After forty years without an upgrade, the sidewalks and street corners of downtown Vermillion could have a different look by 2021.
The $2,450,000 Downtown Streetscape project will remodel Main Street’s streets and sidewalks, adding landscaping and seating features outside of businesses from McVicker Plaza to North Dakota Street.
- flowerbeds and trees lining the sidewalks
- a decorative strip outlining the curb
- trash and recycling receptacles
- Street lighting
- Bike racks
- Storm sewer improvements
City council has scheduled a public hearing for the project, referred to the Business Improvement District #2 (BID #2) plan, on Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. in City Hall. From there, the council can create an ordinance, and, if passed, open the project’s bidding.
If the ordinance is passed and bidding goes according to plan, construction could begin in 2021 and will take a year to complete, said Dominguez.
In the BID #2 plan, the city will fund 82%, or $2,000,000, of the project from a fund they’ve fed since the project’s conception in April 2016. The remaining 18% will come from taxable property owners, split into Area A and Area B (pictured below) along Main Street. You can visit site here for property valuations.
Those in Area A will pay $5,752 and those in Area B will pay $1,917 in installments over the next 10 years, according to the BID #2 plans. Though both areas include residential properties, only commercial owners are required to pay for the renovations, said City Engineer Jose Dominguez.
“If you think about it, it’s a pretty good deal,” Dominguez said. “You’re paying for a new sidewalk in front of your business and you’re going to be paying roughly $6,000 over 10 years, so that’s pretty cheap.”
If BID #2 is passed, construction will affect access to businesses, but the city doesn’t plan to close businesses for longer than a week. Parking on the side of the street will also change based on the location of the construction.
“There’s going to be a lot of conversations to be had between the contractor, the business owner and the city,” Dominquez said.
The BID Board of Directors met with downtown property owners twice this summer to gauge the amount of support for the project. On July 29, property owners approved the project’s rate in a vote.
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Vermillion’s downtown sidewalks haven’t undergone improvements since the early 1980s, according to the BID Board. Dominguez said the Streetscape project will add a sense of freshness to the stretch.
“It’s going to freshen up downtown and hopefully bring something new that it needs. It looks a little tired,” Dominquez said.