The 21st of this month will be one year since David Key and Armando Pena hosted a fundraiser for Keep Blanco Beautiful at their Treetops Ranch in Stallion Estates. The event was a great success with 235 interested citizens of this area and many of David's and Armando's friends donating to the efforts of KBB to beautify our square. The funds from this event have been set aside and earmarked for use in the dowtown revitalization of the Blanco Historic Square.
The seven months of VIP planning sessions began in February and by August, and after a lot of interested and dedicated people to Blanco worked hard, we had a plan. Our first Downtown Revitalization meeting was held on August 2 to start working to implement the goals that were chosen. They are
1. Burying utilities in downtown historic square
2. Improving landscaping on courthouse square in keeping with Blanco's cultural landscape
3. Generating and promoting historic preservation activieis on the square
4. Encouraging diverse businesses in historic dowtown through incentives
5. Identify and promote incentives for historic restoration of buildings.
Rick Sebenoler, with the U. S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Department has joined in to help us with the first 4 items. Rick worked with the Heartland Council several years ago to help with restoration and revitalization by finding and securing needed funds for their projects. Rick has begun the work on the VIP projects and has made several contacts to get the information to bury the utilities. This also includes landscaping the courthouse lawn.
Julie Dill has put together a team with the Chamber of Commerce on the Economic Development part of the the VIP revitalization plan. Reviving the Christmas lighting on the square the night after Thanksgiving is their main goal at this time. The merchants around the square are encouraged to go all out to light their businesses and stay open late and serve the delicious refresments like we use to have. At one time 3,000 Blanco area citizens and visitors attended this event. In the last few years the number has dropped to 250. All of the residences in Blanco are encouraged to decorate their homes and the Yucca Garden Club will hold a contest for the best decorated Yard of the Month contest. Prizes will be given to the winners.
The Keep Blanco Beautiful plans will move forward with the VIP plans. We will keep you informed on the progress.