Willard to discuss direction for downtown revitalization

WILLARD - Council members plan to discuss tonight whether to apply again for a downtown revitalization grant. The city learned last month the state denied its application for $400,000. It would have helped the city to pay for refurbishments to exterior buildings, street signs, streetscape improvements and administrative help to promote downtown.
Aaron Krause
Jul 25, 2010

WILLARD - Council members plan to discuss tonight whether to apply again for a downtown revitalization grant.

The city learned last month the state denied its application for $400,000. It would have helped the city to pay for refurbishments to exterior buildings, street signs, streetscape improvements and administrative help to promote downtown.

The project's total cost would have been more than $1 million, with additional money coming from city and business matches.

City Manager Brian Humphress said the state funded six projects, and Willard was seventh. The city qualified for the first two rounds of funding, but didn't make the final cut.

Humphress said he's disappointed.

"It's something that we worked hard on for a year and a half," he said.

Humphress said the city had planned for a downtown revitalization project for about two-and-a-half years. The work in included meeting with merchants, writing applications for funding and conducting infrastructure surveys.

"We thought we had a really good shot at it and we did," he said.

But in the end, Humphress said most of the winning cities came up with $1 million or more in matching funds. Willard planned to do about $350,000 worth of infrastructure work in the downtown area, and planned to use part of that sum to match state funding.

"While we compared very well on all the other criteria, we lost points there," Humphress said, referring to the lower match.

Humphress said the city can apply again for funding. However, he said the city will have to spend some of the $350,000 on road improvements, since streets are in bad shape.

"If we do that, the match money goes down even less," the city manager said.

At a minimum, municipalities must put up $1 for every $1 they receive in funding.

The city last conducted a downtown revitalization project in the 70s, Humphress said.

Comments

BigD writes.......

The first move toward revitalization should be to get the Mexicans off every corner and bench downtown,then clean up the local disease infected,drug addict,prostitutes hanging around doing 5$ tricks for drugs then revitalization would be a great move towards cleaning up our city!!!

haha (Anonymous)

AMEN!!

Heroin Willard ...

Humprhess go the f*ck away!

BigD writes aga...

that the start of revitalization should be clean up on the corners downtown and anyone who lives here knows what im talking about. maybe they will leave this comment maybe not. they delete alot of comments on here when someone speaks the truth about certain situations as we all well know!!!my last was deleted on this subject so i have re-worded and posted again. lol...lets see how long this lasts!!!they need to clean up the trash then start working on cosmetics!!

Brian Humphress...

Mexicans have decimated Willard and they are the cause of Huron County's high unemployment and heroin problem. There I said it. The foolish leadership in Willard has zero clue on what to do.