MILTON — Main Street Milton is a non-profit organization funded through public and private funds with a mission to restore and preserve the historic identity of downtown Milton.
It aims to enhance social and commercial activity downtown by championing community education, historic preservation and renovation, combating deterioration and promoting beautification.
Here are three things you may not have known about the group.
1. THEY HAVE BEEN AROUND FOR MORE THAN A DECADE.
Main Street Milton was founded in 2001 and is governed by a board of directors; Main Street Milton has volunteers and members that include business owners and individuals in the community.
Current members of Main Street Milton include Sammy Carroll, the organization’s president, and Councilwoman Peggi Smith, among many others. According to Smith, the organization once had more than 150 members but they are now down to half or less.
Main Street Milton uses the Main Street Four-Point Approach, a model created by the National Main Street Center. This approach is a community-driven, comprehensive methodology used to revitalize older, traditional business districts throughout the United States and addresses the assortment of issues that traditional business districts face, according to their website.
According to Smith, Main Street Milton is due for a visit from the state to evaluate their organization and keep them sanctioned with the Main Street program.
2. ANYONE CAN PARTICIPATE WITH MAIN STREET MILTON.
Anyone interested in Downtown Milton revitalization efforts can participate with the organization. There is a $25 fee to join, according to Smith.
Main Street Milton works through four committees to further its goals and objectives of revitalization, according to the website. Those committees conduct meetings separate from regular meetings of the Board of Directors but make recommendations to the Board of Directors for decisions. The board meetings occur approximately once a month.
The four committees of Main Street Milton focus on organization, design, promotion and economic revitalization. The organization’s mission is to preserve the historical character of downtown Milton while working to return downtown Milton's historic commercial district to an active, lively community center with a strong economic base.
3. THEY PARTNER WITH LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS AND RUN A WEBSITE.
Main Street Milton partners with the city of Milton, Santa Rosa County, Santa Rosa County Chamber of Commerce and Santa Rosa County Tourism Development.
The organization partners with other non-profits, such as Bagdad Waterfronts Partnership, Blackwater Heritage Trail, Blackwater River Foundation, Santa Rosa Arts & Culture Foundation, Santa Rosa Historical Society, Santa Rosa Veteran's Memorial Plaza, West Florida Railroad Museum and West Florida Regional Planning Council.
Their website, mainstreetmilton.org, keeps the community up to date on events; the site has a map of existing and proposed trails in Milton and Bagdad, a Downtown Milton walking tour brochure, a brief history of the Works Progress Administration in Milton, restoration plans for the Imogene Theatre, a link to Milton’s position on the Florida Historic Preservation Trust’s endangered list, a proposal for the repurposing of the current courthouse site into a library square, and much more.
The website also has links to their many partners’ websites, as well as information about available properties in the area and business or sponsorship opportunities.