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Our Opinion: A fountain of hope

November 19, 2001

The city of El Centro on Saturday celebrated the reopening of its Town Square, a center point for a project aimed at rejuvenating the city's historic downtown. We are hopeful the project will accomplish what city officials and business leaders think it can.

The upgrading of the city's downtown has come at a hefty price, but the downtown does look better, for the most part, although there still is much work to do until the downtown fits the model the city has for the area.

A project of such magnitude takes time and must be done in steps. The city and area businesses already have taken key steps by providing funding that allowed for the building of the Town Square, new landscaping in the area and other upgrades.

Still, there is going to have to be continued support and funding to maintain what has been done and rejuvenate the area. We know we might sound like we are harping on this, but we hope the business facade rehabilitation program gets some momentum soon. Some businesses have done marvelous work already, but some is not enough.

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Certainly, the Town Square and all that has been accomplished give reasons to celebrate. The Town Square is an attractive area and we hope people make proper use of it, just as we urge people to check out the city's downtown, particularly as the holiday season approaches.

There are a great many businesses downtown that deserve your time and commerce, and the area is clean, safe and provides a nice place to walk, meet or hang out with friends.

We look forward to watching as El Centro's downtown continues to improve and as something of a unified look comes together among the businesses. We also look forward to seeing new businesses come into the area.

We want to see more entertainment options, more eateries, basically more for families to do downtown.

The city is working toward that end and we think the downtown can return to the glory that it once was. It is going to take more downtown events like the Farmers Markets and Ice Cream Social to create more excitement. We would like to see a downtown event every month if possible.

For now, though, the first steps have been taken. Many more will need to follow, but every rejuvenation has to have a starting point.

El Centro leaders and local businesses have shown they are willing to do what it takes to make the downtown a vibrant area for the entire Valley.

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