Valdosta needs SPLOST $ for downtown make-over | News
VALDOSTA, GA- Valdosta's historic downtown could get a facelift. If voters extend the local option sales tax in November, a million dollars will be used to make improvements downtown.
Downtown Valdosta is the heart of the city and city leaders want to keep it full of business and life.
"Downtown is everybody's, it's not one group or another, it's everybody's, and you'll see that from the diverse group that walk around and hangout around here," said Amanda Peacock, City of Valdosta Main Street Director.
Which is why the city has requested $1 million from sales tax revenue to help improve the downtown area and keep people interested.
One project would be beautifying Central Alley, by adding benches and street lights, business owners could have back door entrances.
In the late 90's the city completed the Streetscape Project which improved the look of other alleys downtown. Jessica Donaldson owns Red Door Records on Central Alley and says it's important for the alleys to look friendlier.
"The alleyways downtown are always the most photographed areas in downtown Valdosta, so I think they are definitely are safe but any kind of improvement would kind of dispel the beliefs that they are unsafe," said Donaldson.
Another project would be building a small outdoor amphitheater in the center of the Toombs Street parking lot. Right now events are held on the courthouse lawn. One business owner says that will make the parking problem worse.
"I would probably prefer to keep doing it at the courthouse, I wouldn't like to see too much of the parking taken away from Toobms Street," said William Colyer, owner of Colyer Jewelers.
Officials say they would have to relocate parking spaces if the amphitheater is built. And concerns like that is why the city will ask for the public's opinion.
"What we'll do is have some stakeholder input from downtown business owners, property owners, things like that about what would be most important and beneficial to them," said Peacock.
More definite plans will be finalized if the referendum passes in November.
To view all of the Downtown Master Plan projects:
- Click HERE for more information...
Copyright 2012 WALB. All rights reserved.