Reason for optimism
When you take a look at The Square these days, with its orange tape and barricades, you have to be pretty discouraged. It sure looks like we are headed downhill and this could be the beginning of the end.
As the Main Street director, I guess I should be pretty discouraged. Let me tell you why I am not.
Sixty-six days ago I went before the City Council and proposed a festival called Bonnie & Clyde Days. Bonnie & Clyde Days was created as a vehicle to get people working together towards the revitalization of The Square. My sense was before we can fix the bricks and mortar, we had to find out if people cared about The Square. I found out that they do. Consider: We have gotten commitments from over 60 individuals to serve on committees, donate services, sponsor events and support the effort. That can be compared to two rejections. Thats impressive, but its more impressive when you consider what I was told before I started:
1. I was told that families who have been here for generations wouldnt help. Our support includes names like Strittmatter, Duesman, Pelzel and Massey among our commitments.
2. I was told that civic and church groups have their own activities and dont cooperate with each other. We have gotten the cooperation and support from every church and civic group we have approached.
3. I was told it was difficult to get young people involved. With the cooperation of our superintendent, our principal and some dedicated teachers, we can expect between 50 and 100 of the high schools top students high to assist in the event.
4. I was told people from out of town wont get involved. We have all sorts of people beyond the city limits of Pilot Point committed to the effort. These included people from as close as people living down 455 and Lantana Lodge, to faculty members of the University of North Texas, and as far away as members of the Model A Ford Club in Dallas and the Cotton Museum in Greenville.
5. I was told the building owners have no interest in renovating their properties. We have commitments from 12 building owners to spend $49,500.00 in a proposed matching grant Program.
I have learned people want to help The Square. They are just looking for a way to contribute. The spirit of The Square is changing. The bricks and mortar will follow.
Its been 67 days since the plan was approved, and we have 132 days left until Bonnie & Clyde Days begins. The Bonnie & Clyde Days celebration will not mark the end of the construction on The Square, but it is marking the beginning of its revitalization.
If you care and want to get involved, go to cityofpilotpoint.org and click on the Bonnie & Clyde logo. Read about what is going on and give me a call at 686-2165.
Main Street Director
City of Pilot Point