11/19/10 This month members of the Mayor’s Downtown Revitalization Committee heard from Stu Summers, a consultant working for PIDCO preparing public and private investment action plans for downtown. PIDCO has recently re-directed it focus toward the central business district.
The power point presentation was regarding the public investment. Summers highlighted several public improvements targeted toward invigorating the historic downtown business district including; the Greenway Trail through downtown, the improved Farmers’ Market, the newly created Downtown Park, downtown parking lot enhancements, the South Gateway project to improve the southern entrance to town, and downtown housing.
A discussion ensued regarding the next steps to take. There seemed to be a general consensus the action plan was a good list of priorities. Member Brent Martin noted it was important both the Redevelopment Commission and Park Board, as well as the City administration support the goals of the action plan. Summers said it would be important to take the downtown studies already prepared, the list of priorities the committee has already discussed, and have a schematic design and preliminary detailed budget completed.
There was a discussion of which projects should be first priority. Generally, the Greenway Trail appeared to be the number one priority, although how the trail is integrated with the park and Farmers’ Market is an important consideration.
Stu Summers also told the committee that there is a “clean up” TE (Transportation Enhancement) funding round through INDOT which the Park Department has applied to. The main funding round for TE grants, which is seen as the primary funding for Phase II of the Greenway Trail would be after the first of the year.
Brent Martin stated that is would be important to work with both MACOG and INDOT as the TE grant process evolves.