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Downtown Revitilization Committee Updated on River Park Square

November 3, 2011

11/04/11 Members of the Mayor’s Downtown Revitalization Committee met Wednesday evening in the Plymouth Community School’s administration building.

Committee member, Brent Martin spoke about the downtown park project.  Troyer Group will be presenting more developed schemes the middle of November; the new schemes will come out via email and the Troyer web site to the Park Board, Redevelopment Commission, and the steering group.  Martin mentioned, “This will be a very important step toward the final master plan for the downtown park.”  Martin told members he could provide them with large format copies of the schemes if they would like.

Martin mentioned to members that he has talked with Laura Hamann of the USDA and Bob Yoder representing the Plymouth Farmers’ Market regarding USDA grants for the Farmer Market portion of the downtown park.  He said, in summary, there are some small ($30,000-50,000) farmer market grants available.

A general discussion followed regarding various funding that may be available for the downtown park.   Once the master plan is starting to come together there will be a need to explore grant source.

Brent Martin reported to members of the Downtown Revitalization Committee that the new downtown planters are to be delivered on November 16th.  Ask for Flowers will be filling the planters with the actual plant material to be installed in the spring.   The committee discussed whether it would be good during this first holiday/winter season to have decorations in the planters since there will be no plant material.  City Councilman Mike Delp encouraged the Committee or Main Street to bring a request before the City at their next meeting, November 14th.  Bob Beiter said the committee should also contact America in Bloom so they are not covering the same ground with two groups.

The improvements to downtown intersections were also discussed during Wednesday’s meeting.  Mr. Martin said Mayor Senter indicated he had asked MACOG to work with the City Engineer on this project.  There was a general discussion of what this project may entail including new traffic signals and new street lighting.  Also discussed was whether State Road 17 may eventually be relocated to the Pine Road corridor and what the impact would be on the downtown and the City at large.

Signage on US 30 and US 31 was discussed.   Presently, there is no signage for the downtown or the City.   Mark Gidley mentioned the PIDCO billboard which is in bad condition.  Mike Delp said he has thought about whether a large LED sign should be installed and perhaps the City could eventually re-coup that investment through advertising.  Brent Martin spoke about the lack of any coherent signage along the major highways.

Mark Gidley spoke about what other kinds of projects this committee should be thinking about.  He mentioned that the downtown park project is now progressing and this committee should be the brain trust visioning the next steps for revitalizing the downtown.   Brent Martin talked about additional public/private partnerships that might improve significant downtown buildings. Gidley mentioned improving the signage and quality of our downtown parking lots.

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