Houston was honored last week with the Governor’s Community Project of the Year Award in conjunction with the state’s 50th annual conference on economic development in Kansas City.
Director of Economic Development Greg Steinhoff presented the award for the development of downtown Houston, its walking trails system and extensive work done along a Brushy Creek hillside near where a welcome center will locate.
“Houston experienced a devastating fire in 1999, leaving areas of destruction and decline in the community,” Steinhoff told the more than 500 gathered in the Hyatt Regency ballroom. “But, out of the ruins, improvements have emerged. The first project in the redeveloping the area was transforming the burned city block into Lone Star Plaza, an area consisting of sidewalks, plants, irrigation and lighting.”
Steinhoff also cited the addition of a wildflower garden, hiking trail and restoration of a 1936 native stone structure to house the city’s welcome center. He added that the projects had received assistance from the state’s Neighborhood Assistance Program and “has helped preserve and revitalization the colorful history, natural surroundings and productivity of Houston.”
The only other community receiving recognition was Washington, Mo., which received the Governor’s Redevelopment Award for a farmers market that includes a 12,000 square foot pavilion.
Washington, Mo., and Houston received crystal trophies.
Attending from Houston were Elaine Campbell, the City of Houston’s development director, and Brad Gentry, president of Downtown Houston Inc.