The passage of the city’s 2014 Capital Improvement Plan earlier this month outlined a large number of capital expenditures and purchases that are expected to have an immediate impact on the quality of life and conduct of business in the city as soon as they are completed.
However, one of the more debated and amended projects on that list was the decision of the City Council to amend a request for a re-design of Everett Square and instead fund a re-design of Norwood Street and Everett Square, just a few short months after the Board of Aldermen had voted against funding a design of Norwood Street project that was requested under the 2013 budget.
At the time, the Aldermen noted that a re-design and renovation of Norwood Street were needed to make the business district more user friendly for shoppers and business owners., but they did not feel the city could afford to undertake such a large planning project at that time.
When it came time to approve a $175,000 re-design of Everett Square during the most recent Capital Improvement debate, the Aldermen opted instead to cut the funding back to $150,000 and add Norwood Street into the project, this attempting to accomplish two planning goals in one project, albeit for less money.
“We (the Planning Department) is going to have to sit down and think about how we want to proceed, before we do anything,” said Planning and Development Director James Errickson. “We had been thinking about these as two separate project, and so now we have to kind of re-set expectations and that is fine, but it will require a little more thought before we go out to find a design firm to complete the work.”
Errickson said that the department wants to be sure to get the process started sooner than later.
“We don’t want to waste any time doing this, both of these projects have been in the works for some time, so we don’t want to lose any time in trying to get the completed this year,” he said.
They just have to determine the scope of the new project before sending a request for proposals (RFP) out for proponents to consider.