Commission commits $10,000 to Mainstreet LaFayette

Published 11:07 am Wednesday, October 5, 2022

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Mainstreet LaFayette’s board president Jimmy Stewart and Chambers County Development Authority executive director Valerie Gray – on behalf of Ansley Emfinger, who was unable to attend –  requested $10,000 from the county’s economic development fund (106), which was amended to Monday’s agenda, voted on and approved unanimously. The 106 fund is funded through the equalization sales tax.

“The money will be used for potentially hiring an executive director as well as enabling them to finalize their incorporation papers [to] get all the tax status correct,” Gray said.

Stewart told the commission the money request from the county is a small part of Mainstreet’s fundraising efforts. He also reiterated that the Mainstreet designation is not just about LaFayette.

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“Just to kind of re-emphasize, even though MainStreet LaFayette received the MainStreet designation, overall, this is not just all about LaFayette, this is about the county and what we can do to help,” Stewart said. “Our little district is very small compared to what this overall county has to offer. So, it wouldn’t just benefit MainStreet LaFayette, it would be a benefit to the entire county, which is, at the end of the day, [what] we’re trying to do is build a better place for our kids and grandkids to live and work.”

County Attorney Skip McCoy applauded the efforts of the MainStreet LaFayette groups.

“We’re excited that there’s a group of people that have gotten together and decided to do something to improve the downtown area of LaFayette,” McCoy said. “Because we’re the hub, right here at the courthouse, and it’s exciting to see that y’all got energy and vitality to make something happen.”

Stewart told the commission he expects the project to be successful and thanked the development authority for the assistance, pointing out that Emfinger has been instrumental in the successes to date. 

“It’s taken a lot of help for the Development Authority and Ansley especially. She was named Mainstreet hero by the state,” Stewart said. “We’ve got a lot of the citizens and businesses involved as well as the city. So, I think that as long as we stay focused and work together, I think it will be successful.”

Stewart also expressed to the commission that the improvements that he hopes come from this project will not be seen overnight, but over time, he hopes there will be growth and activity taking place in downtown LaFayette.

“I don’t think you’re going to see results in a year,” he said. “But, in two or three or four years from now, I think you’ll see a tremendous amount of activity and growth taking place.”