The Paris City Council voted unanimously on Monday, April 7 to provide $15,000 to the Paris Area Chamber of Commerce to help bring a likeness of the Eiffel Tower to a vacant lot at the corner of West Walnut and Express streets on Courthouse Square and make other improvements to the lot.
Meanwhile, a PACC committee met last week to discuss plans to showcase the tower and other improvements to the lot by holding a special event on Express Street in front of the Logan County Courthouse on the second Saturday of the month.
The City Council vote was unanimous. At the meeting, Aldermen were shown a design done by architect Jo Minden showing how the lot would look when work is completed. The tower will stand in the center of the lot on a concrete base that will be seven feet tall. It will be surrounded by a water feature. At the western end of the lot, a stage will be built so music groups can perform. The lot will include a concrete strip in the center, bordered with gassy areas on which tables and chairs can be placed.
The tower was donated to the city by the Rev. Don Eubanks, former pastor of First United Methodist Church in Paris.
Other funds for the project are coming from the PACC ($5,500) and General Improvement Funds from the state ($10,000) according to Paris Mayor Daniel Rogers.
"They estimate the project will cost between $25,000 and $30,000," Rogers said. "I’m happy we were able to give them the money and everybody seemed pretty excited about the project."
The Merchant’s Association, a PACC committee, met on Thursday, April 10 to talk about plans for an event showcasing the tower and lot improvements and plans to revamp the city’s Farmer’s Market.
Ideas discussed included holding, on the second Saturday of the month, the Farmer’s Market on Express Street in front of the Logan County Courthouse and expand market offerings to include crafts and other items. The event would be called Saturday Squared and it would include attractions such as live music or other entertainment on the stage.
"The idea is to have a festival atmosphere once a month," PACC President Jason Shook told the committee.
The group decided to start work on securing vendors for the Farmers Market and do research on how farmers markets elsewhere are organized before meeting again on May 10.
The design for the lot, which is being leased by the city, will be on display at several area businesses.