A grant from the Arizona Department of Transportation for the renovation of parking and pedestrian travel ways along Main Street may be put to use at last.
The $315,815 grant was awarded to the town to improve a section of West Main Street in 2003.
Until the special council meeting last night, the past town councils had never been able to agree upon a concept plan for the project.
At last night's meeting, the council voted unanimously to contract with A Dye Design, a Phoenix-based landscape architecture firm, for the creation of a schematic concept plan for a section of roadway near Bootleg Alley.
The motion included some stipulations, namely that A Dye Design incorporate the best features from each of the previous four plans that had been created.
The schematic plan is to include two lanes of vehicle traffic, 90-degree parking along the street, the same number of parking spaces as is now available, left turn lanes at North and South McLane, Westerly and Green Valley Parkway, 10-foot wide pedestrian ways that are detached from the curb by four feet and the obtainment of private easements as necessary to develop the pedestrian ways.
The council action was applauded by members of the Green Valley Redevelopment Association, who had been working on this type of project to bolster Main Street tourism and activity for years.
GVRA chair Dick Wolfe said that the $54,000 contract awarded to A Dye Design was the best use of that money. He said that GVRA feels confident in the architect's abilities after looking at several firms throughout the years.
The plan was not met without some hesitation from council members and staff, however.
Town Engineer LaRon Garrett said that the reduction to two lanes of travel could cause traffic congestion when a motorist is backing out of a parking space.
Garrett suggested that the town widen Frontier Street to alleviate some of the traffic flow on Main Street. He said that improvements need to be made on Frontier Street, regardless of this project, and that the two could go hand in hand.
"We just need to make a decision on where we want to go and do it," he said.
Vice Mayor Tim Fruth echoed Garrett's call for action.
"I think it's an acceptable risk to try and enhance the area," he said.
Councilor Ed Blair questioned whether Angela Dye, Principal of A Dye Design, would lower her contract fee, because some of the details of the project have already been determined.
Dye said she couldn't determine if she could reduce her fee at this stage of the development.
Community Development Director Jerry Owen stressed the need for action.
"We need a consultant," he told the council.
Dye estimated a six- to eight-month timeframe to accomplish the development of a schematic plan, which would include details such as what trees, benches and color of concrete to use. She also plans to meet with all stakeholders and business owners involved in the project.