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Tourism invests in downtown

Plans to purchase Brown Mobile Home building

Grayson City Council held a special meeting on Friday to consider a proposal from the Grayson Tourism Commission to purchase a building on Main Street.

Council entered into the first reading of an ordinance approving a plan to secure a $180,000 loan for the purchase of the Brown Mobile Home building. The building, according to Don Combs with Grayson Tourism Commission, will be used as a combination conference center and temporary office space – though exact plans for use of the space are still to be ironed out.

Combs explained that there is 6,000 square feet of space in the building, and that is just on the first floor. That space could be used as a “tourism hub” to learn about locations and attractions in and around the city, as well as a meeting space for community groups, weddings, birthday, or conferences.

Another possible use is as a sort of business incubator, to “educate and develop small business opportunities,” Combs explained. Another aspect of that could be an office space folks could rent for business meeting, or as a place to access wi-fi and work for the day.

“It could go up to two floors,” Combs said, noting there is space for expansion as demand for space increases.

“Next to it is the open area, which is 3,000 square feet,” Combs continued, describing the open plot next to the building.

That space could be used for pop-up markets and events, seating and performance space during community events, or for temporary food sales during events.

“We’ll probably do a courtyard type concept,” Combs said.

It could also be built on in the future, however, if there is a need to expand the existing facility or another possible use for the space.

Tourism met on Monday morning to adopt a resolution related to the plan, and discuss next steps. City council then met yesterday (Tuesday) morning to finalize and approve the proposal.

Council also approved tourism’s choice of bidders for the sports park drainage project.

Council opened the bids on Friday, and passed them to tourism for consideration after the meeting. On Monday morning tourism chose what they felt to be the lowest and best bid – which was also the only bid from a completely Grayson-based business.

TLP Construction was chosen from among the nine bidders, with the low bid at just over $25,000. This bid was for the full project, which includes the installation of a headwall and trash screen on the end where a drainage pipe ties into the city’s drainage system. Park manager Grant Harper explained that he was concerned the inclusion of the headwall work might put the full project outside the amount agreed upon by city council, so he solicited bids that included the headwall as a separate, alternative feature. Some contractors bid with the headwall as a separate item while others included it in the full project or didn’t bid it at all.

The next two closest bids did break out the headwall into a separate line item, which TLP did not, but when taken as a whole, TLP was around a thousand dollars cheaper than the next closest bidder and $2,000 cheaper than the third.

Council also moved to accept and approve tourism’s recommendation for the ditch project on Tuesday morning.

Contact the writer at editor@cartercountytimes.com



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