Downtown Revitalization Plan Open House to be announced soon

 

Mountain Home’s Economic Development team is preparing to roll out the latest Downtown Revitalization Master Plan for public viewing.  The planning stage is nearing completion after months of collaboration, cooperation, and compromise among several entities, including Idaho Transportation Department and Urban Renewal Agency.

“Everyone’s willingness to work together to come up with solutions and compromises that move this project forward for the good of our citizens and businesses has been great,” said Courtney Lewis, Economic Development director for the City of Mountain Home.

Lewis said the public’s input from the July open house influenced the plan significantly. “I think people will be surprised at what they see,” she said. “The new plan looks very different from the three we initially rolled out for public input. A lot of the reason for that is that we took their input seriously.”

The city conducted a traffic study to determine the best way to slow traffic through downtown to create an environment where pedestrians feel safer and people will be more likely to feel comfortable congregating. ITD was a key partner in negotiating changes to the current traffic pattern that would meet these goals and still allow for free-flowing commuter traffic along the main roadways.

Some of top activities people wanted to see downtown were food truck rallies, art walks, kids’ activities, live music, and flea or famers’ markets.

“In most cases, our ability to influence those things really comes down to the city’s ability to create the right atmosphere where those kinds of changes and activities can take place,” said Mayor Rich Sykes. “We want to see that kind of excitement happening in our downtown too, and we believe this design concept will set the conditions for success in those areas.”

The final renderings, which will provide a detailed look at the plan to the public, will be presented in about three weeks – nearly two months ahead of the estimate the office provided in its October update on the project’s progress.  Similar projects in other Idaho communities have taken up to 18 months to get to this stage, while Mountain Home’s took about one year.

 “We’re happy to be able to say we were able to accomplish so much in such a short time,” said Lewis. “More importantly, I think everyone involved has shown real foresight by closely analyzing how these improvements will affect Mountain Home for years to come , and not only in our immediate future.”

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