By Linda Farneth
Joyce Reimherr’s report for Downtown Colonial Beach came with some witty quips but despite the jokes, Downtown Colonial Beach is making great strides and Joyce is very proud of their progress.
“Basically we have a lot of initiatives going this spring. Our noses are to the grindstone and it’s going to be constant work.”
“Fortunately we have all these dynamic wonderful younger people who have joined the board!”
“We now have people under 70!” Joyce quipped. “They’re really talented, they know social media and it’s really exciting!”
Joyce said one of the new members, Betty Felton, slipped in a project, listing all the winter hours for restaurants in Colonial Beach. Copies are lamented and posted at the community bulletin board and the library. Joyce hopes to have it on the internet website soon.
Joyce reported on the fundraising campaign for the National Historic District, cost sharing grant match. “We have essentially raised all the funds.”
The fundraising activities were kicked off a month ago and have already been raised.
Joyce said, “Many generous town’s people made it go like the blink of an eye.”
“The pace at which the fundraising went indicates a couple of things to me. One there is very strong commitment to the historic heritage of this town. Secondly if the people on the Point wanted to also go for historic status I think there is probably the support for it.”
Joyce was referring to a parcel of land on the Point in the 1300 block between Lossing Ave and Colonial Ave know as Eleanor Park. The park was originally donated to Colonial Beach over 100 years ago so visitors could use it for a camping area. It eventually was fitted with water and sewer and rented out to residents as a trailer park. About ten years ago the park residents were informed that the town could no longer sustain the infrastructure and residents were given a couple years to evacuate.
The park has been empty for about 5 years and in that time various town groups have argued over what to do with the property. A group of individuals intent on saving the park from development have sprung up and have protested previous attempts to sell the land, making it undesirable to investors.
A Chance Meeting With Talented Woman
During a Main Street Training session Joyce said she met a woman, who she described as a multiple property owner in Colonial Beach, a graphic designer, streetscape designer and building-project designer. Joyce said she is now working with the Downtown Colonial Beach group and she has developed renderings of what the downtown area of Colonial Beach could look like.
Joyce is quite impressed with her drawings and feels they are ‘really beautiful and classy’.
Joyce said that there is a place for some higher priced home development to attract higher income folks but she warned that Main Street Grants are all about sharing prosperity so in addition to the higher end, main street programs are always about securing the “been heres” making it possible for moderate income families to be able to find housing, “…so that we can keep our schools filled and our churches filled with young people”.
Joyce said the group has high hopes that what they are doing for the downtown area will appeal to both the higher and lower income families.
The group is also working on; repair of banners, working on their website and purchasing trees. Joyce said that since fundraising for the national historic grant went so well, she is hopeful that the town may be able to raise money for trees along Colonial Ave.
This year’s Osprey Festival will take place on May 2nd. We will bring you more information on the Osprey Festival as it becomes available.