October 07, 2014 - 1:26 PM
PENTICTON - A $2 million upgrade for a portion of Main Street will be the next project the city tackles as part of the Downtown Revitalization Plan.
The proposed plan includes improvements to Gyro Park and Memorial Park along the 100 block of Main Street. Staff proposed a playground, new washrooms, greenery, and expanded sidewalks to Gyro Park and the surrounding street area, as well as beautification improvements to Memorial Park.
There would also be an east-west road connection between City Hall and Gyro Park, that would be closed off along with the rest of the block during large celebrations, such as the Canada Day events that are traditionally held downtown.
Staff proposed reducing the three-lane street to two-lanes on both the 100 and 200 blocks, which would allow the expansion of sidewalks and more parking, since it wouldn't be lost to sidewalk cafes during the spring and summer months. It would also enhance opportunity for businesses, the owners of which will be paying 25 per cent of construction costs, development director Anthony Haddad said.
Land owners pay for any above-ground improvements from their storefront to the street, including trees, sidewalk expansion and street lighting, Haddad said.
Funding for the project will come from gas tax, provincial veterans service (for Memorial park), water and electric utility reserves, and federal funding grants, among other sources.
Council members expressed concern about all the large-scale projects being proposed for the downtown area, including the one before them, as well as the S.S. Sicamous master plan that was presented at last council meeting, which have not yet been given a cost estimate.
“The next council is going to have some tough fiscal priorities to set,” said Coun. Helena Konanz. “It’s awesome that staff have found some ways to pay for this other than borrowing, I think it’s going to be some tough decisions to make in the future with both very big and very extravagant designs.”
So far, the Downtown Revitalization Select Committee is on schedule with its master plan, that included the revitalization of Martin Street that took place earlier this year. The next step is for staff to create a more detailed design to present to council, and, should it be approved, move on to the budget process, Haddad said. If all is approved by land owners and council, construction of the project will begin in spring 2015.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014