Downtown Opp Makeover

By: Mike Gurspan
By: Mike Gurspan

Business owners say Opp's downtown has been in need of a face-lift for a long time. This week state money has been made available to help with the town's makeover.

Several years-ago downtown Opp was declared an historic district, but there was little local money available to upgrade the community with its roots dating back to the early 20th-century.

A $40,000 dollar planning grant will be used to work on downtown sidewalks, lighting, and other areas.

Sandra Jackson recently opened a downtown coffee shop. She says she is, "Glad to see the money coming to my hometown, and see that there is a commitment to bring business back to downtown."

For antique store Owner Linda Powell, it's much the same story.

She says renovation is the way to go. She also says it's important to bring back some of the traffic from the bypass to the downtown district. She says there is, "Plenty of traffic going on Highway 331, but to get it back to here in the downtown district, that's important."

Opp Mayor H.D Edgar promises that he will get billboards, and large signs on the bypass promoting the downtown shopping theme. He says the city will work on, "Making it pedestrian friendly, promoting the unique type of businesses that we have there and hoping folks will come and buy from our merchants."

The initial state monies will be used to create a blueprint on the future downtown renovation.

Mayor Edgar stresses this is only Phase One of what will eventually be a multi-stage approach to downtown revitalization.

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