Hohenwald named a Tennessee Downtowns city

The City of Hohenwald is one of 12 Tennessee communities selected in the fifth round of the Tennessee Downtowns program.

“This designation will allow us to do even more to help the downtown area,” Mayor Danny McKnight said Monday.

Hohenwald’s application process was completed and submitted by Economic & Community Development Coordinator Helen Ozier.  “This was a very competitive application process.  We are so excited to be part of the program.  This will be a great way for the community to come together for a common cause,” Ozier said.

“Like a woman who feels better when she is dressed up, our downtown will ‘feel’ better when it is looking better,” she added.

Tennessee Downtowns is an affiliated program of Tennessee Main Street and is a community improvement program for towns and cities seeking to revitalize traditional commercial districts” an official with Tennessee Economic & Community Development stated.  Communities chosen to participate work through volunteer citizen committees.  A $15,000 grant was awarded to Hohenwald and each participating community to be used to complete a downtown improvement project.  Members of the local steering committee include  Janet Turner, Barbara Hinson, Annette Peery, Steve Holloway, Lovada Burklow and Ozier.

The application received support of Senator Joey Hensley, M. D. and State Representative David Byrd.

Thirty-four communities have participated in the Tennessee Downtowns program since its inception in 2010, the Tennessee Economic & Community Development office reported.

Hohenwald’s Downtown district starts small with a “hub,” Mayor McKnight explained, and is contained within the commercial historic district.  Areas between Court Street east to Maple Street and First Street north to Linden Avenue are included in the initial phase.

Hohenwald Tennessee Downtowns map

Hohenwald Tennessee Downtowns map, courtesty City of Hohenwald

“The historic aspect of the application is big,” Ozier said, acknowledging Hohenwald’s historic components played a significant role in the city’s selection for the program.

Benefits for Hohenwald will include training and customized plans for Hohenwald’s economic development and revitalization efforts.

“Going back to my campaign, something that was important to me was the beautification and revitalization of the downtown area,” Mayor McKnight stated.  “Receiving the Tennessee Downtown program designation is a tremendous step forward in achieving that goal for our city.”

Other communities in the region which are part of the program are Waynesboro, Linden, Centerville, Mount Pleasant and Clifton.  Pulaski and Columbia were among the first Main Street communities in Tennessee under Governor Lamar Alexander in 1983.  Lawrenceburg is also named as a Main Street city.  Hohenwald could be eligible for Main Street status after two years, Ozier commented.

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