Bunn named president of newly-formed Elizabethton Downtown Business Association

By Rozella Hardin

   New officers were elected for the Elizabethton Downtown Business Association at the Friday morning meeting. John Bunn, who with his wife, Lisa, own and operate The Coffee Company, was elected president.
   Bunn, who is among merchants who have spearheaded the development of the organization, has been serving as acting chairman. Elected to serve with Bunn were Joe Alexander, vice president; Cleo Reed, secretary; Loretta Pierce, treasurer; and Rozella Hardin, media.
   Serving as block captains are David Pinckard, 400 block and Pine St.; April and Wanda Proffitt, 500 block; Cleo Reed, 600 block; Christine Vulgamore, Sycamore St.; and Lisa Bare, E St.
   The officers will serve until January, when a new slate of officers will be nominated and presented to members for election.
   Also, members approved a new set of bylaws, which officially changed the name of what was once Elizabethton Main Street to the Elizabethton Downtown Business Association, which encompasses the newly-established group. The bylaws except for some minor changes reflect those of the Main Street organization. The board of the EDBA will consist of officers, two members at large, and a representative each from the city, county and Chamber of Commerce. The association's annual meeting will be held in January.
   It was announced that the city had already begun plans to develop a Veterans Walkway on land donated by the East Tennessee Railway Co. from the Veterans Park on Elk Avenue to E Street. The walkway will follow the route of the old railroad track in that area, and according to information provided by City Planner David Ornduff, the walkway will be landscaped with pavers, a couple of benches, a water fountain, and a clock with a carillon. The clock will be located on the Elk Avenue corner of the walkway.
   Also, it was announced that the city will assist the Association with the landscaping downtown by taking down the Bradford pear trees. The trees will be replaced with smaller planters at the ends of each block. John Huber, chairman of the Beautification Committee, said discussion and research was continuing on the selection of appropriate street light fixtures for the downtown. The new fixtures will replace the present canopy lights.
   Larry Gobble, Tourism Director of the Elizabethton/Carter County Chamber of Commerce, appeared before the group and suggested more cruise-ins downtown on Sunday afternoon, and said he would be glad to work toward that effort. Members eagerly embraced the proposal but agreed that Friday evening would be better than Sunday afternoons for the cruise-ins. Ron McCloud, downtown business owner, who is a member of the Carter County Car Club, said he felt the car club would be more than willing to do the cruise-ins. He suggested that a cruise-in could be planned as early as late July.
   Darrell Cannon agreed that Friday would be a better time for the cruise-in. "People want us open later in the evening," he said.
   Gobble volunteered to check with someone knowledgeable about the downtown music and sound system as to what will be needed to get it working again.
   Another idea suggested for a downtown promotion was a farmer's market on Saturday at the Carter County Bank parking lot on E Street. Bunn said a promotions committee will be named at the next meeting, which will be held July 11 at 8 a.m. at The Coffee Company.
   In the meantime, block captains will be working to increase membership. They were urged to contact those businesses on the fringes of the downtown, which might be interested in being a part of the organization. "The downtown belongs to all of us," said Bunn.