Florence candidates talk downtown revitalization

By Pinal Central

This is the fifth and final article in which candidates for Town Council respond in writing to questions from the Florence Reminder & Blade-Tribune. The primary election is Aug. 2.

What should the town do to revitalize downtown?

Nicole Buccellato: Businesses need a steady flow of customers all year long to survive. The town should really use its history to its advantage. A lot of people now want to escape the city for a day or two and visit small towns, whether it be for nostalgia or to educate themselves about the area. Hosting western-style gun fights, more car shows, re-enactments, etc. would be a good place to begin. Asking local businesses to remain open later on those nights and maybe highlight some local eateries to provide the food is definitely a good start. After 6 p.m. the town goes dark because nightlife in town is non-existent right now. If there were a bar, bowling alley or something, it would attract those who cannot partake in shopping during the day, therefore generating more income and town presence.

Michelle Cordes: When I ran for election back in 2018 I told council to “put its money where its mouth is,” to stop talking about revitalization and actually start doing it. The past four years has been an opportunity for council to do actually that. Increasing grant limits for the facade program and implementing the downtown revitalization grant has assisted several of our building owners to take advantage of the grants and improve their buildings, attracting more business to downtown. It is important for the town to continue investing in all of Florence, not just the downtown area, so that our entire town is viewed as a place to be.

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