Washington Evening Journal

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 23, 2017

Main Street Washington reaccredited

By Xiomara Levsen | Jul 16, 2014

Members of Main Street Iowa came to Washington earlier this month for Main Street Washington’s annual review for reaccreditation.
On July 8 and July 9, Jim Miller, executive director of the Historic Valley Junction Foundation, and Darlene Strachan, assistant state coordinator for Main Street Iowa, spoke to several committee members, Washington city council, Washington County Board of Supervisors, Main Street Washington’s board president Virginia McCurdy, and Sarah Sadrakula, executive director of Main Street Washington.
This is a yearly review each Main Street organization has to go through, Sadrakula said. Main Street Washington was evaluated a list of 11 criteria that comes from the National Main Street Center in Washington, D.C. Each group has to pass in order to be reaccredited in Iowa and nationally.
“Last year was my first experience with it, so I was a lot less nervous this year about it,” Sadrakula said. “I think last year there were a few things that I was unsure whether or not we had really achieved what we had set out to achieve, but they said we did after reviewing all the materials and talking to everybody. This year I was pretty positive that we had worked really hard to meet all of those criteria and take what they had suggested last year from our report and working it into the report this year.”
Some of the suggestions Main Street Washington worked on this past year were making sure communication was better, making sure the volunteers were heard, bringing in new events, and expanding the budget, Sadrakula said.
“We worked really, really hard,” Sadrakula said. “Our report last year was eight pages long —it’s two this year.”
Some of the criteria for reaccreditation included: adequate operating budget, adequate volunteers to do the job, having a professional paid director, having a historic preservation effort, and meeting the philosophy of Main Street Iowa.
A couple of things the reviewing group suggested Main Street Washington work on for next year included: improving communication between the committees, getting the story of Main Street out more, and recruiting more volunteers, Sadrakula said.
“They’re things we’re not necessarily bad at but things we need to continue working at,” she said.

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