Guiding a Main Street Resurgence
Main Street will seek state office guidance for the City of Clinton’s “level” of support
Opening up “levels of membership” seems to have sparked renewed interest in the Main Street Program, an intensive effort to boost cities’ core, central business districts, and has caused some re-evaluations, City of Clinton officials say.
Clinton Main St. Director Adele Alducin “has some different aspirations,” City Manager Bill Ed Cannon said last Tuesday. “Her contract was for 3 years. Now, there are different levels. You still have to be ‘dedicated’ to Main Street, but there are levels for the directorship, as Adele explained it to us.”
Cannon said the director of Main Street is part of the on-going evaluation of City services. Alducin said forming levels is Main Street’s way to make its program as appealing as possible to the largest number of city-clients.
“We are coming to the end of a 3-year contract,” Cannon said.
“I haven’t put in a notice, but I have some other interests, also,” Alducin said. “We will be evaluating based on the new levels available through Main Street what we want to be.”
It’s been 3 years since Clinton went into “boot camp” with Main St. South Carolina. It’s an intense time of getting guidance on strengthening or bringing back to life central business districts. Clinton renewed its relationship with the program to strengthen its core, small business area. Alducin said the directorship involves economic development and events planning.
“Event planning - that’s what my passion is. It was great to have a team behind us to do Rhythm on the Rails (spring). We’re a great team, and it took a team to make it happen. I know I have a team to lean on,” Alducin said. The team will be evaluating how to make the uptown Clinton festival “more linear” (all on one street) along East and West Main Street, right beside the railroad tracks. CNNGA sponsored the main concert stage, and The Depot housed games for small children. Carnival rides were very popular for the Friday and Saturday festival, and BBQ competition teams did a brisk business with the food they prepared. Merchandise vendors and non-profits looking to get their message out wanted more foot traffic. Clinton does not have an event-based amphitheater, like Laurens has, but one is envisioned in the long-range planning for the Hwy 56 Recreation Complex.
With ROTR successful, now Main St. Clinton is looking ahead to Scots & Brats (Oct. 12). “Last year, lots of people were experiencing Clinton,” during the Oktoberfest-style event, Alducin said. “If it’s successful again, I can see it being around for a long, long time.”
Also on the City’s events horizon are PC Welcome Back, Aug. 29, and Fall-o-Ween, Oct. 26.
Going forward, on the structure of Main St. Clinton, Alducin said, “We have to decide by January, but now have more options. You can belong at different levels, and that makes a difference financially and for smaller communities. The person must be ‘dedicated’ but can help out with other things.”
Five communities have come on board with Main St. SC now that there is flexibility, she said. “It is an expense,” Alducin said of being a Main St. community. “It will be a City Council decision once we hear from the State Director what our options are. It (used to be) based on population, but your income levels with that population may not be that high.”
They’ve learned a few lessons along the way. Main Street should be set up as one committee, Alducin said. “Starting out, we were set up as a non-profit with several committees. We should be set up as a Municipality with a single committee. That is what we will have going forward.”
The Main St. Clinton website advises, “The City of Clinton, joined the SC Main Street Bootcamp Program in January of 2017. In doing so, we hope to expand and improve our business district, as well as, the quality of life for not only the citizens, but also for those visiting Clinton, SC. We are conveniently located just off I-385 and 1-26 approximately 1 hour from Columbia or Greenville/Spartanburg areas. Clinton is the symbol of ‘Small Town Charm, In the Heart of the Upstate.’"
Main Street always is in need of volunteers; interested: 864-200-4579, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org