Ideas on how to revitalize Toledo will be presented at a town meeting from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday at the Toledo Middle School.
This will be the second meeting of Vision: Toledo, a grassroots community group formed in February to keep the Cowlitz River town alive after a fire destroyed two downtown businesses Christmas morning and two anchor businesses — the pharmacy and the hardware store — closed for economic reasons.
After the Feb. 17 meeting, where more than 200 people attended, five task forces were identified: Arts, Recreation and Events; Business and Economic Development; Fundraising; History/Visitors Center; and Marketing and Communications.
People also were invited to take an online survey at visiontoledo.org. There were more than 150 responses before the survey ended March 17.
"We've had a lot of meetings and a lot of ideas," Mayor Jerry Pratt said Friday. "Now we're going to come together and let citizens see what they've come up with."
Some ideas already have been put into action. The Toledo Saturday Market is scheduled to begin May 28, and it will operate from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month. The market will be downtown on the lot opposite the Toledo Post Office, next to City Hall and the Flying K gas station.
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"We're looking for local farmers and vendors who want to sell their goods in town," said Rick Lovell, who owns the lot and is overseeing market development.
People interested in participating in Toledo's market can contact Rick or Tonya Lovell at 360-864-2121 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A one-day community clean-up called Vision: Clean Up Toledo is scheduled for June 4. The arts, recreation and events group is overseeing that clean-up and has started to compile a list of projects and is looking for more ideas. Suggestions can be made to Mike Stavig at email@example.com.
Pratt said the enthusiasm shown at the February meeting is carrying over to the task forces and the citizens.
"Even now, after all this time, I still get people talking to me, wanting to know what's going on," he said.
For more information, visit www.visiontoledo.org.