Dishing Dirt 
Tossing dirt Monday morning set the wheels in motion for the Main Street Streetscape project, "a stimulus of growth for the downtown community," according to City Manager Marc Maxwell. Pictured above, left to right, are Gary Spraggins, Julie Walters and Rita Edwards with the Downtown Business Alliance; Brian Briar, chairman of planning and zoning; Precinct 1 Commissioner Beth Wisenbaker; City Councilman Freddie Taylor; City Manager Marc Maxwell and Hopkins County Judge Cletis Millsap. At right, ONCOR workers begin the process of removing power lines from utility poles in the downtown area. The poles are scheduled to be removed within the next week, according to city staff.
Staff Photos by Patti Sells

Streetscape project breaks ground

By PATTI SELLS, News-Telegram Feature Writer

May 20, 2008 - City Council members, business owners and community members alike joined together for groundbreaking ceremonies of the Streetscape project Monday morning on Main Street.

"This is the beginning of the revitalization of the downtown area," City Manager Marc Maxwell said to the crowd that gathered Monday morning. "It will be an asset to the entire community and a catalyst for improvement and transformation to make downtown the vital, productive district that it once was."

The downtown area will soon be a place people will want to walk around and visit, according to Gary Spraggins, a city council member who predicts Sulphur Springs will be the next "hot spot."

"We're not just filling pot holes here," he said. "This is going to be a really fun project for us."

Business owners in the 200 block of Main Street have been informed this portion of the project will have the street closed to automobile traffic for the next four months.

"We just have to hang in there for the next few months," said Tammy Olague, owner of Custom Threads at 215 Main St. "They are trying to have it complete by the end of October for the annual car rally. It will be great when it's done."

Electric poles are being taken down to be replaced by new wiring at the back of the buildings, and a new brick paved road will be laid. The renovated street will also include new sidewalks level with the road, period lighting, park benches and landscaping.

"Before long the square is not going to be a parking lot, but a park," said Spraggins. "We're all thrilled about this community project. It will benefit not only the entire city, but the county, too."

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