Empire mural

A mural being painted on the Star of Hope building in Empire will be partially funded by the Coos Bay Urban Renewal Agency after the agency voted to give a $6,000 grant to support the project.

The Coos Bay Urban Renewal Agency voted unanimously to offer financial support for a mural being painted in the Empire District.

The URA, which is made up of the city council, voted to give $6,000 to the Community Coalition of Empire and Star of Hope to support the mural, which is being painted as an effort to revitalize the downtown Empire District.

Joanne Moss with Community Coalition of Empire asked the agency for a grant to help fund the project. She said time is of the essence in order to get the mural finished.

"It rains a little bit here, so we have an element of time we have to work with for our mural," Moss said. "It's gonna rain soon folks."

The CCE applied for the grant some time ago and has been working with the city and the agency to come up with a proposal everyone is happy with. Once change the URA requested in the process was to change the design to showcase more of the Tribal history in the region.

Moss said after meeting with tribal officials, the mural will have a canoe and a plank house in the finished product.

"I'm so thankful for you representing the entire community," said URA member Lucinda DiNovo.

Stephanie Kilmer, the chair of the URA, said the project will benefit Empire.

"I can't tell you how excited people are for the mural," Kilmer said. "Even people who have not been supportive in the past are saying it's going to be a huge improvement to the Empire District."

URA member Rob Miles has long supported the mural project, asking the agency to support the project at 100 percent of its $8,000 cost rather than the traditional 50 percent. Miles said he feels so strongly in favor of the project, he asked the agency to adjust its rules and pay for 75 percent of the cost.

"CCE is a very skinny little group, and we are trying our hardest to make a dent in the negative perception in the Empire District," Moss said. "We have lost funding for the last two years also."

After the discussion, the URA voted unanimously to support the project at 75 percent, giving $6,000 to help fund the mural.

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