WF city council to consider extending length of Downtown Steering Committee
WICHITA FALLS, TX (RNN Texoma) - The Downtown Steering Committee of Wichita Falls has been working hard to help revitalize the Central Business District for the last year and a half.
With the time allocated for the committee almost up, the city council will decide on Tuesday on whether or not to extend the group another year.
A year and a half ago Mayor Stephen Santellana described all the ideas for the district as bad jazz.
He said everybody had an idea on how to redevelop it, but nobody was on the same page.
So the Downtown Steering Committee was created.
Fast forward 18-months and members of the committee are happy about the future of downtown.
"Everybody has the same end goal; a greater, better downtown for Wichita Falls," Downtown Steering Committee member, Cody Magana said. "And there's a ripple effect throughout the community that improves Wichita Falls as a whole."
In February of 2017 revitalizing downtown was identified as the top priority by the city after a two-day strategic planning workshop.
Shortly after the Downtown Steering Committee was created to spearhead the efforts.
"I think the thing I'm most proud of is just the citizens of Wichita Falls all getting behind this big movement that we have," Magana said. "And it's not just one of those things that died off after the first month when it's the cool thing to talk about."
Magana said the last year and a half has been spent identifying the biggest issues downtown and how to address them.
“Took a lot of time, talked to a lot of people, held a bunch of focus groups, and started narrowing down a lot of that,” he said.
Magana hopes the resolution passes on Tuesday so the committee can roll up their sleeves and work on implementing their ideas.
"We're really able to get a lot done with the extra talent these people are bringing to the table that we didn't have access to before," Magana said. "So what this is really doing is helping us speed up the timeline and get things done faster."
But he said the best thing for downtown is community support.
"Every weekend there's an event down here," Magana said. "I walk around and talk to people that haven't been downtown in two years. And they say this is crazy what you guys have done down here. So if you haven't seen downtown recently, come down and check it out."
Magana said he's happy about what they've been able to do the last 18-months.
But he's even more excited to see what they can accomplish within the next year.
He said regardless of what decision is made by city council, he will continue to do what he can to help downtown grow.
Stay with News Channel 6.
We will be at Tuesday’s meeting and bring you the latest from that vote.
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