By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal Corinth Bureau
BOONEVILLE – Booneville has reorganized its Main Street program and dissolved the Booneville Area Chamber of Commerce to revitalize business and volunteer support.
The two organizations previously operated jointly, but participation had been on a steady decline for more than a year, said Mayor Joe Eaton.
The city board set a public meeting and invited everyone interested in working to promote programs and events for the community to attend.
The meeting drew about 30 people, including business people, volunteers and others, with Mississippi Main Street District Director Jan Wilson facilitating the discussion. Wilson met with the city board about a year ago to talk about how to develop more focus and a plan of action for its Main Street program.
Participants in the recent meeting agreed to dissolve the two existing organizations and begin a new Main Street program.
Everyone at the meeting was eligible to be considered for a leadership position, and the group elected a new nine-member board and officers. Since then they have met and established committees and begun work on bylaws.
“We thank all the previous board members and volunteers for all they’ve done and look for them to continue being active volunteers,” the mayor said.
Reasons the city wanted to stay with Mississippi Main Street include the financial, program and technical support it offers, Eaton said. He also wants to dispel the idea that Main Street is limited to Booneville’s downtown area.
“Main Street is not only downtown, it’s what you make it,” Eaton said. “It includes anyone who wants to be part of it and other towns in the county have expressed an interest.”
Main Street will be building on vigorous economic activity already under way across Booneville.
Building Inspector Ronny Johnson reported recently that 19 active building projects total more than $3 million, while the administrative building construction on the Northeast Mississippi Community College campus is an additional $7 million.
“These include businesses and houses,” Eaton said. “We have two new clinics opening and expect two new retail outlets to be opening in shopping center space near Goody’s.”