The Downtown Development Steering Committee’s mission to revitalize downtown Wichita Falls continues.
Wichita Falls Mayor, Stephen Santellana told us, “There’s just so much still going on with downtown with our development rules committees, people that have parks ideas, so I think we’re gonna press forward that agenda right now.”
He said the committee is currently working through its budget to see how they can do that.
“I think we’re gonna start looking at maybe trying to touch base back on that and make sure that we can still keep track with things that we need to do downtown with existing budget that we have,” he continued to say.
The mayor’s not the only one excited about plans for downtown. 9th Street Studios owner, Becky Raeke told us, “I think it’s refreshing to see the city is open to being flexible and I heard that word several times today, a lot of it was really about education and making sure that business owners know what they need to do but also education about what’s out there to help business owners to comply.”
She said even with the bond not passing, she is confident the goal to improve downtown will succeed. “I think that we have the energy and the people that are needed to kind of attract people that have that energy are going to attract that kind of person to come here to Wichita Falls.”
Director of Community Development, Dana Schoening said he presented a Downtown Zoning Diagnostic report, a report with 14 different points. “The points really are to provide for a welcoming downtown area, a high quality of design, increase our code enforcement efforts to clean up properties.”
Schoening also told us downtown is certainly a priority and the committee will be looking at multiple funding options needed for downtown beautification.
Nothing was decided today. Schoening finished by saying the information presented will go back to the subcommittee for further vetting before the Downtown Development Steering Committee moves forward.