A civic group met Thursday night and received updates on several projects involving Houston’s downtown business district.
Meeting Thursday, Downtown Houston Inc. heard a progress report on negotiations related to replacing a roof at a building that will become the Lone Star Plaza Annex. The organization has been awarded funds to establish a commercial kitchen for the farmers’ market in the building, hold classes and make it available for rental. Roof work is required first. Another portion of the grant award includes shades for the copper canopy at the plaza. A Springfield firm is working on completing that project.
In other matters, members:
—Heard that the Texas County Commission signed a lease last week with Downtown Houston Inc. for a high tunnel that will be used at the Texas County Justice Center garden. The structure will allow inmates to operate the garden for longer growing periods. Downtown Houston Inc. applied for a USDA Rural Development grant for the project, which is overseen by Sheriff James Sigman and Texas County Master Gardeners will aid inmates. An open house is expected later in the month.
—Discussed signage for the Lone Star Plaza. Sketches were reviewed for signage that will display schedules, donors and other pertinent information.
—Will hold a deer gun raffle. The drawing will be just before the fall firearms deer season.
—Gave approval to a downtown event in October held in conjunction with the farmers market that will celebrate agriculture. A subcommittee will develop a plan.
Downtown Houston Inc. will meet at 5:30 Thursday (tonight) at the Houston Herald meeting room. A representative from Community Foundation of the Ozarks — Bridget Mason Dierks, a Houston High School graduate, will discuss an online fundraising program.
—Heard an update on a plan to connect with accountants in the region to highlight generous state tax credits available from Downtown Houston Inc. Eligible donors receive 70 cents credit on their state return for each dollar contributed and it also is deductible on federal returns. Funds are earmarked for the renovation of the Melba Theatre and Lone Star Annex. To learn more contact, Brad Gentry, president; Kathy Richardson, vice president; or Vera Gladden, secretary-treasurer.