The Historic Downtown Business District of Monticello Receives Designation…

The Monticello Downtown Development Authority (DDA) Board of Directors are pleased to announce that the City of Monticello has been designated as a Georgia Rural Opportunity Zone which becomes effective January 1, 2019. The purpose of the rural zone designation is to assist in the revitalization of our community with incentives for new and existing businesses in the downtown commercial business district in Monticello by creating new jobs, investing in commercial property, and restoring old buildings through incentives our downtown entrepreneurs can benefit from.   
During the 2017 legislative session, the General Assembly tasked the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) and the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDED) with implementing and overseeing a Rural Zone designation program, which provides tax credits to individuals creating jobs and making qualifying investments within historic downtown areas.  This year, the state has designated the communities of Avondale Estates, Greensboro, Hartwell, Hogansville, Jesup, Locust Grove, Monticello, Sylvester, and Waycross as Rural Zones. Portions of each community designated as a Rural Zone – primarily historic downtown areas – now allow for tax credits to eligible businesses that create jobs and investors that purchase or rehabilitate buildings within the designated Zone.   The new Rural Zone designation lasts for a period of five years.
Rural Zones focus on job creation and private investment in designated areas.  The program includes three tax credit incentives: a Job Tax Credit, Investment Credit, and Rehabilitation Credit. The basic criteria required for communities seeking the designation include: having a population less than 15,000, having a core downtown area with structures older than fifty years, demonstrating blight or disinvestment in the downtown area, having implemented a strategic plan for the downtown area, and completing market analysis indicating gaps within the local business makeup. 

Must create two full time jobs.  $2,000 credit per new full time equivalent job. Not to exceed $40,000 credit per year.  Eligible businesses include professional service and retail.  Credit can be taken for five years as long as jobs are maintained.
REHABILITATION TAX CREDIT:  Equivalent to 30% of qualified rehabilitation costs not to exceed $30,000.   Credit should be prorated equally in three installments over three taxable years.  Must create a minimum of two full time equivalent jobs.
INVESTMENT TAX CREDIT: This credit is for purchasing property downtown within the Rural Revitalization Zone.   Equivalent to 25% of the purchase price not to exceed $125,000.  To claim this tax credit the investment property must be within the designated Rural Revitalization Zone and create two full time equivalent jobs.  Credit can be claimed over 5 years.

The City of Monticello reactivated its Downtown Development Authority in July of 2016 and the current Board of Directors include Towonder Dennis, Judy Hunsucker, Martha King, Adam McGinnis, and Russell Watts.  City Council Advisor Larry Thurman and Director/Secretary Pam Mayer.  The DDA directors have focused on training and planning sessions to organize a plan of action to revitalize the downtown, which is the economic engine of Jasper County. 
 “This is an exciting time for our downtown area as well as the entire community and we are ready to share the information with you.  This designation will encourage investment and revitalization which will bring us a Happy New Year” stated Pam Mayer.  For more information about this new and exciting opportunity, contact the Downtown Development Authority on how you can benefit. 
Downtown Development Authority 
Pam Mayer, Director
Monticello Government Complex
123 West Washington Street 3rd Floor
Monticello, Georgia 706-319-7022

Downtown Beautification

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We appreciate Clint...!!! Thank you for keeping the sidewalks fresh and the leaves away from the front of the businesses....#weloveourdowntown

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DOWNTOWN BUSINESS DISTRICT - you'll be excited about this...!!!
Two certified state arborists donated their time to train OUR City of Monticello staff on tree trimming and care, and (if needed) removal.
While here, they gave us recommendations on the Downtown Square area trees that are past due for updates or replacement.
The City of Monticello Mayor and Council named December 12th Arbor Day. The arborists donated and planted two trees - one in Funderburg Park and one in Westview Park.
Great things are happening in Monticello!

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Merry Christmas from your Monticello Main Street TEAM. Picture with Santa and his Elf taken at the 2018 Light Up Monticello Christmas Parade.
Pam (Downtown Development Director), Mandi (Chamber of Commerce Director) and Katie (Tourism Director). Santa (Chamber of Commerce Board Member)

Main Street

Monticello, GA became a Main Street Affiliate in July, 2017…
What is Main Street?
The Main Street initiative is a comprehensive, community-based revitalization program developed by the National Trust of Historic Preservation’s Main Street Center. Started in 1980, Georgia was one of six pilot program states and to date serves nearly 100 state-wide designated communities. Main Street has transformed the way communities think about their downtowns and the management of their commercial districts.
The Main Street 4-Point Approach™
The Main Street 4-Point Approach™ is a common-sense method to address the variety of common issues and problems that challenge traditional business districts. This proven framework concentrates Design, Organization, Promotion and Economic Restructuring for communities.


Design means getting the downtown into top physical shape. Capitalizing on assets such as historic buildings and looking at the traditional downtown layout are just part of the story. An inviting atmosphere can be created through window displays, greenspaces, parking areas, signage, sidewalks, street lights and landscaping; good design conveys a visual message about what Main Street is and what it has to offer.
Promotion means selling the image and promise of Main Street to all prospects. By marketing the district’s unique characteristics through advertising, retail promotional activities, special events, and marketing campaigns an effective promotion strategy forges a positive image to shoppers, investors, new businesses and visitors.
Organization means getting everyone working towards common goals. The common-sense formula of a volunteer-driven program and an organizational structure of board and committees assisting professional management can ease the difficult work of building consensus and cooperation among the varied stakeholders that have an interest in the district.
Economic Restructuring means finding new or better purposes for Main Street enterprises. Helping existing downtown businesses expand and recruiting new ones, a successful Main Street converts unused space into productive property and sharpens the competitiveness of its businesses.

Main Street Program is part of a national network of more than 1,200 active Main Street entities. It is an essential, community-driven initiative that focuses on the revitalization of older, traditional business districts throughout the United States. The underlying premise of the Main Street concept is to encourage economic development within the context of historic preservation in ways that are appropriate for today’s marketplace. Main Street programs advocate a return to community self-reliance, local empowerment and the rebuilding of traditional commercial districts based on their unique assets—distinctive architecture, a pedestrian-friendly environment, personal service, local ownership and a sense of community.
The Main Street Four-Point Approach™ is a comprehensive strategy that is tailored to meet local needs and opportunities. It encompasses work in four distinct areas — Design, Economic Restructuring, Promotion and Organization . Committees, that encourage community involvement and work to catalyze action in these impactful areas, are an important part of most Main Street Programs.
The Main Street philosophy and the Eight Guiding Principles behind this methodology make it an effective tool for community-based, grassroots revitalization efforts. These eight components ask Main Street cities to take a comprehensive approach, move in incremental steps, promote self-help, create partnerships, strive to identify and capitalize on existing assets, emphasize quality, be open to change and, most importantly, be committed to implementation.
The Main Street approach has been successful in communities of all sizes, both rural and urban. For more information about the program and how you can get involved, please contact the Chamber of Commerce office.  The Chamber manages the Downtown Development and Main Street program
Check out the story beginning on page 35 about Monticello (Jasper County). Thank you Georgia Connector Magazine we LOVE the article!!