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$2.4M to go toward downtown Lufkin revitalization efforts

Published: Aug. 12, 2021 at 5:55 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 13, 2021 at 9:46 PM CDT
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LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - The City of Lufkin wants to invest more than $2 million into its downtown area. The budget will fund a revitalization effort that looks to make a brighter city for people to enjoy.

The Lufkin Forward Plan received $2.4 million from the Lufkin Economic Development Corporation to revitalize downtown. Bob Samford, the economic development director says improvements will help the Lufkin stand out.

“We’re going to make our downtown more pedestrian-friendly which is going to be a large part of the cost. We have some narrow sidewalks and that was the number one responded back in our over 1000 surveys,” Samford said.

Samford said that none of the money will be wasted.

“The other money is going to redo Cotton Square, the historic cotton square, where people can just gather, hangout, and chill and then we’re going to spend some money over at Bronaugh Park where we hope to have more festival activities like maybe Cinco de Mayo and Juneteenth celebrations,” Samford said.

In addition to these projects, the plan seeks to improve navigational signage, downtown gateways, and branding.

“That’s one thing we’re going to make sure that we do when we’re done with the improvements that everyone in Lufkin is welcome to our downtown and we’re going to make it more for our younger people and so that’s the goal,” Samford said.

Samford said the pandemic inspired him to create the plan with hopes of making the city stronger.

“The $2.4 million will be totally absorbed by the Lufkin Economic Development Corporation, and it will not affect the Lufkin tax rate or the citizens of the tax payers at all,” Samford said.

For designing and implementation of the project, Samford said he hopes to employ the best candidates for the job.

“We will take all bids from local, state, national and get the most qualified person but definitely be looking at our local vendors and construction workers to be apart, everybody needs to be a part of it.”

The project will be brought to city council Tuesday. If approved, Samford says all plans will be completed within two years.

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