Middleton, Sparrow earn Main Street certification

November 18, 2004|EMILY BURTON

STANFORD - Stanford and Harrodsburg now have certified champions working to keep their downtown areas at their best.

Mary Middleton, Stanford's Main Street Program director, was awarded her manager's certification Wednesday during a Kentucky Main Street Program conference at Centre College.

Middleton joined a group of 20 managers receiving certification, including Amy Sparrow of Harrodsburg.

Sparrow, a class spokesman, encouraged conference attendees during her speech to stop in Harrodsburg for an afternoon margarita. A shameless plug, she admitted, but a Main Street manager is never off the clock.

Sparrow and Middleton began the certification process several years ago.

The program included four tests in the area of design, organization, promotion and economic restructuring.

"It wasn't an easy task," Middleton said. "It prepares us. It also prepares us to be good Main Street managers. I feel like I have the tools to accomplish our goals and challenges of our downtown."


The projects the women completed for their certification could prove useful in the future as well.

Middleton's studies included compiling a market analysis of the city, list of building owners, determining population and long-term goals of the town.

Middleton already has started making plans for a few key improvements in the historic downtown area.

Identifying what Stanford needs

During her coursework Middleton identified three much-needed objectives for the city's near future.

Better parking is needed to encourage people to stop downtown and a two-day festival would help bring commerce and crowds to Stanford.

First and foremost, "Our next big goal right now is to bring new business downtown," she said.

Sparrow said during her address that, while her city has plenty of vision, it needs leaders to carry out those possibilities.

One focus for her Harrodsburg First program would be to keep that vision moving forward through encouraging creative, new civic leadership but also encouraging a strong sense of civic responsibility among Harrodsburg residents.

It is important to keep a sense of ownership "constantly alive in all parts of the community, so that everyone realizes their stake in downtown," Sparrow said.

Despite having just achieved personal hard-won recognition, Sparrow and Middleton remained focused on the future of their cities.

It's time to "let people see what we have to offer downtown," Middleton said.

Central Kentucky News Articles