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City investing ARPA funds in downtown businesses

By Linda Waggener

At Thursday's special called meeting, the Columbia City Council approved what will be called "Paint the Town II," a project to assist locally owned businesses with improvements downtown.

A few months ago the City Council voted to use a portion of the ARPA funds (received from the COVID-19 Pandemic support to communities) to invest in locally owned downtown businesses.

Mayor Pam Hoots called on Joe Willis, Mary Beth Phelps and Leon Lewis to study what requirements might me needed and to begin the thought processes on how best to use the funds.



Recently, 313 Maple owner Alexis Jennings asked if there would be any stipulations against adding a flower box in front of her store on Campbellsville Street. She wanted to check for any requirements that might be needed, "before asking husband Eric to do the work of creating it." That ask started the conversation with the Mayor about possibilities from the ARPA funds project.

An official application will be available from Mayor Hoots and staff at City Hall. A maximum amount will be set per project with labor responsibilities of the business.

If your business is located in the city limits and you'd would like to apply, please contact City Hall, 270-384-2501.


This story was posted on 2022-08-05 10:05:51
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Presenting ideas for improvement to buildings



2022-08-05 - Columbia, KY - Photo by Linda Waggener, ColumbiaMagazine.com.
Alexis and Eric Jennings, at left, presented ideas at a special called City Council meeting Thursday as part of applying for designated "Paint the Town II" funding. The City committed to use a portion of the ARPA funds (received from the COVID-19 Pandemic support to communities) to invest in locally owned downtown businesses.

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Paint The Town II artist's suggestion



2022-08-05 - Downtown Columbia, KY - Photo from Alexis Jennings.
The canvas for this mural idea is the side of the historic building at the corner of Campbellsville Street and the Public Square that is in restoration phase - it was sparked when 313 Maple owner Alexis Jennings asked Mayor Pam Hoots if there would be any stipulations against adding a flower box in front of her store on Campbellsville Street. Alex says she was just checking for any requirements, "before asking my husband Eric to do the work of creating it!" That ask started the conversation about possibilities using the ARPA funds project the City of Columbia voted to do to help local businesses.

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Take that, HGTV!



2022-08-08 - Downtown Columbia, KY - Photo by Alexis Jennings.
Before the pandemic, dreamers and futurists who long to see the most unique parts of Columbia's downtown heritage brought back to life took action. Members of the Community Investment Committee created a buzz, made a video and the City entered the Ben and Erin Napier HGTV Series 'Home Town Takeover'. They did not select Columbia. So Columbia is just moving along on its own hometown makeover. The Paint the Town II project voted on by the City Council helps downtown business owners move ahead on their own - this example created by Alexis Jennings shows what painting and fixing up will do for one of the corner buildings. So take that, HGTV!

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Studying continuous community investment



2022-08-08 - Downtown Columbia, KY - Photo by Ann Marie Austin from CM 2019 archives.
The City of Columbia Community Investment Committee meetings were stalled by the COVID-19 pandemic but each member continues thinking and working toward ways to help make ours a better place. In this archive photo from March 18, 2019 were, front row, from left: City of Columbia Mayor Pam Hoots, citizen volunteer and sidewalk improvement leader Mary Anne Loy, Adair Middle School volunteer Brody Blair, ColumbiaMagazine.com and City Council member Linda Waggener, and Nanwood Market owner Sandy Conover. In back, from left, were: Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ellen Zornes, Rogers Trucking Company co-owner Chuck Rogers, Golden Rule Wilson realtor Elliott Burton, Columbia Attorney Dustin Warren, Nanwood Market co-owner Luci Irvin, citizen volunteer Richard Phelps and Libby's Gift Boutique co-owner Billy Joe Fudge.

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