Bonham City Council approves initiative to improve downtown buildings

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BONHAM, TX -- Monday night the Bonham City Council approved an initiative that they hope will improve downtown buildings after two buildings collapsed on the Bonham Square last May.

Since two historic buildings collapsed on the same day in downtown Bonham last May the city has been looking for ways to preserve its heritage district.

Bonham City Manager Bill Ship said, "the fact that we had those two buildings collapse certainly highlighted the fact that we had structural problems with those buildings."

Ship says they want to liven up downtown while making sure the buildings are safely maintained.

Steve Filipowicz, director of the Bonham Economic Development Corporation, presented an initiative to the city.

SOT: Steve: We recognize that the best possible recourse for a building is to have it occupied, have an owner or tenant who cares for the building, and who conducts routine maintenance.

It's an incentive program for potential tenants. Once their approved, the program would pay half the cost of a certified design professional to inspect the building and make recommendations on taking care of it.

The Save Our Structures program would provide seed money to businesses like the breakfast shop, looking to move into buildings in the heritage district.

Wayne Moore said, "We need to get folks down here on weekends and that's one of our goals to see the cars in downtown Bonham on Saturday."

Wayne Moore and his wife are opening a restaurant on the square he says he supports any effort to encourage more businesses to locate Downtown..

Moore said, "I think it's very important to the community."

The program's budget cap for this fiscal year is sixty-five hundred dollars.