And put up a parking lot — Part II

by Don on October 13, 2007

in About North Platte, Ward 3

Thinking about the CRA’s project.

  • The question before the City Council is not an either or question. However, I think it is appropriate to consider the question in the context of downtown renewal.
  • Is it possible to use the $603,936+ from the account to upgrade the infrastructure downtown? The JEO study named CDBG, Capital Improvements Funds, Assessments against properties, USDA and SRF as possible funding sources for replacing and rehabilitating the infrastructure in the Downtown area. (Page 13)
  • I concede, the need for parking is open to debate. However, from my own observation and experience, in spite of what the JEO study reports (page 5), we do not need more parking in Downtown.
  • The CRA’s project would be a significant contribution to the Shelter. Selling the building allows the Shelter to apply for grants and take a giant step toward moving into a new building.
  • Removing the buildings in question and building a parking lot may be the symbolic step needed to jump-start a major renovation of the downtown. Could this project be the “tipping point?”
  • The JEO study of 2004 says, “Goal 1: Replace and Rehabilitate the Infrastructure in the Downtown area.” “Goal 2: Repair existing brick streets in the study area.” The third goal is: “Reconfigure and increase parking options in the downtown area.” (page 13) The study seems to make it clear that replacing and rehabilitating the infrastructure in the Downtown area is the highest priority goal.
  • Where will the money come from to renew downtown North Platte?
  • Do the buildings the CRA is asking to demolish have any historic value?
  • I believe it is worth asking, does the benefit to the whole community from this project outweigh the impact on several North Platte businesses. While the CRA will be required to provide for the relocation of the effected businesses will the negative impact on those businesses be off set by those payments?
  • Would it be possible for the Council to establish a Business Improvement District to replace and rehabilitate the infrastructure in the Downtown area?

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