiana Main Street Communities. Francesville and Winamac have been accepted into the Main Street program, according to Pulaski County Community Development Commission Executive Director Nathan Origer. “It’s a four-focus approach to community – especially downtown – development and revitalization, that focuses on organization and membership, economic revitalization and restructuring, historic preservation and urban design, and promotions, marketing events, that sort of thing,” Origer explains.
To qualify for the program, Origer says communities have to put together an organization to develop plans for their downtowns, as well as other committees to oversee each of the four focus areas. He says the recognition from the state will bring several benefits to Francesville and Winamac, “Both communities’ organizations can participate in Main Street events that the state conducts, exchanges, conferences, that sort of thing. And it means that the towns now can qualify for some grants from OCRA that are only available to recognized Main Street communities in good standing.”
Origer adds that Francesville and Winamac are still early in the Main Street process. “It’s a great opportunity for these communities if we can keep the momentum going forward, and we’re already seeing just tremendous partnerships developing and a lot of interest in the communities,” he says. “And it’s the opportunity to focus on rebuilding the downtowns that used to be the cores of our communities and the centers of our government entities, and that sort of thing.”
The National Main Street program is part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. In Indiana, the program is coordinated by the Office of Community and Rural Affairs.