CRESTVIEW— During the statewide Main Street Florida conference in Dade City, the Main Street Crestview Association was recognized for downtown improvement projects and association members’ efforts, bringing home two “outstanding” and two “merit” recognitions.
“I’m very happy to tell you our Main Street Association returned from the statewide meeting with several awards,” Mayor David Cadle said as the recognitions were recently distributed at City Hall.
Foremost was the Outstanding Public Improvement award for the Okaloosa County Veterans Memorial, spearheaded by former Mayor George Whitehurst and longtime community leader Bob Lynn. While accepting the award, Lynn gave the credit to Whitehurst, who was unable to attend the presentation.
“It was his idea, the whole thing,” Lynn said. “We got the work done in 18 months.”
Though a small veterans monument was erected in front of the Okaloosa County Courthouse in 1947, “it was thought that the valor of the community’s brave veterans was deserving of something more than the original monument’s diminutive size,” the award presentation stated.
Today, the black marble wall and surrounding plaza and nearby gazebo is frequently the location for Veterans Day observances as well as community gatherings and festivals. Residents can purchase the plaza’s brick pavers and order them inscribed with names or messages appropriate to the memorial.
Main Street Crestview also received the Outstanding Private-Public Partnership recognition for the Community Redevelopment Agency/Main Street façade-improvement grant program. The program reimburses downtown property owners up to $5,000 for qualified projects that restore their building’s façades and improve Main Street’s historic appearance.
“It’s a very valuable program,” Cadle said.
Main Street Crestview Association President Ellis Conner was the recipient of a Local Florida Main Street Program Supporter merit award.
A Business of the Year merit award went to Coney Island and owner Julia Phillips. The hotdog restaurant has served local customers — who were always greeted with a familiar, “What fer ya?” by founder Mable Edge—for more than 40 years.
Main Street Crestview was also recognized for 15 years of continuous service to the community.
Conner said the association would submit an application to Main Street Florida to have the refurbishment of the historic 1930s Alatex Building sewing factory and one-time City Hall into a pharmacy school for Florida A&M University recognized next year.
“This coming year, we look forward to receiving the number one project award, the Alatex and FAMU project,” Conner said. “We would like to submit this to the state for consideration for outstanding project.”