CLINTON — A plan that aims to develop and improve the economic condition of downtown Clinton was unanimously forwarded at Tuesday’s City Council Committee of the Whole meeting.
The plan will look to the future of the city’s downtown district, addressing investment, potential barriers and specific challenges for the development of the area. Officials expect the drafting of the plan to cost anywhere from $85,000 to $110,000. An application for a $75,000 grant will be submitted to the Clinton County Development Association to help fund the project.
Volunteers Tuesday also asked for the city of Clinton’s support for the plan in the form of $25,000, which was forwarded to a future council meeting. The money would come from the city’s General Fund, after analysis by City Administrator Matt Brooke and Finance Director Anita Dalton.
The Self-Supporting Municipal Improvement District will cover any potential remaining costs, should there be any.
Four drafting firms have been identified as contenders for the creation of the plan, with two future finalists to prepare presentations at a future council meeting. July 30 has been set as the date to select a winning firm.
The plan is of great necessity, as it pertains to the whole Clinton community, officials said Tuesday night.
“From that person that lives on 13th Avenue North that never shops downtown, to that person that lives in the 400 block of Fifth Avenue South, to the business owner to the property owner... we’re all stakeholders in the community,” presenter Dennis Lauver said. “Let’s identify what are those great things about downtown Clinton, what are those weaknesses? Let’s be blunt about them... a lot of people will have various ideas.”
The plan will include a feasibility study that will “objectively and rationally uncover the strengths and weaknesses of an existing plan or proposed plan.” Lauver’s presentation simply stated that “the two criteria to judge feasibility are cost required, and value to be attained.”
With the city’s last downtown master plan coming in 1997 and many of its principles outdated, officials unanimously agreed Tuesday that it’s time for a new one to shape the future of the city’s shopping and retail hub.
“I think our downtown is beautiful, and I think the potential is through the roof down there,” Councilman Cody Seeley said. “I’d love to see this (plan) go. It’s going to take a lot of hard work and dedication not just from the SSMID, but all of us – the City Council, the citizens, everybody. I’m hoping this will help lead the way.”