December 17, 2013 10:41:15 AM
The Columbus-Lowndes Convention and Visitors Bureau will join forces with the city council to apply for a grant that will help develop a vacant property east of the Tennessee Williams Home and Welcome Center.
The CVB board voted to give executive director Nancy Carpenter permission to move forward with the application through Mississippi Department of Transportation's Transportation Alternatives Program. If rewarded, the $200,000 grant would include a $30,000 match from the CVB and $10,000 from the city. The application will be under the city's name and the CVB will grant the city an easement of the property.
Carpenter said she decided to ask for board approval after discussions with Columbus Mayor Robert Smith and Kevin Stafford of city engineering firm Neel-Schaffer.
"This would be to develop the property that is east of the Tennessee Williams home that goes all the way to the building that Stewart Stafford has just bought, which was the old Rex's Rentals building," Carpenter said. "This area can be developed for tourism...it can be used for historic preservation work. It's going to be an area where we can host events for tourists where we can connect the corridor between College Street and Main Street."
The city council is expected to approve its $10,000 contribution during their 5 p.m. meeting today at the Columbus Municipal Complex.
In other business, the board approved full second-installment funding to the 7th Avenue Heritage Festival, a total of $10,000. The first installment was $5,000.
Nathan Gregory covers city and county government for The Dispatch.
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