A group of Thomas residents is working with the town's city council to address vacant and dilapidated buildings in order to beautify the town and improve the local economy.
The group plans to revive the New Historic Thomas Project Committee, a nonprofit founded in 1997.
Recently, the Thomas group secured a Flex-E Grant from the West Virginia Development Office with the help of Mayor Matt Quattro. Flex-E-Grant is a joint effort of the West Virginia Development Office, the Appalachian Regional Commission and the Claude W. Benedum Foundation.
Some of the grant aid will be used to hire professionals to conduct free workshops on subjects such as window restoration, foundation repair, roof and gutter repair, brick repointing, energy efficiency, weatherization, marketing rental properties and affordable assistance in financing building repair. Thomas property owners are the primary audience for the workshops, but any interested individuals are welcome to attend.
The series of workshops will begin in late August and continue through early September. Anyone interested in attending a workshop is asked to complete a short survey by Tuesday, indicating what repair and maintenance projects they would like the workshops to address.
Copies of the survey also will be available at the Opera House in Thomas and at various businesses throughout the county, as well as the Mountaintop Public Library in Thomas.
Spokesperson Elizabeth Beckerle said the goal of the project is to redevelop and beautify the city of Thomas in order to encourage economic development and tourism. The workshops will be designed to enable Thomas property owners to repair their properties and potentially create more rental capacity. The Thomas group anticipates the need for more housing during and after Corridor H is completed.
More information about the survey and workshops is available by contacting Beckerle at firstname.lastname@example.org or 314-330-3181.