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story.lead_photo.caption LYNN KUTTER ENTERPRISE-LEADER Greg Phillips, executive director of Main Street Arkansas, presents a certificate designating Prairie Grove as a member of the Arkansas Downtown Network to the city's Main Street Prairie Grove Advisory Board. Board members are Larry Williams, left, president Rick Ault, Dale Reed, Phillips, Shannon Stearman and Cathy Sargent. Not pictured are Kay Shreve and Mayor Sonny Hudson.

PRAIRIE GROVE -- Downtown merchants, city and Chamber leaders and other local residents gathered at Fat Rolls on Friday afternoon for a brief presentation to kick off Prairie Grove's participation in Main Street Arkansas.

Prairie Grove was accepted into the Main Street Arkansas program in May. Specifically, Prairie Grove is a member of the Arkansas Downtown Network, a program that falls under Main Street Arkansas, which represents about 39 cities seeking to revitalize their historic downtown areas.

Greg Phillips, director of Main Street Arkansas, welcomed Prairie Grove to the program and presented a certificate to members of Prairie Grove's steering committee. He congratulated the group for their excellent application and presentation to the Arkansas Main Street Advisory Board.

"The advisory board was really taken with the work that has already gone on here," Phillips said to about 27 people at Fat Rolls. "We look forward to working with you for many years to come and look forward to what you are going to do."

Phillips said the program does not provide a lot of money but is a benefit in many other ways.

"We're not a grant program but we do provide technical assistance," Phillips said.

Property owners in Prairie Grove's Downtown Network can contact the office for free assistance in several areas, Phillips said. Main Street Arkansas has three technical assistants, a small business consultant, an interior design consultant and an exterior design consultant.

He also recommended Prairie Grove merchants seek advice and information from other cities that are a part of Arkansas Downtown Network or Main Street Arkansas.

Rick Ault, chairman of Prairie Grove's steering committee, said the visions and principles of Main Street Arkansas fall in line with conversations he's had with others on their vision for Prairie Grove's historic downtown, both from an economic perspective and a historical preservation perspective.

The journey from applying for the program to today has been "incredible," Ault said, adding, "I use the word 'journey' pretty intentionally because I think that's where we are at."

He said Prairie Grove can learn from others that have been down the road before them.

"I'm absolutely thrilled to have the Arkansas Department of Heritage and Main Street Arkansas as an advocate for Prairie Grove to help us along the way."

The physical boundaries of Prairie Grove's Downtown Network district start on the west end of downtown with the historic Presbyterian Church and extend along both sides of Buchanan Street to include Mock Park and the Chamber building. The district also includes several areas off Buchanan Street to allow for future development.

As a member of Arkansas Downtown Network, Prairie Grove is required to have a nine-member steering committee, to remain in the program for at least three years and to have a minimum annual budget of $4,350.

General News on 07/04/2018

Print Headline: 'Welcome Prairie Grove' To Main Street Arkansas

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