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City loses top Main Street status

BY CARRIE DILLARDcdillard@paducahsun.com

Paducah has lost national certification as a Kentucky Main Street Community and instead has been given what's called affiliate status.

The city learned of the change earlier this year, said Pam Spencer, public information officer. Largely because the city did not have a Main Street director for approximately 10 months in 2013, Paducah did not receive the top tier status of national certification.

"Paducah is not a nationally certified program this year," said Kitty Dougoud, statewide coordinator for the Kentucky Main Street Program.

The Kentucky Main Street program is administered by the Kentucky Heritage Council/State Historic Preservation Office. Decisions about a city's status are based on its previous year's work.

To be nationally certified, a community must earn 7 of 10 points in each of the 10 performance standards, Dougoud explained. An affiliate, she said, has earned at least 7 points in most of the 10 standards.

Paducah missed points in areas to do with staff management and work implementation, she said. Without a director, there was no performance review, board meetings and committee meeting were not held on a regular basis, and sometimes, when meetings were held, there wasn't a quorum.

"Paducah's done really well, but because they didn't have a director, they were in transition," Dougoud noted. "They are currently at the affiliate level."

Melinda Winchester, Paducah Main Street manager and downtown development specialist, was hired in March of this year. With staff now in place, she is confident the city will have national accreditation again next year.

"We were lower on points because there was no staff. We have that staff in place now," Winchester said.

An affiliate community receives most of the same services from Kentucky Main Street as a nationally designated community, including training and regional networking, news releases and marketing, and access to state and federal funding opportunities.

The goal for Paducah in 2015 is to be a nationally certified program again, Dougoud stated.

"It's a rebuilding year. I have no doubt come January, Paducah will be up to national accreditation."

Contact Carrie Dillard, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8657.

  

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