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Imagine Downtown group to meet Jan. 31

By Muriel Eason
Special to The SUN

The third monthly meeting of the Imagine Downtown group will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Jan 31, at the Ross Aragon Community Center in the South Conference Room.

All are welcome to attend, share ideas and take part in this effort to enliven and improve our downtown.  We would especially like to have downtown business or property owners and downtown residents participate in determining the future of the downtown.

The purpose of the group is to put into action the initiatives suggested by the Downtown Colorado Inc. (DCI) Team when they came and did their assessment on Nov. 13-14, 2012.  We wanted to differentiate this Imagine Downtown initiative from past efforts by taking some action immediately.  We want to make some immediate progress that is high impact and low cost, while working on some longer term initiatives.

Two teams have been formed and are making progress:

• A window-decorating team to spruce up our downtown — especially empty storefronts — to make them appear occupied and loved. This group chose the theme, “We Believe in Pagosa.”  Look for student artwork in vacant store windows and a big banner atop the old City Market building.

• A team to work on identifying a downtown champion organization and address associated funding opportunities.

Last meeting, we drafted our mission statement:

• Help create a more vibrant downtown and implement suggestions from the DCI visit.

• Value and promote our uniqueness, honor our history, build on our assets and resources within our community and environment.

• Discover ways to foster cooperation and collaboration between the community and the local governments.

• Advocate for business friendly regulations.

• Find ways to diversify our business base to create a year-round economy.

• Take short-term, visually effective actions while implementing positive changes over the long term.

The topics for discussion in the next meeting, Jan. 31, are:

• Share highlights of DCI written report.

• Review the mission statement and revise if needed.

• Get updates from “window-dressing” and “organization” teams.

• Focus on another initiative that we can start.

Please join us and be a part of revitalizing the heart of the community — our downtown.  We meet monthly on the last Thursday of each month.

This story was posted on January 24, 2013.