Paoli is about to begin a second phase of upgrades to its historic town square.
After a fire in 2010 destroyed part of the Paoli town square, the town gathered enough money to rebuild the damaged portions. But then, they started to realize the new buildings looked much nicer than the older ones.
“The downtown square had been like a lot of small towns run down. People didn’t have money to fix up their buildings,” says David Miller, the CEO of Hoosier Uplands Economic Development Corporation.
He says the Orange County Economic Development Corporation gave his organization $200,000 to upgrade the facades on about 16 buildings on the square.
Businesses had to apply for the funds and chip in about 10 percent of the costs.
“The first phase was very successful,” Miller says. “More businesses had an interest than we actually anticipated.”
He says that prompted the economic development groups to fund a second phase of the project—giving another $200,000 to upgrade 16 more buildings.
The second phase is scheduled to be complete by the fall pending approval from the state’s historic preservation review board.