Crossroads talks downtown’s future
Admirers check out the cars at last week’s inaugural SkyMart Car Show put on by the Crossroads Downtown Partnership and the Hamblen County Car Club.
With the successful Oct. 12 SkyMart Car Show now on the books, the Crossroads Downtown Partnership Board of Directors is gearing up for upcoming projects, including the 2013 Morristown Christmas Parade to be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5.
Crossroads will enlist the help of Morristown Area Chamber of Commerce Tourism Director Anne Ross and Attorney Jeff Taylor in its upcoming endeavors — they were unanimously approved as new members of the board during its meeting held Oct. 17 at Jersey Girl Diner.
Board members typically serve as committee chairs and recruit volunteers to assist with community festivities held downtown, as well as special projects designed to improve the overall downtown district.
With just seven weeks until the parade, which will have the theme of “An 1863 Christmas,” the Crossroads board reviewed new options for participants and changes to the parade route.
Citing a positive experience during the SkyMart show, the Hamblen County Car Club offered the use of club members’ vehicles to businesses that register as non-competitive parade participants.
president Butch Grooms said the use of club vehicles will bring additional interest to the parade and help promote local businesses that are unable to decorate a full-size float.
“They work well for mascots, too,” Grooms said.
Detailed parade registration information can be downloaded at www.crossroadspartnership.com or picked up at the Crossroads office (located at the Morristown Area Chamber of Commerce). Completed registration forms can be mailed to P.O. Box 1893, Morristown, TN 37816.
Once registered, the non-competitive ($35) or political ($50) participant can request to use a HCCC vehicle (with driver) at no additional charge. A limited number of vehicles will be available. Signage and decorations will be subject to individual car owners’ specifications.
“We look forward to hosting a fun-filled, family activity in the downtown area that will not only highlight our central business district, but offer a traditional celebration of the Christmas holiday to the entire community as well,” Crossroads Director Barbara Garrow said.
The Crossroads board and the City of Morristown have approved a route change for the 2013 parade, with regard to the disbanding process, according to Bill Sanders, parade committee chair. Morristown-Hamblen High School East will no longer serve as the unloading area.
Instead, participants (floats, vehicles, walking groups, etc.) will remain on East Main Street and travel to Evans Avenue, which fronts the main branch of Jefferson Federal Bank. Details of the disbanding and exit strategy for participants will be finalized during the next few weeks, according to a consensus of the board.
A number of volunteers will be needed, especially during the final week of preparation.
“We all need to pitch in on various aspects,” Crossroads Board President and Chair Sami Barile said.
Ericka Harville Goode, promotions committee chair, reported that the community volunteers, including a local Girl Scouts of America troop, available for the inaugural SkyMart car show were key factors to its success. She added that officers from the Morristown Police Department who worked the show were pleased with the teamwork.
“We were well-organized and had everything together,” Goode said.
Garrow reported the $25,000 Historic Structures Survey Grant is in active status, with a consultant to be chosen in November and work projected to begin in December. A match by the City of Morristown will be $10,000, according to the results of the recent city financial committee meeting. The match is expected to go before the Morristown City Council for approval during its November meeting.
“We got more money than we applied for because this is really a great area, and they wanted to make sure we had enough money to get it done right,” Garrow said. “This is an economic development tool, with a preservation aspect to it, as well. So we are stressing the fact that from this, we will know more about the buildings downtown and it will inform property owners of suggested professional recommendations for possible improvements … That’s really exciting.”
Garrow reported there are number of applications for façade grants, with $10,000 total available. A rank and score procedure will be developed and used be fair to downtown business owners and maximize the value of the dollars. The work on the façade grants that are awarded will need to be completed by April 2014.
-By Glenna Howington, Tribune Staff Writer