Edgewood EDC Works to Bring Visitors to Town
By Vy Townsend Malcik Staff Writer
May 18, 2012 at 3 a.m.
Edgewood's Economic Development Corporation was in full force again Monday, with the two new members recently approved by the City Council.
EISD Superintendent Andy Baker and Edgewood resident Diana Wilcoxson whose career is in marketing were welcomed and put to work on the several projects in progress with the organization.
EDC's willingness to fund increased parking at City Park continues to face challenges. The directors have voted to give $15,000 toward the project.
The original site that was going to be paved was found to have utility lines running under it, so it can not be used. The second site now being considered is larger and would provide between 40 and 50 parking spaces, but at a cost of at least $25,000.
Directors decided to further investigate ways of funding this, whether by making it just a rock parking area or seeking some additional financial help from the city and from the baseball association that brings in the largest crowds.
Currently, people park on both sides of Highway 80 at the park location once all parking lots of full, and there is major concern that someone will be injured while trying to cross the busy highway.
EDC President David Musslewhite will meet with Mayor Charles Prater and the baseball association board before the next meeting to seek a cooperative agreement to alleviate this dangerous situation.
City workers have completed cleaning all the brush from Northside Cemetery on FM 859N in the continuing project to restore the area by the Edgewood Historial Society and the EDC..
Directors voted to pay for the next step -- hiring a tree maintenance company to prune the massively large trees. The cost will be $750.
After that a permanent, decorative, black aluminum fence will be installed around the half acre that the cemetery occupies.
EDC funding provided for the city-owned property includes locating and marking the locations of graves, resetting some of the headstones that are left and adding concrete tables and chairs for visitors to rest there.
Eventually, it is hoped that raised flower beds made of native stone will be planted with vintage plants and a small gazebo can be built plus security lighting added.
Far-range plans include the rest of the property the city owns beyond the cemetery being made into a children's play park.
In the ongoing quest for signage to the downtown area, Wilcoxson recommended asking one or more of the EISD advanced art students to design an attractive, eye-catching sign directing drivers on Highway 80 to the downtown area where there are shops, a restaurant and the historical Heritage Park.
The directors asked her to further investigate this possibility, with the understanding that the EDC would pay for supplies and installation of such a sign.
A sign cannot be placed on the right-of-way property because that is state-owned, so it is hoped that the Wills Point resident who owns that property now occasionally used by Graham's Produce and First United Methodist Church will agree to the sign being erected in an appropriate place there.
Wilcoxson also suggested considering asking Edgewood businesses to stay open late one evening each week so that people could shop after work.
Baker reported a similar successful situation in Prosper when he was school superintendent in that area. Business, especially restaurants, stayed open after games at the school so families could eat out together.
Lee Howell continues trying to get approval from TXDOT to place two permanent stone signs at the east and west edges of the town as has been done in the cities of Canton and Wills Point, among others.
Howell is also researching the feasibility of renting billboards on I-20 and Highway 80 to call travelers' attention to Edgewood.