Paying Off In The City
Revitalization Begins With Projects That Make Downtown Look Better
For the past year more than one organization has been looking at making a downtown revitalization a reality. Several small projects and grants have helped the city of Glasgow work on gaining funding and planning to make the downtown look a little better and help to attract more business and tourism.
One of these projects has been to get hanging flower baskets, trash cans and benches placed in the downtown area. The first grant to help make that project a reality came from the Theo Beck Foundation. That first grant covered the purchase of five trash cans. Kathy Granger, of the Glasgow Police Department, who has also the city’s grant writer, explained that they were able to get a discount on the trash cans and 400 liners included with the first round of grant money.
Three extra trash cans will be placed around the bars and one in the BNSF parking lot once further funding comes in. Grants applied for through Two Rivers Economic Growth include one into BNSF for $10,000, another into NorthWest Energy that would cover two trash cans, and another grant into the Valley County Community Foundation for a bench and one more trash can are awaiting a response. The BNSF grant would cover 18 brackets and hanging flower baskets, five benches and four trashcans.
Granger said that the project started just over a year ago. Mayor Becky Erickson said that she spotted other towns placing benches, trash cans and flowers around the downtown area to spruce it up and she got the ball rolling. While Erickson didn’t want to take credit for the work, she did point out that there are several other projects and grants the city has been pursuing. Once the town finalizes the downtown revitalization plan, there could be more opportunities for grant funding.
Erickson said that she’s thought about businesses sponsoring benches and flower baskets as well, and finding out a way to place small plaques to recognize them. She added that a lot of the work to revitalize downtown has started after a meeting at the train depot where representatives from TBID (Tourism Business Improvement District) and Two Rivers discussed options.
The groups have also been focusing on cleaning up the train depot to help train passengers vision of Glasgow improve.
Erickson added that the city’s Candy Cane Park work is almost completed. The project received $5,000 in trees from NorthWestern Energy, and some were placed in the cemetery and downtown businesses. They received $4,315 from the Glasgow Soroptimists for the drip system for trees and a sprinkler system. Play and Parks Structure donated $11,312 for new playground equipment that cost $28,000. This year the city will be looking for an additional $5,116 in funding for wood fibers and the play area border under the equipment, and funding for picnic tables for $1,000 each.
“With city budgets as strained as they are, we need to think about every extra dollar we can receive through grant opportunities,” Erickson said.
The downtown revitalization plan is in progress now. The city was able to receive $2,000 from Two Rivers and $10,000 from the Department of Commerce to fund the plan. The study for the plan should be completed by June.
Other grants the city is waiting to hear back word on approval or denial are for the water treatment plant, a Community Development Block Grant that could be used to fix problems with the city Levee, and a grant from TransCanada on a new fire truck.