Redevelopment Authority Board Approves Funds for Antique Alley

New Business on South Main Street and East Beech

New Business on South Main Street and East Beech


The Lamar Redevelopment Authority Board approved the funding request from Antique Alley at 101 South Main Street for an HVAC system at the new store. The amount of the request, according to Shawna Hodge, Lamar’s Main Street Director, is $8,380 and the business owners will contribute $931 in matching funds.  The business, the former Davis Western Wear store, was purchased by the owners for $20,000 and they have provided $23,000 in upgrades to date.  Mark and Naomi Adkins are the store managers and Antique Alley is owned by Cora Laughlin.  Under the guidelines set up for funding, 50% of the grant request will be immediately available and the balance will be paid by the Authority on final inspection of the premises for the proposed upgrades.  Several other funding projects were discussed, but nothing specific at this time other than an interest in developing a restaurant downtown and a lady’s boutique is being considered, also in a downtown location.

City Administrator, John Sutherland, noted he’s heard positive comments from residents, following the Oktoberfest, about the new parking area on East Beech Street. “The proposal to use some of those two lots for an amphitheater is pretty much off the table based on the comments about the need for additional parking,” he told the council.  Sutherland noted that the proposed pocket park between the Shore Arts Center and Daylight Donut isn’t going to be funded at this point.  “We’ve spoken to an architect who will bring some students to visit us and will develop some options on how the parking area will work with surrounding businesses,” he said.

Additional lighting for downtown parking areas, including the lot on West Beech Street was discussed. Councilman Crespin wondered if that lot could see some upgrades.  That property is currently leased to the city from the railroad.  Parking potentials on the lot just north of the Lamar Community Building was briefly discussed, but isn’t a likely prospect right now.  Sutherland answered, “The price of that land has increased and we’re looking at a need that only comes around based on school events, so it’s not a full time concern at this point.”

There was also discussion on the make-up of the Authority Board, initiated by councilman Anne-Marie Crampton. She said she’s been asked why the city council also comprises the Board.  “It was my understanding when the Board was being created back in 2009, that the City Administrator felt that due to lack of community participation in various organizations, it would be easier to have a ready-made board available from the council,” she explained.  Sutherland stated that a resolution amending the organizing ordinance could be initiated if there was some interest expressed for other members.  Councilman Haggard stated that because of the taxation that occurs in the district boundaries, residents outside Lamar, such as Granada or Holly could not be considered for the Board, only those who reside within the district would be eligible at this time.

By Russ Baldwin

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