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Federal Funding paves way for City of Douglas to move forward with downtown revitalization plan

Posted at 5:42 PM, Mar 26, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-26 20:42:23-04

DOUGLAS, Ariz. (KGUN) — The City of Douglas is moving forward with revitalization plans for its historic downtown area, after years of surveys and conversations about the project.

The area between 9th Street and G Avenue up to 12th and G is getting a facelift. The city received $2.9 million from the federal government to help with the Douglas revitalization project. Douglas Mayor Donald Huish says the project will address safety concerns with the current infrastructure as well as beautification needs for the historic downtown area.

“We’ve been talking about it for quite a few years, but now the funding is finally here,” Huish said. “(The federal money) really enhanced us to move forward with this project.”

The City has more than $4 million to spend on this project, including the City's COVID relief money they received in 2021. Huish says this funding will allow them to complete the revitalization project that focuses on the three block-area of the city's downtown.

Ida Ann Pedrego, owner of Illusions Boutique, says it’s nice to see progress on this project being made because it will help her customers and her business.

“If the city is willing to invest then I believe citizens of Douglas are going to be willing to invest, too," she said. "You know it’s a domino effect.”

She’s owned her store on G Avenue since 2002 after purchasing it from her father, and has seen customers trip on the uneven sidewalks and struggle getting onto the curb.

"It’s difficult for the handicapped people to come up cause our curbs are high," Pedrego said. "I’m 72, I have to hold onto my car to get down in the evening, so, yes it’s difficult.”

Huish says in addition to fixing the infrastructure needs, like the streets and uneven sidewalks, beautification efforts like landscaping, and adding benches and lights will also be done—something he and Pedrego hope will draw more visitors and businesses downtown.

“Douglas is growing and it’s growing in the right way.”

Huish says the next step is for the city to work with engineers to make the necessary improvements, but hopes work can begin by the end of the year.

More funding is needed in order for the City to complete the entire stretch of G Avenue, which some community members would like to see sooner rather than later.

“There are some people that say 'well why not the whole (street)' but we need to understand financing is very important," Pedrego said. "When I repair my home there are many things I want, but I can’t do it all at once. I have to start in sections. So I believe the city is doing that.”

Alexis Ramanjulu is a reporter in Cochise County for KGUN 9. She began her journalism career reporting for the Herald/Review in Sierra Vista, which she also calls home. Share your story ideas with Alexis by emailing or by connecting on Facebook.