Downtown Durant Makeover - Next Step

9-14-04 - Just weeks after completing a major downtown renovation project, the city of Durant is prepared to make even more improvements.

The city council voted Tuesday to ask the federal government for matching funds to rebuild its market square, a project that will cost $660,000.

Five years of planning has already gone into this project - a master plan to revitalize downtown Durant and make it more attractive to retail outlets and shoppers.

The initial phase was the streetscape project - a reconstruction effort for Main Street that increased lighting and its overall beauty. That same thinking will now carry one block north to the intersection of Evergreen and 1st Street, also known as market square.

The city will apply for federal funding for four construction projects that will reopen the square cafe and create a new city park among other aspects. They want the federal government to foot 80 percent of the bill for the new streetscape project. That's an increase of 10 percent over the recently completed project.

City officials say applying for funding doesn't assure the city money. They estimate that one-third of all applications receive funding.