The Union Recorder

November 15, 2013

Milledgeville Main Street Director receiving high honor

Kyle Collins
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — City of Milledgeville downtown development continues receiving accolades.

Milledgeville Main Street and Downtown Development Authority (DDA) Director Carlee Schulte will attend two upcoming conferences to represent downtown’s recent growth through historic preservation.

Schulte was the only Main Street director in the state invited to the 2013 Design Retreat to be held in Atlanta Friday, Dec. 6 hosted by Lord, Aeck & Sargent Architecture. 

She was also asked to serve on a three-person panel of practitioners at a state DDA training session next February. Out of 96 Main Street managers in the state of Georgia, Schulte made the chosen few. 

Representatives from the Georgia Historic Preservation Division, Office of Downtown Development and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) are part of the December event. Schulte was chosen based on the success of the Milledgeville Main Street Program and will share perspective as a successful manager.

It’s an opportunity for representatives of the agencies to sit down to better understand each other’s programs and brainstorm on collective programs and initiatives to better help Georgia’s cities. 

“It’s a retreat to discuss design issues in terms of historic preservation in the downtown business district,” Schulte said. 

Georgia Historic Preservation Division Outreach Program Coordinator Leigh Burns said Main Street leaders can provided vital information on potential design assistance, tax incentives or planning issues.

“They bring a unique perspective from the local level. We always like to choose a Main Street manager who we believe works with design on a regular basis and also represents both of our programs very well,” Burns said. “We are familiar with Carlee’s work.”

Burns said Schulte’s strength in working with community partners like the Convention & Visitors Bureau and college entities was noted.

“It’s a real advantage to have someone like her,” Burns said.

Continued downtown development through historic preservation grants and tax incentives leads to economic vitality. 

“The main impetus of historic preservation at the local level is to support the tax incentives and to help business owner sell preservation as a solid means to economic development. We couldn’t do that without our partners at the Georgia Main Street program,” Burns said.

The February DDA event will be training for Main Street directors, staff and board members throughout Georgia. After classroom time, attendees can ask the practitioners questions.

“I know that I will talk to them about the application process for the Georgia Cities Foundation and the DCA’s low interest loan. That was something that I worked with Frank Pendergast on his project (The Baldwin) and two others that haven’t come to fruition yet,” Schulte said. “It’s a big application and process. It’s important that you cross your T’s and dot your I’s.”

Schulte doesn’t take credit for this success. The Main Street director said everyone should feel good about Milledgeville’s rising stock.

“The city and community support has been huge in coming to the events and showing interest in the downtown area. It’s helped us be successful,” Schulte said. “I’ve also got a board that’s become very active and comes up with great ideas. They are supportive of me and what we are trying to do downtown.”

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