Palmyra deciding on whether to turn downtown into historic downtown
PALMYRA, Mo. (WGEM) -
They're located all over the Tri-States and soon Palmyra may have a historic downtown district as well. A recent meeting has the city and property owners wondering if this is the best thing for downtown Palmyra. One reason this could be a good move is so vacant buildings can be remodeled and turned into small businesses, which would help bring more people into the area and officials said that would benefit everyone.
James Ash is the VFW Commander in Palmyra. While the organization is non-profit and all money raised goes to support veterans, he likes the idea of a historic district.
"Oh I think it'll be good for the city of Palmyra I really do and it would help a lot of these buildings that are in bad shape and it'll fix them up and help a lot," Ash said.
Palmyra Mayor Loren Graham said a major factor in establishing a historic district is financial assistance from the state.
"The tax credits that are available for restoration and remodeling of the buildings. If it's in a historic district, there's historic tax credits that owners can get," he said.
But Graham said nothing is decided right now because not everyone is on board with changing the downtown area.
"There are some negatives that people have expressed. They're afraid that they will be told what they can and cannot do to their building rather than them just taking it and doing it," Graham said.
Ash said by switching to a historic district, he believes it will help bring more people to the VFW for special events.
"I think if the buildings next door was fixed up nicer it's more attractive. That's what we want to do is try to keep our place more attractive, it's hard," Ash said.
Mayor Graham said the city will have to pay to have work done to help with surveys and other costs. He said it could cost as much as 15 thousand dollars to pursue the historic district designation.