Centreville celebrates Main Street Alabama designation

By WVUA 23 News Student Reporter Avery Lake

In early June, the cities of Centreville and Russellville were honored with the distinction of being named Main Street Alabama communities. The program is focused on bringing jobs, dollars and people back to Alabama’s historic communities. Economic development is at the heart of the statewide organization’s efforts to revitalize downtowns and neighborhoods across the state.

More than 400 cities and towns in Alabama applied for the Main Street recognition and only two were chosen.

Centreville and Russellville are two of 80 communities in Alabama to be given this distinction. Centreville is known for its uptown district overlooking the Cahaba River, home to the native Cahaba lily.

When Mike Oakley became Centreville mayor, he said he was all about doing things differently.

“When I came in, I wanted to be aggressive for economic and retail development and we’ve done that,” Oakley said. “It takes awhile to get the ball rolling and get people on board because you’re so used to doing the same thing everyday, every month, every year, that you get, I wouldn’t say a rut, but you get into doing the same kind of thing. The old saying is ‘if you do what you’ve always done, you get what you’ve always got’ and I wanted to be different.”

The excitement has been growing among the residents of Centreville.

“I’ve had tons of people ask me what is Main Street and what can we expect,” Oakley said. “And I point out some cities that are kind of close to us and what they’ve done for that respect so everybody. Uptown and downtown Centreville are especially excited about the possibilities.”

Centreville had a kickoff presentation Tuesday, June 13, in celebration of the honor, and a ceremony was held Wednesday morning.

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