The City is holding a meeting Monday night on the latest plan in the long-running effort to improve Chaparral Street.
The project, which has been in the works since 2008, promised to transform a two-block area of downtown into a real tourist attraction. Work will be starting after four years of waiting for the Bond 2008 project.
The City has been trying for years to make downtown an attractive destination for tourists, and a place where people would want to open a business. The latest effort is to turn the two-block section of Chaparral, between William and Schatzel, into a two-way street with 18-foot wide sidewalks. There will also be over 75 trees planted in the area.
The entire project has been scaled back after early plans ended up including expensive lighting and other amenities that pushed the cost to over $6 million. Council did not like that, because they had never approved the extras, but the more expensive plans had been made public.
So, Council told City Staff to bring the cost back down to the $4 million mark and promised downtown business owners and developers that the final plan would still work out.
"Chad Magill tells me that the Lichtenstein Project is going forward," City Councilman Mark Scott said. "Another councilman told me he thought Water Street's project was going forward. The guys across the street, Mike Edwards and Bryan Gulley, are going forward with their projects. So I think everyone who was impacted that was waiting on these improvements is ready to go forward."
Scott added that the downtown businesses asked the City to wait until after the first of the new year to start construction, and that's exactly what is going to happen.
You can find out more about the project at the public meeting, which will be held at 6 p.m. Monday at the Education Service Center, located at 209 North Water Street.
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