Downtown beautification plans get input from public

Galesburg residents made their way to the Kensington Ballroom last night to get the public’s first look at guidelines to beautify the downtown area.

The City and the Galesburg Downtown Council have been consulting with Massie Massie & Associates on a long term aesthetic vision.

Kent Massie was present to explain some of his recommendations.

What that means is they’re hoping to develop a game plan for future signage, lighting and use of space for when funds become available or renovations need to be done anyway.

City Engineer Wayne Carl says that most of Massie’s suggestions are “pretty practical.”

Downtown Council President Bob Bondi tells WGIL things are always changing so it’s important to stay ahead of the curve.

“Areas throughout the downtown area are eventually going to be improved and rennovated,” Bondi says. “If we get ahead of the game and understand conceptually what we want to try to accomplish, we can engage the city in conceptual redevelopment of the whole downtown area.”

Bondi encourages residents to keep reaching out to the council and the project’s steering committee.

There was particularly contentious discussion on what to do with Park Plaza.

Massie’s suggestion of leveling the dip around the stage area and making it a more flexible space with winter parking spaces was met with some questions and criticism.

Carl reminded attendees that Massie’s suggestions are just that, and ultimately the public will decide on the plan.

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