Reporter: Melissa McKinney
OZARK, AL (WSFA) -- Peggy Gunter owns The Flower Shoppe in downtown Ozark. For 26 years, she's watched the little downtown square change.
"When I first began, the first thing that comes to my mind is the roses out there. There was no flowers. There was no anything," says Gunter.
While there are flowers now, city leaders want more. That's why they're using $567 thousand dollars from a grant to give the area a fresh face. It's something Peggy thinks will only help.
"If we got a pretty town and we got pretty shops, people will want to come back."
Project plans include replacing the roofs on sidewalk canopies, installing new lighting, drainage systems, and landscaping on Broad and North Merrick streets. Right now the money covers work on only half of the square and committees are applying for more grants.
Leaders estimate the cost to complete revitalization on all four sides of the square at just over $1 million dollars. Project leaders say updating this beloved piece of Ozark will pay off in the end.
"As downtown thrives, so Ozark thrives. Even though we have retail businesses in other locations, certainly our downtown is the lifeblood of our community," says Ozark Mayor, Billy Blackwell.
Peggy couldn't agree more.
"I really, really, really have high hopes about this town becoming something really enjoyable."