Main Street Ozark History
The Main Street Cities National Program started in the 1970's with the state of Arkansas adopting the program in 1984. Ozark became a Main Street City in 1988 with Tommy Dangers becoming the first Director.
The First president was George Lindley II. George donated much of his time to developing a working Board of Directors. Riverbend Properties, co-owned by Lindley, Ivan Dillard and Sandy Key provided office space, supplies and equipment to the organization for the first twelve years at no cost to Main Street.
From 1990 through 1996 James Hugh Gilmer served as Executive Director. Gilmer had great insight into the direction the program should be going and laid the groundwork for much of the progress that we are still seeing today.
In 1996 Sandy Key became Main Street Ozark's third Executive Director and remains in this position today. Under her guidance, Main Street Ozark has made great progress toward making James Gilmer's vision a reality. This Progress includes, renovating and establishing a museum in the old Union Pacific Railroad Depot, new sidewalks and streetscape with crape myrtle’s and historic street lights and Roy Garner Memorial Park. In 1997 Main Street Ozark obtained funds to light the Arkansas River Bridge, a dream of local business man Steve Outlaw and it has become Ozark’s signature landmark attraction. Main Street purchased and renovated a downtown historic building which now houses Main Street Ozark, a Conference Center, The Ozark Area Chamber of Commerce, and The Ozark Visitor Center.
Plans to develop the downtown portion of the Arkansas River front are now underway. In addition to the new post office, the lighted river bridge and the Depot Museum, the riverfront plans include a river market, marina, boardwalk and transient boat docking facility.