SPRINGER — Economic development is the primary focus of the Greater Springer Area Economic Development Corporation (GSAEDC), and the group had several issues to discuss during their most recent meeting on June 11. Landon Newton, President, and Tim Hagaman, representative for the New Mexico Economic Development Department, recently presented an application for a LEADS grant to assist with town beautification and a business survey. The grant is a reimbursement grant and they were awarded $1,200 to conduct a business survey. The project can begin no sooner than July 15 and must be completed by May 21, 2016. During the April meeting, the proprietor of Two Feather’s Take-Out Restaurant, Jon Rivera, offered the wall of his restaurant located at the main intersection of Maxwell Ave. and US Highway 56 as a sort of “blank canvas” to paint local business names and numbers so those coming into town can view this directory and know just what is available. Unfortunately, the wall which adjoins an empty lot owned by
GSAEDC’s Vice President Steve Jensen became an issue of concern for Jensen because of liability and concern over who would be responsible for people standing on his property as they painted the wall. This issue led to Jensen halting progress on the wall and resigning his position as Vice President of the GSAEDC at the June 11 meeting to bypass any conflict of interest. It has since been learned that Rivera has an easement of ten feet which allows him enough room to paint the wall and should alleviate Jensen’s worry about liability issues. Because of the aforementioned issues, Rivera plans to continue with the painting of the wall without the official support of the group. Also discussed were the rundown properties in Springer including abandoned gas stations, broken down buildings, empty houses and so on. One goal of the GSAEDC is to put vacant buildings that can be used/rented/purchased on the website (www.historicspringer.com) so interested parties have a central location to view them. Three of Springer’s most impressive historical buildings are currently unused and for sale: the Livery Stable, the Brown Hotel, and the Mills Mansion. All three are buildings people visit Springer specifically to view because of their historical significance. The stones at the rear of the Livery Stable are starting to cave in and the GSAEDC wants to find funds to keep this building from collapsing. The last item discussed was the Frontier Communities Initiative application which was due by July 7. Some possible suggestions included putting brick walkways across the main intersection, putting archways across the main intersection, and creating a “façade squad.” This initiative is not a grant, but instead its purpose, according to the application is to “Provide professional technical assistance to a community selected to participate through the application process.” At this point, nothing official regarding this application was decided.