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Main Street gets accreditation for fifth consecutive year


Jordan Novet



Main Street Columbus has met state and national accreditation standards for yet another year. 


The National Trust Main Street Center has been accrediting Main Street programs throughout the United States for five years now. This year, the center accredited 750 programs, including the one in Columbus, marking the fifth consecutive year Main Street Columbus has received the center''s accreditation.  


Thirty-seven of the 750 programs are affiliated with the Mississippi Main 


Street Association -- which is based in Jackson. Downtown Tupelo, Aberdeen Main Street and Philadelphia Main Street Association are other Mississippi programs to receive national accreditation this year.  


The Mississippi Main Street Association has been accrediting programs around the state since 1985. Main Street Columbus first received state accreditation then and has continued to every year since, according to MMSA executive director, Bob Wilson.  


And MSC was one of the first four Main Street organizations established in Mississippi, said Main Street Columbus Manager Amber Murphree.  


The local Main Street program has received both state and national accreditation for several years now, but the achievement does not happen automatically, Murphree said.  


"It''s not something like, ''Oh, here it comes again,''" she said. "We have to work towards that every year."  


To receive national accreditation, the national center insists a program meet all of its 10 standards. The program must have an operating budget "adequate" for its region''s size, keep statistics on measurements like population and job numbers, and work toward historic preservation, among other things, according to the center''s Web site. 


Meeting the standards "helps us grow, and it helps us function, and it helps us continue what we''re trying to do here at Main Street," Murphree said.




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