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Sunday, Mar 29, 2015

Downtown improvement plans approved by Brooksville council


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BROOKSVILLE - Brooksville City Council members selected three design plans aimed at making the downtown corridor more inviting to residents and visitors.

If the process goes smoothly, the improvements could be built in as little as six months, said Community Development Director Bill Geiger.

"It's off the cuff, but that's what I would shoot for," Geiger said on Tuesday.

The project designs were presented Monday by Coastal Engineering, a company that is contracting with the city on redevelopment projects.

One of the projects will enhance the public seating at the Brooksville water tower, on the corner of Liberty Street and South Brooksville Avenue. The plan suggests building a pergola with a metal roof near the base of the tower. A garden, kiosk, water fountain, bathroom and bicycle parking could be added, and the plan is expected to cost between $50,000 and $60,000 to build.

The other two improvement plans selected by council are on privately-owned lands, and the city is expecting to share costs with the owners.

A pergola, bench, concrete pavers and new trees are planned for the remote SunTrust parking lot at the northwest corner of Jefferson Street and North Orange Avenue. The project is expected to cost between $35,000 and $45,000, and would require an agreement with the landowner.

The final project would enhance the retaining wall at the southeast corner of Jefferson Street and North Orange Avenue, next to the SunTrust drive-thru. A seating area and bench are planned so pedestrians can view a nearby mural. The improvements are expected to cost between $12,500 and $18,000.

Geiger said now that council has approved the plans, the next step is to draw up and negotiate cost sharing agreements with the private property owners. Once a cost is settled on, city council will need to approve the spending, and then permitting and construction can begin, Geiger said.

Geiger said the city has $13,000 dedicated to the "Downtown Beautiful" projects.

Also Monday:

City Council approved the 19 potentially contaminated city properties identified by the Brooksville Brownfields Project last month. The program is voluntary, and the property owners may be eligible for a site assessment through a $400,000 Environmental Protection Agency grant awarded to the city in 2012.

(352) 544-5283

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