Archive for Thursday, October 20, 2005

Eudora benefits from rejected grant application

October 20, 2005

Proving that failure can be the starting point for future success, Eudora city leaders are pressing forward with a new grant application to rejuvenate the downtown area.

An attempt to secure a grant from the state failed last year in large part because owners and renters of downtown storefronts weren't sufficiently on board. Those awarding the competitive grant for the state look more favorably on cities when benefiting business owners take initiative to make improvements on their own and support the goals of the grant.

As unfortunate as that seemed at the time, last year's failure could be beneficial to Eudora. City officials, led by City Administrator Cheryl Beatty, have returned with a proposal for a new and improved grant application. The grant improvement would be expanded to include a four-block stretch of Main Street from Sixth to 10th streets.

The endeavor also saw the creation of a beautification committee focused on drumming up support from downtown stakeholders. A promise of low-interest loans from Kaw Valley Bank and a 10-year tax break on improvements added bait to the committee's effort.

Downtown's topography and Victorian storefronts make it unique. The conceptual designs that enhance those assets with antique lighting, additional greenery, improved sidewalks and benches could do much to draw added investment from those who recognize the district's potential.

It is gratifying that 135 people signed on to the downtown plan during EudoraFest. We hope state officials look on it, and the work that went into it, with similar favor when they review the application.

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