LEWISTOWN – As part of its annual meeting Thursday, Downtown Lewistown Inc. reviewed projects from the previous year as well as ongoing operations.
In the past year, the agency applied for the Elm Street program, which, if approved, will provide the community group with funding for projects in the Five Points / East End Neighborhood.
One of the proposed projects is the construction of a park at the Five Points intersection. If funded, DLI plans to purchase the property and construct improvements to enhance overall lighting conditions, replace the sidewalk and add trees and landscaping to the property. In their annual report, the group said a key element of the proposed park is the professional painting of a mural which will include references to the past of the neighborhood and the entire community.
The group said it expects the program to be approved by mid-summer.
The annual report also addressed the work being done at the Embassy Theatre, highlighting a Keystone Preservation Grant for $85,000 to assist in the restoration of the theatre.
The grant must be matched by local dollars, but, the report states, “taken together, the Embassy has an unprecedented offer on the table.”
Other projects included the continuation of a program which recognizes historic properties that have been well-maintained and the production of a historic walking tour guide. The guide, which details 36 sites and landmarks throughout the downtown area, has been distributed to more than 2,000 people.
The group also reviewed the design grant program, in which public funds are matched with private funds for improvements on area buildings.
According to the report, a total of $76,000 in grant funds was reimbursed to building owners, leveraging $229,000 in private investment.
Downtown Lewistown Inc. Executive Director Jim Zulber said the program “really made an impact.”
“We were able to get some real and long lasting renovations completed,” he said.
The grant program is concluded in the downtown area, but the group plans to have a similar revitalization program starting in the Five Points / East End Neighborhood.