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2 `RETIREES' HEAD DRIVE TO SPRUCE UP SPRINGVILLE

Clarence and Eleanor Zornes moved to Utah from California in 1979 to retire closer to their children.

Retirement, however, quickly bored them. Clarence, a former woodworker, started building clocks. Eleanor joined in by making other crafts. They enjoyed their hobbies so much they opened Gifts Galore in 1981 and began selling their crafts and the crafts of other Springville residents. Clarence built and sold more than 500 clocks.In 1984, however, the Zornes again decided to try retirement. For about six years they traveled and visited relatives. Then one day in early 1990, Eleanor was looking out her front window when she turned to Clarence and said, "Is this what we're going to do with the rest of our lives?"

Clarence replied, "I know where there's a building for sale."

A couple months later the Zornes were back in business - not just to make money, but to make friends and revitalize their lives. Their new store, Town and Country Gifts, is thriving and is one of Utah County's most successful gift stores.

"When we got this place it saved us," Eleanor said. "There's only so much traveling a couple of retired people can stand."

Now that they've revitalized their lives, the Zornes want to revitalize Springville's. The main complaint they hear about Springville regards its rundown business district and the lack of parking on Main Street. Because Main Street is a state road and was built with federal funds, diagonal parking is not allowed and each block only has about 19 parking stalls.

To initiate a revitalization of downtown, the Zornes recently purchased three buildings adjacent to their store on Main Street between 200 South and 300 South. Clarence is remodeling the buildings and will lease them to other retailers.

However, the Zornes' main project is a covered walkway that connects Main Street with about 40 parking stalls behind the Zornes' buildings. The walkway will be carpeted, lighted and will remain open during business hours and secured with gates after-hours.

"We feel this is our part in getting the downtown area going in the right direction," Clarence said. "The walkway will give shoppers the parking and quick access to downtown that they've wanted for years."

As soon as weather permits, the city will pave the alley behind Main Street and the parking lots behind the Zornes' buildings. The city also will provide lighting to the parking lot and the walkway. Richard Manning, city recorder, said the city's effort is minimal compared to that of the Zornes.

"I don't think anyone has ever done as much to revitalize Springville's downtown business district as these two have," Manning said.

The Zornes' remodeling project is starting to spread to other downtown businesses. Many plan to remodel their storefronts and paint their outside walls.

"I think it's going to catch on but we still have some slumlords who don't care and don't think what's good for one is good for another," Clarence said.

He is also trying to get the federal law prohibiting diagonal parking changed. He recently called Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and explained how the federal law is the main cause of Springville's parking problems.

"A business can't be successful if it doesn't have any parking," he said.