CHESTERTOWN - For months, the Chestertown Main Street Enhancement Committee has brainstormed plans to revitalize the downtown area. But Saturday, the group achieved a formidable milestone with its first substantial accomplishment.
More than 10 volunteers from the group, which has been meeting and planning since winter, painted the entire exterior of the American Legion Post No. 964 headquarters building in less than seven hours. The day's work included painting the Legion Post's picnic tables.
Joe Slattery, 3rd Vice Commander of Chestertown-based Legion Post, said that the house had only been painted twice in 25 years, and the last time was more than 15 years ago.
"On behalf of all the Post members, thanks go to the Enhancement Committee for their beautification efforts," he said. "We hope the rest of the community follows suit in enhancing downtown - it's way overdue."
When the local Legion officials heard that the Enhancement Committee was looking for projects, Commander Joanne Ellsworth contacted Enhancement Committee leader Mary Jane Dower and plans were made. Stephenson Lumber Company gave the Legion Post a discount on the paint and brushes.
The prior week, premium shingles were installed on the Post's roof - which had problems with leaks - and local contractor Mike Ross donated his time associated with the job. Among other tasks, Ross removed an aging, non-functional chimney.
That's not all the volunteer work performed at the Legion Post.
A few day's prior to Saturday's painting effort, eight or so Chestertown Rotary Club members scraped the old peeling paint off the building's exterior. The American Legion Ladies Auxiliary members provided lunch for the workers.
Saturday's painting work was a joint effort by young and old, and the work group included one high school junior and several senior citizens, Dower said Monday.
"The house looks great and Main Street is progressing," she said.
Students in a North Warren High School shop class taught by Chris Stiles are making planters that will be placed in front of the Grand Union. Flowers will be planted before Memorial Day both in the planters and along Main St., Dower said.
"With the flag out on Memorial Day, the Town will be ready for summer," she said.