Downtown parking study begins
By Angie Landsverk
Two grants will go toward Waupaca’s costs to develop a downtown revitalization master plan.
“The city allocated $50,000 this year toward the master plan process,” Brennan Kane, the city’s development director, told the council earlier this month.
That $50,000 allocation was part of the city’s 2015 budget, and the planning process is anticipation of the reconstruction of Main Street, which is scheduled for 2018-19.
The estimated cost of developing the master plan is between $80,000 and $100,000.
As a result, the common council authorized city staff to seek a Community Development Block Grant and a grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.
The city was successful in both applications.
Last month, the council accepted a $16,666 grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. This month, it accepted a $25,000 Community Development Block Grant from the state.
So far, the city spent $25,000 of the funds allocated for the master plan.
Earlier this month, the council voted to award the contract for the downtown parking study to Sam Schwartz Engineering, of Chicago, at a cost not to exceed $25,000.
The first parking count took place last week and included two days of parking counts and one day of shopper surveys.
The next parking count is scheduled to take place sometime this fall.
Sam Schwartz Engineering is expected to analyze the city current on-street and off-street facilities and make recommendations for current and future needs.
This report will be a supplemental document into the larger master plan.
Following the council’s acceptance of the Community Development Block Grant, city staff will soon begin recruiting a firm to prepare the city’s downtown revitalization master plan.
In a memo to the common council, Kane said the city may have to budget additional funds in 2016 to complete the master plan.
He estimates it will take about 12 to 16 months to complete the master plan, which means its work will continue in 2016.