DEL NORTE— The Town of Del Norte held a public planning meeting on the evening of Feb. 16 to discuss their ideas on a downtown revitalization project.
Town officials confirmed the reports of such a project during the meeting stating that they are beginning the planning phase in hopes of being prepared for several grant applications coming up later in the year. “We are just starting this and do not have the funding yet. The board has set aside money for matching funds for the past two years and plans to continue to set aside funds in the budget for when we are ready to submit grant applications,” said Town Administrator Bernadette Martinez.
She explained that the board has set aside $50,000 for the last two years in the budget in order to be prepared for when they submit a grant application. The board wants to apply for grant funding through either CDOT, the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) or both. “It pays to be ready when applying for large grants and we wanted to get an idea from the residents on what they want. Now that we have that information, we can put a cost to the project and continue planning for our grant applications. We just want to be ready,” said Martinez.
The meeting was conducted by RG and Associates LLC representative David Boles, who will be the engineer in the project. Boles opened the meeting explaining that the town wanted to get insights from the public on what they want to see become of the potential project. They will use the information collected from the meeting to estimate a project cost.
Boles began his presentation with a slide show of the proposed project stating that the beginning stages have been underway for some time. “We started this project a while back, working on the road and now we are ready to look at the sidewalks from the curb of the road to the buildings along Grande Avenue,” said Boles.
The project would start at County Road 14 and move east down Grande Avenue. The project would include a sidewalk on both sides of Highway 160, allowing for foot traffic along the shoulder, where there is currently no path to town. Boles showed the audience where the sidewalk would start and moved down the main corridor highlighting places where benches, flower pots and street light would be placed.
After the presentation, Boles passed out a large packet to the attending crowd and asked that they circle the items they wanted to see lining Grande Avenue. The packet included types of street lights, benches, waste receptacles and flower pots. “We would like to have these back tonight so that we can move forward with putting a price to the project. After that, we can determine whether or not the project is feasible and where we could potentially cut expenses in order to fit your needs,” explained Boles.
The project would be a huge benefit to the town that has been working diligently over the last several years to boost local economy.