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NEW ALBANY, Miss. (WCBI) – New Albany is one city out of eight to be designated as a Livable Community. As part of that grant process, leaders are hosting a conference to help locals develop and enhance downtown and the farmers market.

New Albany already has an award winning downtown but the city wants it to get better. The key to that is making the farmers market a staple for your staples.

“And what we hope to do with it is expand it and not only with the market itself but total food economy for the region.”

Planning consultants say the main goal for the workshop is to create a nice place to live, work and visit. The Tanglefoot Trail, the river and highway access are only a few of the built in advantages New Albany already has

“And small towns will build on their assets to promote themselves and to make it a nice, pleasant, place to visit. And that’s what we mean by livability. Making a nice place to be able to walk around and experience.”

Networking is also key. There is a lot of truth to the saying It’s not what you know It’s who you know

“We’re figuring out where we have resources and where we are short on resources, so we can fill in those gaps and make the whole system work better. And that will ultimately help the farmers market be more successful once some of the networks are strengthened.”

As the conference wraps up, planning consultants leave the city with some valuable resources to work with.

” We help them understand where they are and where they want to go. We leave them, essentially, the product of this is an action plan with very specific goals and actions. This is what we are working on right now.”

Experts say they will follow up with New Albany’s local leaders with three conference calls to track their progress.

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