Main St. Visioning Session tonight at 6:30 p.m.

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Williamston’s new Main Street South Carolina Program will officially get underway today with a Baseline Assessment that be held over a two day period. Representatives of the National Main Street Center and Main Street South Carolina will meet with city officials, local leaders and committee members today and tomorrow to begin sharing perspectives and vision for Williamston’s downtown and the Main Street program.

All area business and property owners and anyone in the community interested in providing input or finding out about the program are invited to a community visioning session which will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m.on Monday, Dec. 9 in the Municipal Center.

The Baseline Assessment Team will include Main Street SC Director Beppie LeGrand and National Trust Main St, Center Senior Program Officers Kathy LaPlante and Morma Miess. The Baseline Assessment team will begin the visioning process and work with local leaders to define a mission statement.

The baseline assessment will include looking at the strengths and opportunities of the downtown area; identifying specific needs and obstacles; provide assistance in organizing a strong leadership base; define priorities and programming goals for a work plan for the year ahead; outline services that meet local needs and a timeline for Main St., SC technical assistance; provide visibility for the Main Street Program; and promote the importance of Main Street Four Point Approach.

The Assessment Team plans to tour the community and downtown district from 2 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. Monday. They will meet with city officials from 3:45 to 5 p.m. to share their overall vision for downtown and discuss programs, plans and initiatives currently in place or planned to support the revitalization efforts.

A community visions session will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

On Tuesday, town officials and the assessment team will meet with downtown merchants and business and property owners for an 8 a.m. breakfast meeting. Business owners will have the opportunity to share their perspectives on the local business environment.

The Williamston Main St. Advisory Board will meet at 10 a.m. to discuss where they see the community in the future and to identify strengths and challenges and how to build on existing efforts.

Other local community groups and organizations will meet with the assessment team from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.. Planning, zoning, historical society, arts and culture, festival organizers and others are invited.