PARIS — Selectmen have agreed to conduct a $8,500 study of the downtown business area to help promote commercial expansion. On Tuesday, selectmen agreed to pay the amount Sandy Swett to draft a strategic plan for future commercial growth in the Market Square vicinity.

“It is vital to promote commercial spaces and it is difficult to do without a strategic plan,” Town Manager Amy Bernard said.

The plan, a mission statement of the future look for downtown Paris, will consist of a comprehensive list of commercial real estate, they’re unique features, such as square footage and ideal uses and a general condition of spaces.

The scope of the study will range from Moore Park to the railroad crossing near McLaughlin Garden.

Several months ago, a group of business owners formed the Paris Revitalization Forum to look at ways to encourage a revival of economic growth and pedestrian use of downtown Paris.

The goal of the plan was to grow the business tax base to ease the burden off residents and beautify the area, Bernard said.

“Once we start investing in our downtown — which is Market Square — and show pride, other people will have pride in our downtown,” she said.

Swett, who authored a strategic plan for Stanford, Ky. said the timing was right.

“We have a lot of concerned citizens and business owners who want to do something,” Swett said.

Swett estimated completion would take three months, including research, interviews, and compiling the information into a plan.

Once finished, the plan will be available for speculative businesses to obtain.

The funding will come from the town’s contingency budget.

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