Eckville is another step closer to seeing the Monument Park revitalization and Main Street concept plan come to life.
Eckville Town Council hosted an open house for the projects at the Town Office on the evening of Oct. 8.
Mayor Helen Posti says the Town and council decided to do the revitalization for Eckville’s centennial celebration in 2021 and because they feel the areas need an upgrade.
“We shouldn’t be making a decision on a big change that’s going to cost money without seeing what the residents think,” said Posti, adding they also wanted the public to know so the changes didn’t come as a surprise to anyone.
Posti also said the public consultation is a “real need” and she was glad to see people out to show their interest and utilize the opportunity to provide their input.
CAO Jack Ramsden said response to the upgrades and concepts have been good thus far, especially when it comes to the addition of solar lights on Main Street.
Ramsden said at this point the street lights are a go as well as the Monument Park revitalization which will include trees, sidewalks and a new monument.
The trees currently in Monument Park are set to be removed and new trees will be put in around the monument and to line the railroad tracks.
“We were going to knock the trees down right away but then we wanted to wait for [the open house] to see what kind of reaction we got,” said Ramsden.
He added another factor adding to the delay was the Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony. The tree lighting will get one final year on the current tree.
Ramsden explained the Monument Park revitalization and the street lights are set to cost around $60,000, but the projects are budgeted for.
The remainder of the Main Street concept plan will rely on how much more the Town can afford to put towards the upgrades, said Ramsden.
The concept plans have not changed, but how much they can afford to do will change, according to Ramsden.
He says he is hoping to also be able to work on the “town square” at the four way stop of 50 Street (Main Street) and 51 Avenue.
“We’ll wait and see on the plans because we could definitely paint Main Street [black],” Ramsden said. “When you look at our aerial photograph it’s an older street.”
Ramsden and Posti agree they want the areas to be more of a gathering place.
“We want to make it so that it’s more of an attraction so people will come and even walk up Main Street and have a look and see what’s happening within the individual businesses that are there,” said Posti.
They hopes the potential upgrades will inspire the businesses to do a facelift of their own, which Posti says would be encouraged by the Town.