Emmett's historic downtown

Emmett's historic downtown

Emmett's historic downtown

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by Matt Standal

Bio | Email | Follow: @KTVBMatt

KTVB.COM

Posted on May 21, 2012 at 4:56 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 16 at 9:57 AM

EMMETT, Idaho -- The townsfolk of Emmett might seem a little rough around the edges, but don't let the faded western wear fool you.

Most people here have legitimately earned the creases in their cowboy boots -- either by tearing up the back-roads on ATV's, riding horseback in the foothills, or hiking and hunting on the countless acres of sage, orchards, and pine that stretches into the rest of Gem County.

That's because here in Emmett, life is just a little bit different from the nearby bustle of the Treasure Valley.

This historic community just north of the Treasure Valley has survived everything from gold rushes, to wild-west outlaws, to economic recession, to the recent hard times brought by changes in the labor force.

Historically, occupations here have ranged from pioneering, to ranching, to fruit growing, mill working, and lately -- office jockeying and toiling for the service industry.

Yet despite the wide discrepancy in jobs, folks here are also fiercely proud of their community.

For proof, you can look to the recent renovations on Main Street in the heart of Emmett's old downtown.

In just the past year, two seperate grant projects have pumped over a million dollars in stimulus funds into restoring Emmett's Main street. The result: a safe, clean roadway, smooth sidewalks, new lightpoles, and other features near the corner of Main Street and Washington Avenue.

Mayor Bill Butticci says the purpose has been to invest in the town's infrastructure and attract more business by creating a more desirable shopping district.

However, Butticci says the renovations have also meant more than just beautifying the town.

"Before, the street had a big hump in the middle, and the sidewalks were all broken up," Butticci said, adding that now, Emmett's oldest commercial district is fully ADA compliant and accessible to all.

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