The Poteau (Area) Improvement Project and the Mountain Gateway Community Alliance are working on big plans to help economically stabilize the area surround Wister. This project consists of several phases. The basic outline is as follows:
1.) Clean up and beautify downtown Wister: This includes the Paint Wister Beautiful campaign. The concept here is to make the downtown area look appealing. This helps generate excitement for further revitalization processes.
2.) Promote events at Lake Wister State Park: These events will help draw people to the area several times a year and will provide funding for additional improvements at the park and in the region.
3.) Road improvements: Although the project has been posponed, ODOT has plans to improve the highway from the edge of Downtown Wister through Heavener.
4.) Marketing and Promotions: As the process continues, a push will be made to fill empty buildings in downtown Wister and along the highway to the state park.
The overall concept is to increase traffic through the region. With increased out-of-town visitors, that should provide an economic boost to Wister, Poteau, and Heavener.
The MGCA is working on the first phase. Funding has been raised to paint several buildings downtown. With the assistance of C&L Affordable Paint and Drywall, Sherwin Williams, Strike-a-lot Lanes, and donors, this will provide an immediate visual boost to the downtown area. Currently, permission has been secured from the building owners and the majority of the funding has been raised. The buildings are going a final review before materials are purchased and work begins.
Following the completion of the building painting project, we will continue working with the building owners to help develop “people” spaces within the downtown district, as well as to provide assistance with building repair and business promotion.
This is currently one of the major projects that the MGCA/P(a)IP is working on.
If you would like to help, please make a donation using the Donate button below.