Holly, Michigan -- Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson today recognized nine Main Street Oakland County (MSOC) communities for their perfect accreditation by the National Main Street Center in Washington D.C.
Patterson awarded plaques to representatives from the nine MSOC communities during a celebration at the Holly Hotel. Holly was one of the MSOC communities who achieved a perfect score of 10 out of 10 in their annual evaluations. The other honored communities were: Farmington, Ferndale, Franklin, Highland, Lake Orion, Ortonville, Oxford and Rochester.
"We are exceedingly proud of our Main Street Oakland County communities," Patterson said. "They bring energy and vitality to our downtowns while creating a significant economic impact. In the past 10 years – through public and private investment – they've created more than half a billion dollars in investment. I'd say the program is working."
Hope Ponsart, executive director of Holly's Main Street program, said the Holly DDA is thrilled to be among the honored communities.
"The Main Street Holly DDA is thrilled to be included with these communities," Ponsart said. "We've worked very hard all year to make sure we were on track – we've got a strong DDA Board that works well together, and a renewed sense of cooperation between the Village, the DDA and Holly Township. With 15 new businesses opening in the past year and more to come, I feel Holly is truly poised on the brink of great things! We are truly humbled and honored with the accreditation."
To be accredited, the Main Street communities must go through a 10-point accreditation process involving such items as historic preservation, broad-based community support, ongoing training and a comprehensive work plan. The communities must also have a paid professional executive director.
Patterson was joined by Doug Loescher, director of the National Main Street Center. The Holly High School Marching Band was on hand to perform before the event.
Patterson also introduced Oakland University graduate student Meghan Connolly as the first student member of the MSOC advisory board.
Oakland County was the first county in the United States to operate a full-fledged county-wide Main Street program for the 32 distinct, historic downtowns in Oakland County. The county program began in 2000. In 2011, more than $19 million of new public and private investment was made in MSOC downtowns. Clawson, Pontiac and Walled Lake are also MSOC communities.