- Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 May 2011 00:00
- Published on Wednesday, 25 May 2011 00:00
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As summertime arrives and beach businesses gear up for tourist season, the Management Team for the Business District Revitalization Grant is working hard studying ways to improve the economic picture in Colonial Beach. The team — facilitated by Carol Rizzo of Land Studio, PC — is composed of volunteers including local business representatives, town residents, local government, and representatives from non-profit and philanthropic groups.
The team met on Monday, May 23, and continued to create a vision statement that succinctly describes the amenities of the town
and how to effectively market the town’s natural resources to promote economic growth.
Over the last two years, residents have spoken out, returned surveys and participated at several public meetings expressing their concerns and vision for the future of the beach. All of the residents’ suggestions and concerns have been studied and compiled. The end result points to improving the boardwalk and Colonial Avenue as the first target area for economic improvement. In 2012 a 300-plus page grant application will be sent to the U.S. Department of Housing and Community Development.
The management team is voluntary, meets every other week and is tasked with taking the citizens’ input and creating a workable plan to complete and market improvement projects in the downtown revitalization area. Currently there are approximately 15 team members who are committed to the task.
As the team reviews and assesses the town’s amenities and opportunities for increased economic development, several marketable amenities rise to the top, including the scenic river waterfront, the boardwalk, the rich historical nature of the town, recreational opportunities, and the vibrant arts community.
The grant application process requires the town complete a locally funded improvement project. The team chose the grassy area across from the Wilder parking lot that contains public restrooms and picnic tables. The town recently rehabilitated the public restrooms and volunteers from the Art Guild painted a mural on the side of the building. The team agreed to recommend the town continue the improvements there by upgrading the outdoor shower area with a concrete pad. The team also will recommend improved landscaping with an eye to framing the grassy area. The project is being documented and will become part of the grant application.