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Public provides input at Blackfoot open house on downtown revitalization

The design concept for a sign above Pacific Street. | Photo courtesy City of Blackfoot
BLACKFOOT — Members of the community attended an open house on Dec. 6 to provide their input on the growth of their city.
The city of Blackfoot held an open house to gather comments and suggestions from on the effort to revitalize the downtown area. The city has been looking at ways to bring in more people and businesses, and this open house was one of many held to learn more about what the community would like to see.
“I think a lot of people still yearn for the days when we had men’s and women’s clothing stores and variety stores (in the downtown),” said Mayor Marc Carroll.
While around 40 members of the public agreed with the effort to beautify the city and bring more business to the downtown area, many took issue with the designs proposed by the city.
One particular design that the public raised concerns about was decorative paving with the city logo on the street. The designs showed one at the intersection of Broadway Street and Pacific Street and another at the intersection of Pacific Street and Highway 91.

The design for decorative street paving. | Photo courtesy City of Blackfoot
“People really tore into the idea of that thing in the street. They didn’t like it,” Carroll said.
People had concerns about the quality of the paving being degraded by traffic driving over it. Carroll agreed with these sentiments.
“It looks great on paper and it would probably look super for about the first three to five days, but after traffic runs over it for a week or so, it’s going to start looking pretty poor,” Carroll said.
Another topic of discussion was an overhead sign with the city logo that would go over where Highway 91 turns onto Pacific Street. Residents wanted a similar sign installed at the intersection of South Broadway Street and West Judicial Street to draw more people in that direction.
“I’m embarrassed that we didn’t think about that before,” Carroll said.

Some additional ways Blackfoot could beautify downtown. | Photo courtesy City of Blackfoot
Other ways of beautifying the downtown area that were proposed were benches along the sidewalk, hanging planters and trees. While Carroll said people were supportive of the first two, many didn’t feel there needed to be more trees.
“What we’re trying to do is show some of the old architecture in the downtown, so if we planted anything it would be more like small bushes (or) planters with flowers,” Carroll said.
More suggestions were offered via written comments, including more native plant species, strings of lights over some of the streets and a small business directory at the Idaho Potato Museum.
None of the designs or ideas proposed in the open house have been made official. They wouldn’t become official until an action item is brought forward to the Blackfoot City Council.
“Those pictures and those sketches are meant to generate conversation from downtown merchants as well as people who live here and try to get their ideas for what they think would attract people to the downtown area,” Carroll said.
Before anything official is brought forward to the city council, the city plans to hold another open house meeting. The date for this meeting hasn’t been planned, but Carroll believes it will happen sometime in February.
The post Public provides input at Blackfoot open house on downtown revitalization appeared first on East Idaho News.

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