Construction on the Downtown Facade Improvement Project began in May of this year, while the discussion on the project is dated back to September of 2015. This project has made leaps and bounds to improve the presentation of the downtown square.
At the October 16 City Council meeting, Development Services Director Andrew Jensen, presented an update to the council about the facade improvements. Noting the direction of improvements being made as Christner Contracting Inc. moves east across North Market Street.
Soon the contractors will be rounding the corner of N. Market and High Avenue East, starting at the ReMax Office.
The contractors will continue down High Avenue East and turn north on South 1st Street to finish up the 16 building facade project.
With the current project set to wrap up by June of 2018, so far the contractors have spent $434,351.33 of the over $1.13 million that was awarded to the project, according to Jensen.
The source of funds for this project are allocated from a variety of different areas including a Block Grant through the IEDA; Tax Increment through the City of Oskaloosa; a percentage from the property owners involved with the project; and the George Daily Family Trust.
In the council meeting, the idea of pursuing a second phase was also discussed. This second phase would begin on North Market street along the corridor including Brown’s Shoe Fit, Smokey Row and Bridal Dreams. From there, this anticipated project will diverge onto First Avenue East and touch Big Ed’s BBQ and Tropical Rayz Salon.
The funds for the second phase will also come from similar sources. During the second phase, Jensen noted that approximately 10 to 14 buildings will be included on the next installment. That number, however, will be dependent on how many businesses wish to be involved and the amount of funds that can be accumulated.