Brownfield’s downtown square has come a long way in recent years thanks to the private investment of local businesses and the updating of many facades of the familiar buildings around the courthouse. Additional work will soon help beautify The Square even further thanks to a $250,000 grant from the Texas Department of Agriculture specifically for downtown revitalization.
The City of Brownfield was awarded the grant recently, after having applied for it for the last several years. The grant is awarded on a points basis and the limited state funds were sought by rural communities across Texas.
The City Council approved several “housekeeping” items related to the grant at its meeting Thursday morning, including delegating Mayor Geronimo Gonzales and City Manager Eldon Jobe as signees for documents related to the process.
The grant will be used to refurbish sidewalks and curbing around the square. Jobe told the Brownfield News that the city will concentrate the funds on 5th Street and 6th street on the East and West sides of The Square. Main Street, one of the city’s busiest thoroughfares, is part of State Highway 380 and will be refurbished by TxDOT.
“The highway department has plans for Main (Street), so we’re going to concentrate on those side streets,” Jobe said. The grant requires a $75,000 match from the city, so the project will have a budget of $325,000.
The South Plains Association of Governments (SPAG) assisted the city in applying for the complicated grant and will also manage its implementation for a fee of $24,500, approved Thursday by the council. The two-year grant is set to begin with the next fiscal year, which begins October first and will continue through the city’s 2021 budget. “Anything we can do to help the looks of our downtown helps all of Brownfield,” Jobe said. “We’re excited to receive this grant money and we’ll put it to good use to help our important downtown businesses.”