WR group continues effortsGretchen Hunt
The Downtown Walnut Ridge organization met Thursday night as it continues efforts to revitalize the downtown area.
Lorra Whitmire, a member of the group, said the main hurdle right now is achieving non-profit status, which they have filed for and hope to receive soon.
"That status will make the group eligible for grants and will allow for tax-deductible contributions," she said. Currently the group is still operating on the initial startup donations received when the organization was forming.
"We have spent some money on training, fees and dues, as well as some promotion," Whitmire said. "We are being very frugal with that money because until our non-profit status is approved, we have to make those funds stretch."
Once the non-profit status is approved, the group plans to have a membership and fund-raising drive.
Whitmire said an exciting development is the possibility of the downtown area being designated as a commercial historic district.
"If we receive this designation it will fit in perfectly with our organization's goal to preserve the historical aspects of the area and revitalize what was once a very busy downtown," Whitmire said.
In addition, Whitmire said plans are already underway for this year's Farmers Market. Downtown Walnut Ridge has partnered with the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce to continue the project.
The market will open in late spring, so individuals planting a garden are encouraged to plant extra to sell. Booths will be free to vendors again this year.