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Outdoor stage planned for downtown area
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Tennessee Downtowns Steering Committee members, from left, Steve White, Alan Webb, Suzanne Williams and Wade Smith displayed a scale model of an outdoor stage they plan to construct just off the courthouse square at last weeks city council meeting. - photo by Photo by: Reed Vanderpool
Plans for an open-air stage just off the courthouse square in Smithville were announced by the local Tennessee Downtowns Program Steering Committee at week’s meeting of the mayor and board of aldermen.Members of the committee displayed a scale model of the proposed structure, and plans were revealed to place it in Evins Park, just behind city hall.Grant funding in the amount of $8,500 has already been secured for the project, and the Smithville Rotary Club has donated $1,000 to help build the stage.The committee will partner with the Evins Foundation on the initial project.“We should be getting started in the next five-six weeks,” said committee chair Steve White.“We are calling for volunteers to help, said Chamber of Commerce Director and steering committee member Suzanne Williams.“Any skilled or unskilled volunteers are welcome,” White said. “We’ll put you to work somewhere.The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development announced in December 2010 that Smithville was among 12 cities selected to participate in the Tennessee Downtowns program.Communities with central business districts at least 50 years old were eligible to apply for a downtown revitalization package, and mini-grants of $500 were made available to business owners to entice them to participate.“We have awarded a total of 16 ($500) mini-grants to local merchants to help improve the store fronts,” White said.The grants are awarded to local business owners who invest a minimum of $1,000 in exterior improvements to their buildings.Mini-grant recipients so far include:Keith W. Blair, 406 W. Public Square; Frank Buck, 125 West Walnut Street; Gayla Hendrix, 301 N. Public Square; Phillip and Marilyn Cantrell, 115 & 117 West Main Street; Fluty's Shoes, 120 West Main Street Henrietta Hale, 109 West Main Street; Hilton Conger, 208 East Public Square; Richard H. Williams, 105 North 4th Street; Thomas Janney, 115 West Market Street; Vester Parsley, 111 West Main Street; Gail Webb, 400 Public Square; Pam Redmon, 114 West Walnut Street; Alan Webb, Main Street; Jeremy Trapp, Main Street; Annette Greek, 103 W. Main Street and Paul Violet, 102 W. Main Street.“We appreciate everything that people downtown have done,” said Williams. “Many of the businesses have already been improved, and are looking great.”If you would like to volunteer to help with the stage, contact the Chamber of commerce at (615) 597-4163.