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T-Mobile awards grant for downtown Murray's beautification and free Wi-Fi

Imagination Alley in downtown Murray
Zacharie Lamb / WKMS

One of the big three phone service providers in America is sticking to its commitment in providing 5G to rural America and helping small town communities thrive by awarding the city of Murray $50,000, according to a Tuesday release. These funds will go towards beautification projects in downtown’s Imagination Alley and providing free wifi access in the court square.

T-Mobile is giving Murray and 24 other cities aid in its most recent batch of funding for small towns to use to help improve their community. This is part of the phone service’s ongoing Hometown Grants program. Through this initiative, the company hopes to “jumpstart vital community development projects to re-energize these towns and build upon what makes them unique.”

Murray Mayor Bob Rogers said in a release he's excited to be working with T-Mobile to put the “finishing touches” on projects in the downtown area.

“Learning that Murray Main Street was selected to receive this T-Mobile Hometown Grant made my day,” Rogers said in a statement. “Our Main Street Program has worked – and continues to work – so diligently to make the area impacted by the tragic fire and building collapse in 2014 such a beautiful area that is utilized by so many.”

Murray Main Street is in charge of stimulating economic development and interest in Murray’s historic downtown district by promoting its distinctive qualities of preservation and improvement making it a more appealing place.

Murray Main Street Program Director Deana Wright said the $50,000 will be put towards getting benches for Imagination Alley as well as commissioning art murals from local artists in January in addition to furnishing free Wi-Fi access.

“We need a space like this where people can take a moment to refresh themselves, maybe from shopping or from work,” Wright told WKMS “And, they also need to be able to connect to their friends and even do business while they’re in the downtown (area).”

Wright said the award is helping to achieve a long-time goal of her’s for Murray.

“I’ve personally wanted to add wifi to the court square for over ten years, and being able to do that through the T-Mobile grant is pretty awesome,” Wright said “It’s going to add to making our downtown a great place to live, work and play.”

Wright said the projects are expected to be completed in June 2022.

There will be an official check presentation at city hall in Murray at tonight’s city council meeting to commemorate the partnership.

Zacharie Lamb is a music major at Murray State University and is a Graves County native.
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