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Lansford residents plan Home Town Takeover pitch

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    The Lansford pool has been closed for several years and the town needs money to renovate it. TIMES NEWS FILE PHOTO

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    Volunteers from Lansford Alive have done a lot of work in Kennedy Park. The park is shown during a snowstorm. TIMES NEWS FILE PHOTO

Published January 21. 2020 01:07PM

A cable TV home makeover show wants to expand beyond individual homes and help an entire town.

Lansford residents are joining together to make a case that their town should be chosen for the HGTV Home Town Takeover contest.

“We have to show that the place needs work, but that we love to call it home,” said Christopher Ondrus of Lansford Alive.

A planning meeting for the submission is scheduled for Wednesday night at 5:30 p.m. at Grace Community Church, 18 W. Ridge St.

The contest is set up to find one town which will receive a makeover from Ben and Erin Napier, host of the channel’s show “Home Town.”

On the first two seasons of their show, the couple rehabbed houses in their hometown of Laurel, Mississippi.

For Home Town Takeover, the show’s producers will choose a new town where they will fix up multiple individual homes, as well as public spaces like parks, diners and rec centers.

Lansford Alive plans to submit photos and videos for the contest before the deadline on Feb. 4.

In order to make their case, towns are being asked to submit photos and video. Since it is a TV show, they prefer video.

Ondrus said they are hoping to find people with video production skills to help put together a video showing why they should be chosen.

He envisions a submission which will focus on the area’s coal mining heritage, and the impact which the industry’s decline had on the region.

They will identify possible projects like reopening the Lansford Pool and helping makeover the downtown business district.

In addition to that, they are asking owners of some of the more significant vacant buildings in town to see if they are interested in making their property part of the submission.

“We’re not going to bring it back to what it was — but definitely a lot better than where we were 5-10 years ago,” he said.

Ondrus said that there’s been a positive response to the idea in town. Multiple residents and business owners suggested to him that Lansford Alive could get involved even before the contest took off on social media last week.

Residents are hopeful that reality TV will once again look kindly upon Lansford. A few years ago, the hosts of the show “American Pickers” came to Lansford to uncover antiques.

Ondrus acknowledged that there will be stiff competition and the town faces long odds of being chosen. But he’s willing to take a chance to help the town.

“You don’t know until you try. There will probably be tens of thousands of towns entering. We’re going to do what we can,” he said.

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