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Victoria Main Street Program on path to obtaining full status

By ALLISON MILES
Aug. 1, 2011 at 3:01 a.m.


FOR MORE INFO

For more information about the Victoria Main Street Program, visit victoriamainstreet.com or call 361-578-0060.

Victoria is working its way closer to full-fledged Main Street City status.

The Texas Historical Commission granted the Victoria Main Street Program provisional status in late October, at the time citing the lack of nonprofit status, a manager and definite funding for its decision.

Now, nearly a year after obtaining provisional status, the organization is ready to move forward, said Mike Sigg, director of the Victoria Main Street Program.

The Victoria organization obtained 501(c)3 status in February, according to its website, and Sigg was hired in June.

The organization obtained an office on Main Street and also secured funding to match what the city donated, the site said.

The program faced another obstacle, however, said Louise Hull Patillo, board president of the Victoria Main Street Program. Budget constraints pushed the Texas Legislature to limit the program to communities already designated as Main Street cities.

"We were the only city kind of on the edge of being accepted but not fully designated," she said. "We were almost squeezed out."

Rep. Geanie Morrison later drafted legislation to clarify that provisional cities could become full Main Street cities, as long as no budgetary issues interfered, Hull Patillo said.

The next step is to write the updated application, Sigg said, and submit it to the Texas Historical Commission in September. The board will vote on the issue in October and, if it passes, Victoria will become a Main Street City, effective Jan. 1.

Victoria is likely to receive full status this time around, Sigg said.

"We've done everything they've asked us to do and then some," he said. "We're very confident."

Main Street City status makes certain things available to communities, such as architecture services and the like, Sigg said. The state's staff can work with the community to help determine exactly what a building should look like, for instance.

Although provisional status was a good thing, Sigg said the prospect of official status is exciting.

"Main Street is a tremendous toolbox for a community to use to revitalize the downtown," he said. "Our provisional status was like the starter kit. This is the full toolbox."

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