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Revitalization enthusiasts talk about plans

Stake Your Claim in Clinton, a town hall meeting, was held Jan 14.

The purpose of the meeting was to plan for how to kick off the upcoming spring efforts to begin the cleaning and painting portion of the downtown revitalization.

Presenters from out of town were Jerry Smith, from Arkansas State University and Mark Peterson from University of Arkansas. Smith spearheaded a team who did a study of Clinton a few years ago and attended the meeting to summarize their research findings. Peterson, an expert in community development, has been mentoring the downtown revitalization initiative since it was launched in late 2013.

“The support of the University of Arkansas Extension Service has been priceless. Mark Peterson’s experience and guidance has rocketed us forward, helping us get more done in a shorter amount of time,” says Wendy Russ, revitalization chair and Clinton City Council member.

After the presentations, attendees broke into groups for some very loud and energetic brainstorming sessions in the following categories: Beautification and Placemaking, Marketing and Communications, and Small Business and Entrepreneurship. These are three of four action teams (the other being Hospitality) that the revitalization initiative is divided into for organizational purposes.

Kicking off the meeting was the announcement that the revitalization effort was awarded a state grant in the amount of $5,000 from state Reps. Josh Miller and David Sanders. Another $1,000 has been promised by County Judge Roger Hooper.

At 1 p.m. Jan. 25, the beautification group will do a walking tour of the first phase of the downtown work, looking at the outside of every building and making a list of what needs to be done. Anyone interested in helping is welcome to attend.

For more information contact Russ at 253-0019 or Jackie Sikes at 253-4716.

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