The City of Centralia held the first of many public open house discussions about the proposed City Streetscape project. The $3 million dollar project could include wayfaring signs, banners, esthetic improvement, and sidewalk and street improvements. There are a lot of possibilities that our community should be excited about.
In June 2019, the Centralia City Council discussed the project and the varying opinions on how the money should be invested. Our city needs to look at the priorities and what will be the best investment today and long-term for local residents, businesses, and visitors.
“Councilmember Peter Abbarno gave tepid approval for the project in March, stating his wish for the money to be used to extend sewer lines or other improvements to infrastructure meant to spur economic growth. He said Thursday he hopes to find out more about how the streetscaping will benefit the local economy, as well as what steps will be taken to make arterial streets more welcoming for pedestrians and those needing Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant access points. . . .”The Daily Chronicle
I want to see how we can make Centralia a better city to move around in,” Abbarno said. “There are so many aspects to this project that are important,” Abbarno said. “When you make a neighborhood look better, it’s more attractive to people who want to invest … improving property values is something which citizens won’t be opposed to.”
However, our city has a lot of current needs and improvements and I would hope that the money be invested rather than spent. There are a lot of existing conditions that can and should be addressed with our citizens and partners in the community.
The discussion over the Streetscape project has been a year-long discussion that ultimately will be decided by our residents. I live in the Edison District. If you are a family with a stroller, if you are handicap in a wheelchair, if you are a senior with difficulty walking, you are not going to get around very easily in the Edison District. The same can be said about Mellen Street. There are too few ADA accessible points. Building inclusive and safe streets and sidewalks should be our priority.
“I struggled with this and I still struggle with this,” said councilor Peter Abbarno, during the discussion. “I don’t struggle with the $1 million to the Fox Theatre, because we have a dedicated revenue source through the LTAC and that’s how that is going to get paid back. I hear comments every single day about how bad our roads are and how bad our streets are. … I wish this money was going to extend sewers for residential and commercial building, but I think there is a significant benefit to the streetscape.”The Daily Chronicle
There is still time to comment at www.CityofCentralia.com and https://www.centraliastreetscape.com and share your thoughts on where the money should be invested.