Hometown Pride committee works to revitalize city

Rachael Keating/Clinton HeraldSawmill Museum assistant director Carrie Eilderts tests the water in the new water table at the museum on Monday.

Rachael Keating 2018

CLINTON — The City of Clinton Hometown Pride Committee is continuing its effort to restore and support the “economic, infrastructural, and cultural vitality of the city.”

The committee held its second meeting last week, shifting its focus to actual physical projects that could be completed in the fairly near future that will accomplish goals highlighted by Hometown Pride Community Coach Francis Boggus.

Much of the early conversation centered around the Clinton Sawmill Museum and how it can continue to be a staple in the Gateway area’s tourism initiatives. Boggus said the main challenge facing institutions such as the Sawmill Museum is the failure to shake things up every once in a while and eventually falling into a stale, static environment.

“The museum is great in the fact that, while it’s not the most aesthetically pleasing, it’s very functional and most importantly, it can adapt and expand,” Boggus said last week. “These things need to be able to adapt to thrive. You have to be able to expand and grow.”

To address the aesthetics of the building itself, Boggus said he spoke with Museum Director Matt Parbs, with Parbs expressing interest in having an eye-catching mural eventually cover the east side of the building. Pedestrians on the riverfront recreational trail would be able to see the mural, potentially drawing them inside.

Parbs will be attending the next committee meeting to shed more light on the potential project, Boggus said. The group is looking heavily into seeking funding from the Joyce Foundation for any upcoming projects. The Foundation is named after the Joyce family, which is originally from Clinton and became powerful lumber barons in the area.

Parbs has successfully received funding from the foundation in the past, and Boggus hopes to get tips from the museum director on how to go about receiving grants from the selective foundation.

The group then brainstormed more long-term projects for the community, specifically projects that would appeal to families with children. Committee member Dave Sivright suggested activities such as miniature golf and go-kart facilities, as well as the classic arcade-type facility.

The ideas were warmly received by other committee members.

“There’s no question that we need to start initiatives for younger people and their families,” Sivright said. “For specific projects, I don’t think we’re there yet, but it’s our job to work on it here on this committee.”

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