Painting the town coming in April

By From page A1 | January 31, 2014

April 14 is the day before Tax Day, but that’s not what makes it exciting this year. What may make your heart beat a bit faster, especially if you are a Main Street merchant, is that April 14 may be the date the Benjamin Moore Paint Co. will begin to paint the town.

“The kick-off date is April 14, 15 or 16,” said Project Manager Matt Boyer. “We’re planning some kick-off activities to make it special.”

Main Street in Placerville was one of the 20 main streets chosen nationwide to be painted by Benjamin Moore as part of their “Paint What Matters” campaign. Business and property owners have been waiting to find out when the painting will commence, how it will be done and which buildings will be painted.

A Jan. 28 meeting between Benjamin Moore Paint Co. production representative Eric Guerra and Paint What Matters committee members Matt Boyer, Lisa Crummet and City Councilwoman Wendy Thomas helped identify some of the nuts and bolts of the project.

As the project stands now, after the lead testing, which will occur next week, the front facades of some of the buildings on Main Street from Sacramento Street to Bedford Avenue will be painted. Benjamin Moore has committed to painting only the first floor of the building, but may make some exceptions. Which buildings are painted will be determined, in part, by the results of the lead-based paint testing and it will be done by local, lead-certified, painting contractors.

Downtown business and property owners have until Feb. 3 to turn in their paperwork permitting testing for lead-based paint. “Benjamin Moore needs to test for lead-based paint in all the buildings they paint,” said Thomas. “Some people might be worried, but it’s not a big deal — probably all of our buildings downtown have lead paint somewhere on them.”

Steps still to be completed are the lead testing and the hiring of the painting contractors. The final project scope will be developed and the building color palette reviewed with building owners and tenants in March. Painting will be done April 14-28.

“Old City Hall is a candidate to be painted,” said Thomas.”It could still be catsup and mustard, but maybe a nicer shade of catsup and mustard.”

Augmenting the Main Street paint job with other sprucing-up projects has been discussed and surveys were sent out in flyer form and in the Mountain Democrat to garner public input for suggestions about what form of augmentation they would like to see and be part of.

Twenty-six survey returnees elicited responses, such as replacement of awnings, sidewalk cleaning and repairs, restoration of roof line accent lighting, street repairs and trimming of trees and vegetation. Interested partners in the augmentation include Cooperative Extension (4-H), El Dorado County Office of Education, El Dorado Union High School and local service clubs and many vendors interested in providing discounted and donated services.

Brainstorming for what augmentations will be done, who will do them and how, was part of the Jan. 30 informational meeting at Town Hall with Main Street business owners, Benjamin Moore representatives and the public.

“We really want to make an event out of this,” said Crummet, marketing director for the Placerville Downtown Association. “We’re planning kick-off activities, including a breakfast on the first day of painting, and a big reveal when the painting is finished. People love the flower baskets downtown and the art banners and we want to include them in our big reveal.”

The celebratory reveal/party on Main is being planned for May, after the painting and other sprucing up has been completed. In conjunction with the El Dorado Arts Council, a “May Be Parade” is being planned for the big reveal, one in which the participants wear costumes and utilize human-powered transport contraptions.

To volunteer to help with the augmentation of Main Street, contact Boyer  at [email protected]

Contact Wendy Schultz at 530 344-5069 or [email protected] Follow @wschultzMtDemo on Twitter.

Wendy Schultz

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