DLI close to Keystone Communities designation

LEWISTOWN – Through it all, Downtown Lewistown Inc. has managed to continue to survive and thrive, despite a current lack of access to state funding.

During Wednesday’s annual board meeting, several topics were covered, including the Keystone Communities designation and the installation of the fountain at the Fountain Square Park, located at the Five Points intersection in Lewistown.

Thanks in part to donations from the community as well as DLI members, the organization has sustained itself since the state’s Elm Street program was discontinued.

President Jon Zimmerman said DLI continues to work toward achieving Keystone Communities designation, which may allow the organization access to grant money in the future.

Executive Director Jim Zubler said there are currently 10 Keystone Community designations throughout the state and he hopes Lewistown is number 11.

Zimmerman is hopeful that in the months to come DLI will achieve this goal.

The Keystone Communities program is similar to previous revitilatization programs from which DLI has received funding, such as the Elm Street and Main Street programs. A Keystone Communities designation would allow DLI to help with revitilazation efforts to restore deteriorated buildings, residential neighborhoods and industrial or manufacturing sites.

Zubler said there are several municipalities that are partnering with DLI, including Derry and Granville townships, Lewistown Borough and the county, in addition to other partners in business and industry. The Keystone Communities program encourages community partnerships and Zubler said he continues to reach out to other municipalities that may be interested in the program.

Zubler then shifted gears a bit to talk about the long-awaited fountain project at the park at the Five Points intersection.

Zimmerman said DLI managed to raise enough money to purchase a fountain from Fines Gallery, a Florida based company, at a cost of roughly $24,000. In addition, DLI raised enough money to have the fountain installed.

Zubler said delivery of the fountain is expected in mid-September.

The fountain is 14 feet in diameter and 10 feet high.

Zimmerman said he hopes to have some kind of dedication ceremony for the fountain around Goose Day.

Two bronze geese, currently being housed by the Juniata River Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau, were purchased using grant money. The geese will be installed in or around the fountain as part of the overall project.

Zubler and other board members were quick to point out that although funds have been secured for the fountain and the installation, they will still need to raise funds for maintenance and other projects within the park, such as a proposed mural, benches and donor wall.

The board also took the time to talk about security measures at the park, which will include lighting and cameras.