The City of Creighton held its final public input meeting Tuesday to finalize the application for Phase II of the Downtown Revitalization grants.
The meeting was hosted by Abigail Frank, Creighton economic development director, and held at Grand Central Cafe in downtown Creighton. With a large attendance of citizens and business owners alike, Brenda Jensen of Miller & Associates outlined the final plans and priorities that have been established to be presented to the city council. These plans and priorities were established after two other public input meetings - one in February and the other in April - and after surveying citizens and business owners in Creighton.
In coming up with the final plans to propose to the city council, Frank and Jensen also worked with Theresa Yaw, an economics professor at the University of Nebraska-Kearney. Yaw helped to analyze the City of Creighton and draw comparisons to other successful, similar Midwest communities. Jensen said results of Yaw's work were relied on in finding the biggest needs for improvement in downtown Creighton.
The plans, as presented Tuesday, included an analysis of building conditions, ADA accessibility, sidewalk conditions and parking supply. Computer renderings of several downtown businesses were shown with simple improvements to buildings such as new paint, new lighting and other improvements to make buildings more appealing to citizens and visitors to downtown.
"These renderings are meant to give people options and idea," Jensen said.
The priorities outlined included facades, sidewalks, curbs, landscaping and theme brand for local businesses among others. During an open discussion segment, other priorities discussed were assistance in re-opening businesses, downtown Internet access, business marketing to support a shop local initiative, local entertainment opportunities and additional crosswalks for pedestrian safety.
The next step of the plan is to present the application with the plans to the city council for approval in July. After that, the plans will be submitted to Nebraska Department of Economic Development for approval and the final Phase II application will be submitted sometime in late July or early August.
If Creighton receives the grant, there will be three programs available to downtown business owners.
Anyone who is interested in adding their opinion on the revitalization program is encouraged to contact Abigail Frank at (402) 358-3557 or through her e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.