Mayor addresses differences between comprehensive ‘Plan Aiken’ and Main Street South Carolina

AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) – It’s no secret there’s several big plans in the works to revitalize the City of Aiken.

Last year, the City of Aiken was selected to participate in Main Street South Carolina and on Thursday it unveiled its new Comprehensive Plan Aiken.

City of Aiken Mayor Rick Osbon says South Carolina requires each city to revisit its comprehensive plan every 5 years.

He says Plan Aiken is more of an overview focusing on land use and population growth. While Main Street South Carolina specifically focuses on revitalizing Downtown Aiken.

“They give us good ideas, so we can pass information on as to what they feel the capacity is for specific markets.” Osbon told WJBF NewsChannel 6.

Osbon says the Planning Commission has been very hands-on with comprehensive Plan Aiken. Which is one of the main reasons he feels it won’t just be a checked off the city’s to-do list and then left on the shelf to collect dust.

The Mayor say the Main Street program offers the City of Aiken incentives, such as tax breaks, and like Plan Aiken it incorporates housing into the Downtown plan.

“Tools that make a difference day-to-day and immediately,” Osbon said. “Where are the comprehensive plan is certainly more of a larger.”

Antique dealer and life-long Aiken resident Sarah Taylor says back in 2008 many businesses closed their doors.

It took a lot of work to get Downtown Aiken thriving again, but she’s happy to see City Leaders moving Aiken forward.

“It’s a good idea to keep the plans rolling,” Taylor said. “I mean we have a wonderful downtown people come here from all over the world.”

Still the mayor recognizes both plans overlap, but Aiken residents say communication is key.

“As far as communicating with the downtown merchants to social media to let people know what’s going on,” Carlene Clark, a resident of Aiken, said.

Mayor Osbon says Main Street strategists are going to be working with Plan Aiken consultants.

To learn more about Plan Aiken, click here. 

To learn more about Main Street South Carolina, click here. 

Count on WJBF NewsChannel 6 to bring you the latest on this developing story. 

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