During Wednesday’s Sealy City Council meeting, held on July 5, 2023, a discussion took place regarding the Sealy Economic Development Corporation’s (EDC) Downtown Monument Project. The project, aiming for monument and landscaping improvements at the intersection of State Highway 36 and Main Street, was given the green light, with an expenditure ceiling of $6,050.
The proposal was part of a larger list of potential initiatives put forward to the EDC’s board of directors by the city manager. However, priorities were later refocused, leading to the exclusion of some proposals and honing in on the need for downtown monument improvements. Following initial support from the council, the EDC greenlit the monument flower bed improvement, thereby paving the way for this project’s approval.
“The aim is to create a warm welcome to the downtown district,” explained an EDC representative at the council meeting. “We’re following the model of the Mainstreet program of the State of Texas and America, which has proven successful in designing downtown districts, attracting tourism, and promoting business interests leading to gentrification, projects, and revival of business districts.”
The monument, which previously boasted a well-maintained and cleanly divided flower bed, suffered damage from vehicular impact years ago. This damage primarily occurred from traffic headed east out of downtown towards Highway 36. In response, the Streets department installed yellow barrier columns to protect the beds. The current proposal seeks to address drainage issues, enabling the replanting of flowers or shrubs.
The financial commitment required for this improvement is not significant considering the EDC’s current cash balance of over $2 million. However, the projected impact on the local economy is substantial. “The improvement should promote business and sales, which will generate revenue for the city,” stated an EDC representative.
During the council meeting, the need for protective measures to prevent future damage to the monument was also discussed. The EDC assured that the raised beds will now be more visible, thus preventing collisions. However, it was noted that large delivery trucks, rather than everyday cars, have been the primary cause of past damages.
The city council gave their unanimous approval, with a motion put forward to approve the EDC’s Downtown Monument Project. With this decision, Sealy residents can look forward to a renewed and more welcoming downtown district, complete with a beautified monument to celebrate the city’s heritage.