Consultants will discuss ideas for downtown tonight

Open meeting scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at City Hall

From Staff Reports

Aug 30, 2007 - Plans have apparently changed for downtown.

Consultants who have been brought in to make recommendations for a facelift downtown have come up with some suggestions, and their ideas will be presented at an open meeting tonight at City Hall.

The presentation will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Room of the Sulphur Springs Municipal Building, 125 South Davis Street. Anyone who wants to sit in on the presentation may attend.

Plans for a Veterans Memorial were unveiled on Aug. 21 that would totally revamp the courthouse square. The concept received high praise, and that night received consensus approval from the city's Downtown Revitalization Board.

But Sulphur Springs Community Development Director Johnny Vance, who urged the board to throw their support behind the plan, also reminded them that there would be changes.

"I would like for the board to vote to accept the concept, with the understanding that there will be additional submittals," Vance said at the Aug. 21 meeting of the downtown board.

The plan would use about half of the current parking area in front of the courthouse to create a greenway with covered seating and a fountain. Don Roundtree, chairman of the Veterans Memorial Design Committee, said it would include an interactive fountain, a concave area where "water will spurt up and kids can come in August and have a good time."

The design would also "tighten up" the streets around the square to make the area more pedestrian friendly.

But there were concerns about some of the changes, especially about parking. The plan, as presented, would have cut the number of parking spaces in the downtown area from about110 to 70. 

The consultants' recommendations are expected to address that issue, and word on the street is that the ideas should received favorable support.

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