Ferriday denied Main Street designation this year

Published 12:04 am Saturday, November 22, 2008

FERRIDAY — The Ferriday Downtown Revitalization Foundation got word about their Louisiana Main Street application — and it’s “maybe next year.”

The foundation has set a goal of having the town declared a Main Street community for several years.

But in a letter from the Louisiana Office of Cultural Development that commended them for a “well-thought out and complete written application and presentation,” the group was told — while the Main Street program hopes to receive future applications from them — it wasn’t enough.

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“I was very disappointed,” said Ferriday Downtown Revitalization Foundation Vice-Chair Carol Tomko, who spearheaded the Main Street application.

The Louisiana Main Street program has the goal of restoring the historic economic districts of rural Louisiana.

The Main Street designation would have opened the opportunity for the town to apply for certain grants.

Part of the problem may have been that — at this point — the project has not received enough practical support, Tomko said.

“We have got everything in place, the downtown, the preservation ordinance, the historic district, but we don’t have anybody moving into the buildings or renovating them,” she said.

Even though the town’s application was denied, constructive criticism never hurt anyone, McGlothin said.

“I am disappointed, but we knew going in that there were some towns that it was their second or third time to apply,” he said. “I feel like those other guys had had a better shot at it than us, but I’m not going to begrudge them for getting it.”

Currently the city is entered in the cleanest city contest and has applied to be a declared cultural district with the state, McGlothin said.

Cultural districts are given tax incentives to spark economic revitalization.

But this week’s news doesn’t mean that the town’s Main Street ambitions are dead.

“We will have to roll our sleeves up and do a little more work,” McGlothin said. “This is a minor setback in a bigger plan.”