Help support hotel project

Dear citizens,

Our annual meeting for the Finney County Preservation Alliance is Jan. 20 at 6 p.m., please join us. It will be at the Downtown Vision office, 413 N. Main. Thanks, for all of you whose membership is helping make the best of the past part of the future.

For many years, the community has worked toward the adaptive reuse of this National Register-listed hotel, the Windsor Hotel, one of the most outstanding historic buildings in Kansas. The Finney County Preservation Alliance has developed a phased plan including initial rehabilitation of the first floor with additional phases that consider non-profit space, a small business center and possibly extended-stay living units on the top floor. Your support for this project is important.

Filed applications for a Heritage Trust Fund Grant for $112,500 to be awarded in February and a $1.7 million Transportation Enhancement grant to be awarded in the summer of 2010 are the lynch pins to our success. What we will end up with this funding is a renovated and occupied ground floor and a weather-tight secure building envelope. This multi-year plan is inspired by the Dodge City's depot being awarded three Transportation Enhancement grants during its renovation.

What made these applications possible was the Finney County Historical Society's endorsement by earmarking the $206,000 Katherine Stacklejohn Funds toward the 20 percent match required by the grants. The City of Garden City's agreement to sponsor the Transportation Enhancement application was also essential for the grant.

This collaboration of public and private interests, the general populace's endorsement of the project and a good reuse of the building bode well for our applications.

This new decade will bring more challenges, but you've shown your tenacity by getting us where we are today. If you ever find yourself saying "they should ..." come join the "they" and move this effort forward.

DON HARNESS,

Garden City

Harness is president of the Finney County Preservation Alliance.