By Ann McCreary
The Town of Twisp has received a $50,000 grant to plan a revitalization project aimed at improving the visibility of Twisp businesses, encouraging economic development, and attracting tourism.
The funding will allow the town to hire an urban planning consultant to create the plan, which will identify improvements that support the town’s economy, said Mayor Soo Ing-Moody.
The town has two years to use the grant from the Washington State Community Economic Revitalization Board, which requires a $16,667 match from the town.
Developing a plan for economic revitalization has been a priority of town officials for at least two years, Ing-Moody said. When completed, “we’ll have a concrete plan about what will be done so it’s shovel-ready,” she said.
“Twisp lacks visual appeal as a business community,” Ing-Moody said. The plan would propose infrastructure improvements — such as better signage and uniform lighting — to make the town more attractive as a commercial center, she said.
Among the goals of the plan are developing “design elements” to unify and draw attention to the business area and “convey the arts and culture aspect” of Twisp; proposing projects to make the business areas of Twisp more pedestrian and consumer friendly; and designing a uniform street lighting plan along the length of the business corridor to encourage pedestrian traffic.
The plan would also propose a design for construction of “artistic freestanding gateway structures” to be placed along Highway 20 and at the entrances to Twisp recreation facilities.
The projects identified in the plan would be prioritized and the town will seek additional grant funding for the proposed infrastructure improvements, Ing-Moody said.
“This plan is important because as state and federal funds become more competitive and difficult to get, towns have a greater challenge in getting work done,” Ing-Moody said. “Roadwork, signage and improvements to the business district are fundamentally important and possible only after creation of a plan.”