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“Welcome Back Downtown” Luncheon

WELCOME BACK DOWNTOWN LUNCHEON -- Some of the elected officials who attended the “Welcome Back Downtown” luncheon and discussion. Pictured are City Council Member Jerry Salazar, County Judge Byron Ryder, City Council Member Travis Crowder, BEDC Director and Host Mike Anderson, Mayor Jerrod Jones, and County Commissioners Dean Stanford and David Ferguson.

BEDC Director Mike Anderson hosted an informational luncheon for the downtown area merchants and property owners. It was held at the new City Hall, Monday, September 9th. A lunch from Dickey?s was provided by Community National Bank.

Buffalo Mayor Jerrod Jones started the meeting explaining his goals and visions for improving the city of Buffalo. ?In many cities, the old business districts have been turned into a show place,? said Jones. ?And Buffalo?s old downtown can also be made attractive. The two blocks of commercial buildings and the railroad are why Buffalo is here today. We can preserve our old part town and attract visitors to our community.?

The city has designated the two commercial blocks on Commerce Street down to the First Baptist Church and the old Lyons Hotel across the railroad tracks as the city?s ?Historical Area?. The city has also employed a grant writer to apply for a federal grant that, if awarded, will bring the city $350,000 to spend on projects to update and improve this area. Improvements can include new sidewalks, lighting, crosswalks, parking, and other transformations.

The city has also hired an engineer to conduct the project if the grant is awarded. The city will learn in February or March of 2020 if they will receive the funds. The city is required to match the grant with $70,000 and has budgeted that amount into their plans.

Another necessary element to become eligible for the Historical Revitalization Grant is that a city must have a comprehensive plan in place. The city recently approved the adoption of the long-range comprehensive growth plan that was developed by a team from Texas A&M.

Anderson stressed that it is ?up to us? meaning the citizens, to take an interest and to make the most of the revitalization of downtown by contributing ideas and suggestions. A ?Plan B? was also mentioned in the event the grant is not awarded. Anderson and the mayor expressed a commitment to seeing the project achieved with the help and support of those present and others who were not able to attend.

Anderson led a question and answer discussion with the guests. Present for the meeting were many of the downtown area merchants and property owners, several city council members, the county judge, some of the commissioners, and representatives from both local banks.