Tahlequah Daily Press

February 17, 2014

Tahlequah Councilor proposes ‘Lazarus Project Renewal Program’

Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — Tahlequah city councilors on Tuesday will consider adoption of a beautification awards program to recognize local property improvements.

Ward 1 Councilor Diane Weston is submitting the proposal. If approved, the program would be open to all commercial and residential properties – including those zoned R1, R2, and R3 – that have included renovation and property improvements to existing structures within the city limits.

Weston calls it the “Lazarus Project Renewal Program.”

“Properties may be submitted by any citizen or organization residing within the city of Tahlequah,” Weston said in her proposal. “Nominations must include before-and-after pictures and should have been completed within the current or previous calendar year in order to be eligible.”

Submissions would be required to include a brief summary of the property and renovations that were completed. Weston said nominated properties must show a “marked improvement, both structurally and aesthetically, “with the assumption that overall property values have been increased based upon the improvements on said property.”

Each quarter, the council and mayor will select one winner.

“To ensure that city codes were being followed during the renovation project, the city code enforcement officer and city building inspector will be consulted during the voting process,” Weston suggested.

Winners would have a sign placed on the property for one month; and at the end of each calendar year, one of the winning properties will be selected as an “overall” winner, Weston said.

The overall winner would then receive some sort of prize, which has yet to be determined.

Councilors will formally hear the proposal during Tuesday evening’s special meeting at city hall.