Residents helped “Paint the Town Proud” last week as businesses took advantage of free paint to spruce up the fronts of their buildings.
Jim Jerousek, former owner of Farm & Home Hardware, so far has donated 20 gallons toward the improvements. Those interested in obtaining materials can pick up an application for the program at Main Street Wellington’s office on West Herrick Avenue.
Painting projects need to be done by May 1 of next year — in time for the Wellington’s bicentennial celebration.
Main Street Wellington director Jenny Arntz dubbed the project an “improvement movement” this past Thursday as she helped resurface the front of Wellington Auto Parts, 123 East Herrick Ave.
Red Iron Bar and Grille, Addie’s Antiques, Blackburn’s Country Barn and More, as well as the Pfeiffer Chiropractic Clinic have all decided to join the movement, she said.
“We chose to start at the auto parts store because it’s one of our largest storefronts and it really needed some attention,” she said. “It’s really caused a lot of folks to take some more pride. A good aesthetic is crucial. When people from Heritage Ohio assessed our downtown in January, the biggest concern they had was crumbling paint and brick. They said they could tell the people of Wellington had a lot of pride, but you couldn’t really tell by the buildings.”
As Arntz and six other volunteers painted and refinished moldings on the front of her building, Wellington Auto Parts owner Lori Bitting said she’s received quotes from contractors for as much as $30,000 to do similar work.
“I never expected everyone to come out and help like this,” said Bitting. “Jenny has got everything going for us. Now everyone wants to do their buildings because they didn’t want mine to be the only one looking great.”
ResCare of Wellington and Subway provided food and drinks for volunteers on all three days of work.
Mayor Hans Schneider said the projects are another product of a close-knit community.
“You have people here who aren’t associated with these businesses coming up and saying, ‘I’m going to put some time in,”’ he said.
“They want to help beautify this downtown. It shows that grassroots effort of what can happen when people come together for a common cause. Kudos to Jenny at Main Street. Kudos to Farm & Home and the other businesses jumping in on this.”
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.