VHEDC making headway

Culberson County and The Van Horn Economic Development Corporation partnered together to add some color to our downtown. The mural, which includes vibrant colors and the town’s name, was painted by local artist Juan Corral. (VHA-Photo/DB)
Culberson County and The Van Horn Economic Development Corporation partnered together to add some color to our downtown. The mural, which includes vibrant colors and the town’s name, was painted by local artist Juan Corral. (VHA-Photo/DB)

Directors of the Van Horn Economic Development Corporation (VHEDC) are optimistic about their quest to improve the town’s appearance.

With funding from a grant from the VHEDC, downtown has a new mural on display for locals and visitors to enjoy. The public artwork, which includes vibrant colors and the town’s name, was painted by local artist Juan Corral.

The mural is located on the east wall of the Culberson County Financial Center at 501 W. Broadway, facing the EDC parking lot. Culberson County and VHEDC partnered for this project. Additionally, future improvements to the parking lot have been mentioned. Possible improvements include widening sidewalks, new landscaping and lighting, and benches. Creating a pedestrian-friendly space for community gatherings with a plaza-like atmosphere.

The board has agreed to assist the city’s code enforcement department with funding for cleaning up dilapidated and abandoned properties.

Directors of VHEDC have also discussed a number of priorities over recent meetings. Emphasizing on historic preservation; improving streetscapes and upgrading infrastructure, community involvement, and beautification. Overall, VHEDC desires a concise strategic plan that would address the above priorities for Van Horn.

Currently, there is no comprehensive plan in place for the Town of Van Horn. Directors discussed the possibility of applying for a Community Development Block Grant to fund a study and plan. However, due to changes in demographics, it did not qualify for the program.

Fortunately, Van Horn received word that IC2 selected Van Horn as one of their 50 Texas cities to research and support this summer. IC2 is a research organization at The University of Texas at Austin that focuses on innovation and entrepreneurship in small and remote cities. In an effort to support Texas communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, IC2 has offered to help 50 Texas communities develop policies and strategies to support business recovery and expansion. It is hoped that the program with IC2 has the potential to help Van Horn develop similar community development strategies at no cost.