Sykesville nets official 'Main Street Maryland' designation

The second time was the charm for the Town of Sykesville, which this week saw its application accepted under the Main Street Maryland program, highlighting businesses in downtown communities.

The town had applied to program back in 2008 as well, but that application had been rejected.

Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Raymond Skinner announced three new towns overall had been accepted into the program — Sykesville, Centreville and Ocean City.

Created in 1998, Main Street Maryland is a downtown revitalization program designed to strengthen the economic potential of traditional main streets and neighborhoods.

The program selects communities which have made a commitment to revitalization, and helps them increase private-sector small business investment and improve the appearance and image of their core business districts.

The program offers technical assistance, training and other services to the Main Street communities, including manager orientation and training sessions, on-site visits to help the community develop and plan for the future, design assistance, education about state and federal programs, grants and loans and quarterly meetings and annual training sessions.

The designation also carries a "Clean, Safe and Green" promotion, through which community leaders are encouraged to form "green teams" to promote beautification, water and energy conservation, and other sustainable development practices.

Ivy Wells, director of economic development and Main Street manager for Sykesville, said the designation will give Sykesville "leverage in grant acquisition, exposure and validation."

In addition to Sykesville, other Carroll County communities that already have the Main Street Maryland designation are Mount Airy, Taneytown and Westminster.

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