Friday, September 28, 2018

Downtown Development receives Redevelopment Agency funds

The Idaho Falls Downtown Development Corporation has been awarded $945,000 by the Idaho Falls Redevelopment Agency for downtown projects, including street improvements and new parking technology. IFDDC's mission is to promote and care for the downtown area by promoting and advocating the downtown consistently.

"This funding will maintain the great momentum we have downtown with the development at The Broadway, the renovation of the Bonneville Hotel and many other renovations taking place in the core of downtown Idaho Falls,” said Executive Director Catherine Smith in a press release Friday afternoon. “The downtown has seen significant growth in the last 18 months and we are thrilled to be part of the efforts both as a catalyst for this growth and grateful recipient of the downtown experience."

The funds will be used for three distinct projects downtown:

• The first project will be the Broadway streetscape from Memorial Drive to Yellowstone Highway running east to west. The entire stretch will be addressed with all new curb and gutter, sidewalks, trees, and planter pots. A drip irrigation line will be installed as well. This will reduce the number of labor hours spent to hand-water the vegetation and flowers along Broadway during the growing season.

• The second project will be to address the broken and crumbling planter boxes found throughout downtown at each intersection. The planter boxes are estimated to have been installed in the 1970s, with trees planted within the concrete boxes. Over the years the boxes have deteriorated as the roots of the large trees have been constricted as well as the harsh extremes of cold and hot.

Funds will be spent on pavers with the appropriate trees for the urban landscape, plus new curb, gutter, and sidewalks. This design will allow the trees to grow in a healthy setting in soil in the ground. The design will be consistent throughout downtown and tie into the Broadway streetscape.

• The third project will include the purchase of parking meters to be installed in off-street-parking lots currently managed by IFDDC. By adding technology to the off-street-parking lots, parking customers will have a similar experience to pay-to-park in the core of downtown that is found in larger cities. The machines will allow the processing of credit cards as well as servicing the validation program for downtown restaurants, bars, and merchants that Downtown Development offers for off-street-parking patrons.