Development district revives business beautification grants

PRESIDIO — The Presidio Municipal Development District board met on the first Wednesday of February, choosing to relaunch the Paint Presidio grant initiative, swear in new board members and discuss the latest developments in the Presidio business community.

City Municipal Judge Vivian Cataño swore in Samuel Aguilar and Cruz Tovar to fill the board vacancies. Vice President Terry Bishop shifted into the role of board President and Secretary Hannah Stevenson resigned her role due to relocating from Presidio.

In new business, the board approved the re-establishment of “Paint Presidio,” a program where local businesses can receive grant funds to beautify their building’s exterior. In 2020, the board will offer five grants worth up to $1,000 each. The grant is receipt-based, so businesses would need to show that the paint and supplies for exterior improvements were purchased locally in Presidio, before receiving their reimbursement from the board.

The initiative had not been offered for a couple years, according to the board’s executive director Brad Newton, who said Paint Presidio grants this year are different because vacant storefronts that could be rented are also eligible for the grant. Previous recipients include the flower shop, R’s Restaurant and the telephone shop. Newton explained that the initiative exists to help draw in customers to local businesses.

The board also discussed local business developments, including the fast-rising Dollar General Plus construction on O’Reilly. The “Plus” part of the store means that beyond the traditional Dollar General offerings, the store will have perishables and fresh produce.

At the forthcoming Valero truck stop, father and son Ishmael and Ariel Lara are bringing in dirt for the foundation on the five acre property. Ariel returned to Presidio to help his father build the truck stop and run it, and the forthcoming travel stop will be located between the Riata Inn and Bullet Transport Services.