Big changes are going on in one Texoma town to grow its local economy. Renovations are underway which means new businesses are going up downtown.
Newschannel 6 crews visited Jacksboro and got a closer look. City leaders say all the changes are creating more jobs. Lynda Pack with the Jacksboro Economic Development Corporation says just in the past year nearly 50 jobs have been created in downtown Jacksboro. Pack says with more businesses on the way they hope to double those numbers in the next year.
Downtown Jacksboro will continue to see more changes as new businesses come in and take over the old. Pack comments, "The main thing that everybody wanted to do is improve the town, but keep its special appeal. Its small town feel and its friendliness."
Jacksboro EDC says getting the town back on its feet again is the long term goal and a community effort.
Brenda Tarpley, Executive Director with The Chamber Of Commerce says everyone is on board.
"We're proud of our downtown but we've neglected it for a little while. It's time to focus on it and make it look nice and have more retail downtown." Tarpley says the focus on making over downtown started five years ago. Everything from Jacksboro schools, city buildings, and the county courthouse have been renovated.
Local business owner Ken Swan recently opened his bistro, bed and breakfast a month ago, creating 15 jobs. He says business is good. "It's nice to see the business take off the way it has. We're proud that we are developing our square. There's been a lot of activity on our square and we're proud to see that."
Brenda Tarpley says the community brought this plan to life. "Without the community on board we couldn't do it all on our own. It would have been our vision not the community's vision. We are looking to build this community into what the community wants it to be."
Jacksboro city leaders say funding for the entire downtown project has come from bonds, the EDC, and private donors. The EDC tells Newschannel 6 they are getting calls on a regular basis from local prospective store owners wanting to open their businesses in Jacksboro downtown square.