April 22, 2021

Parklets to add ‘vibrancy’ to Uptown Creston

Small seating areas, mini-parks and art installations may be popping up in some of Uptown Creston’s parking spaces this spring.

The Creston City Council approved a pilot program for up to six parklets in the Uptown area in order to add “vibrancy” to the area as suggested in the recent uptown assessment during its regular meeting Tuesday via Zoom.

Wayne Pantini of Union County Development Association spoke to the council.

“Through our efforts with the downtown assessment ... and also though our work with our Discover UC committee and Healthy Hometown Initiative the concept of parklets have come up,” Pantini said. “I think we’ve come up with something that is workable for our size of community.”

The pilot program allows parklets to be installed beginning April 1 and removed by Oct. 31 or the first measurable snow fall. They must be installed directly in front of the applicant’s building and take up no more than two parking spaces. Only one parklet will be allowed on each side of the street.

A committee that includes representatives from public works, the city, chamber of commerce, UCDA and law enforcement will review applications for the parklets during the trial period. After that public works will be responsible for approving the applications.

The proposed application fee of $75 will be waived during the two-year pilot.

Pantini said the UCDA will be making an application soon for a parklet to be built by an Eagle Scout.

For the full requirements and application visit https://tinyurl.com/creston3-2.

In other city business:

• public hearings were set for March 16 regarding adopting a franchise fee for gas and electric utilities and to adopt the FY22 budget.

• a proposed agreement with the fire and police unions was ratified by the council.

• a pay application was approved for $9,601.51 to Cornerstone Commercial Contractors for work on the uptown facade project.

• a payment of $36,800 was approved to the Franks Design Group for work above and beyond the initial agreement for the uptown facade project due to changes needed after some of the old facades were removed.

• the council approved a request by McKinley Park Aquatic Center to apply for an Iowa Department of Natural resources grant to develop outdoor recreational facilities.

• two appointments were approved: Ross Rinehart — Library Board of Trustees and Wally Miller — Historic Preservation Commission.

• Jane Briley gave the annual Historic Preservation Commission report.

REGINA SMITH

Reporter, columnist, teacher, children's book author, book store owner - Regina Smith has a wide range of experience in writing and education. She combines those interests and experiences to cover city and county government and human interest stories as well as writing a biweekly column in her home town of Creston, Iowa.