Downtown Business Alliance Meets
by: Bobby McDonald
Members of the Downtown Business Alliance met at 5:30 p.m., Monday, for their first meeting of the new year, at Plain and Fancy Sandwich Shoppe, and discussed a number of ideas for the upcoming year.
John Sellers presented several new ideas concerning a history walk in the spring and asked for the group's opinion regarding changing some of the presentations to accommodate more people. The group offered some suggestions and ideas, as well.
The minutes and financial reports were approved and accepted for filing and Vice-President Lonnie Fox, who was conducting the meeting, introduced Dinkie Weeks, who will be the new manger of the Swamp Pots Restaurant. Dinkie gave the group a report of the progress on the new business and told them that it will be a traditional seafood place and has a target date for opening on March 1st. "The restaurant is owned by Norma nd Mike Burns of Yantis and we're still working on the hours of operation and will be hosting a Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours prior to our opening date, so everyone can see the building and learn even more about the restaurant," advised Weeks.
Members of the DBA then made nominations for the Growth and Renewal Award, that is annually presented to someone who has "made a difference" in the downtown area of Sulphur Spring. Following nominations, the nominees were voted on and this year's winner will be presented at the Chamber of Commerce Banquet, in February.
Member Perry Altenbaumer then asked the group to consider hosting some kind of celebration in 2013 for the completion of the downtown revitalization project. "We need to plan on doing some kind of celebration, similar to what we did when Main Street and Connally Street were completed," expressed Altenbaumer.
The group agreed that it would be a great opportunity to bring people downtown and celebrate the improvements.
Shane Shephard then presented his report and reported that a target date of October 1st, 2013 was set for completion of the New City Hall Building (Old Post Office), a Music Festival is planned for downtown on March 8 & 9, Friday night movie nights will begin on May 3rd, and the Farmers Market will open on Saturday, May 4th.
Mayor Craig Johnson then explained some of the thoughts concerning the Building Use proposals for downtown, that were presented at the last City Council meeting, regarding use of the bottom floors for retail businesses and professional offices relegated to backs of the bottom floors and the second stories of buildings. He explained that there would be "grandfather" clauses and that a committee had been appointed to further study the proposals.
The last item of business was a proposal for selling postcards, prints, and note cards, of a picture of the downtown area, by Bobby McDonald, by DBA members in their businesses.
The meeting adjourned at 6:15 p.m.