August 28, 2009

Main Street streetscape project gets green light

A $2 million facelift for Main Street cleared its final obstacle recently and should be done next summer.
The Board of Finance unanimously backed the project recently after eyeing its costs and expressing concern that promised state funding might vanish.
The plan calls for creating new sidewalks, planting trees, adding lights and more in order to make the historic downtown street more attractive and appealing to shoppers and merchants.
Some fiscal overseers said they are worried the state might yank the bulk of the funding in its quest to shave costs as it tries to cope with a budget meltdown.
“It sounds like this is all up in the air,” said Roald Erling, the finance vice chairman.
But Jonathan Rosenthal, the city’s economic development director, said the $1.3 million earmarked for the project by the state “is there. It’s bonded.”
“This is committed money,” Rosenthal said, and won’t vanish.
The project aims to mirror the 2005 overhaul of North Main Street during former Mayor Gerard Couture’s administration, which successfully improved the appearance of the road while calming traffic and making it nicer, and safer, for pedestrians.
Rosenthal said the project is budgeted to cost $2.3 million, but will cost less.
He said the state is paying $1.3 million out of downtown funds the city received years ago. The city will need to spend as much as $500,000 in addition, Rosenthal said.
The plan aims to spruce up the road along the east side from Memorial Boulevard to Center Street and on the west side north of the mall property.
For now, the city is not making changes to the mall site side because of the uncertainty surrounding its possible redevelopment.

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Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

26 comments:

Chele76 said...

This makes me happy. Main St was thriving and an integral part of the city many years ago. It's sad to see what has become of it over all these years. I think this face lift will be great for the downtown area!

Anonymous said...

This is nice and all, but if they dont get something done with the mall site, there's not going to be a whole lot of people down there to enjoy these improvements... Hope something gets done there soon...

Anonymous said...

I agree Chele76. This is definitely a good news!

Anonymous said...

Take the $2,000,000 dollars and throw a huge bonfire to celebrate to mental acuity of the Bristol leadership .

Anonymous said...

Tell me, has the other streetscape attracted ANYONE to Bristol?

But it is costing us for the extra manintenace!!

STUPID!!!

Anonymous said...

With bristol leadership all a waste

Anonymous said...

Sort of like putting lipstick on a pig! What happened to Art Ward's election platform "Priorities in government and fiscal responsibility"?

Odin said...

The Bristol "leadership" tried to kill this project several times over the past two years. Luckily it had too much momentum. But stay tuned...

Anonymous said...

Ya, we should just let downtown Bristol crumble and rot. Why bother?

IDIOTS!

Anonymous said...

Go get em Mary!

Anonymous said...

And North Main Street is already starting to crumble.

Anonymous said...

"Sort of like putting lipstick on a pig! What happened to Art Ward's election platform "Priorities in government and fiscal responsibility"?

Come on you are not serious are you? Who ever heard of a democrat being fiscally responsible.

Like others have said, why on earth do this now. What good has the other street scape on North Main done other than create a lot more maintenance in the winter. This is just another example of what is wrong with state and local government. Just because the state offered up the money in the past for this doesn't mean you have to jump at the chance to waste State Taxpayer Dollars on sidewalks and street lights on a street that nobody walks on anyway. I mean really, what is there to walk to? The bank, a tanning Salon and a computer place. All of which a majority of their customers drive to.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Bill Stortz wasn't so bad after all.

Anonymous said...

ART IS BUSY SPENDING SOCIAL TIME WITH PETOSA LIKE JERRY SPENT TIME WITH KOSTA. WHAT A PAIR NO CUTS THIS YEAR.

Anonymous said...

Spend Spend Spend

Anonymous said...

Too bad the Republicans do not have a candidate.

Anonymous said...

4:01pm Ward only said those things to get elected. Maybe this election send him a message by not voting for him.

Concerned Conservative said...

OK Bill, why don't you run as an Independent then?

Odin said...

You people who criticize this project are the real problem. How do you expect the owners of these buildings (who pay more in taxes than you or I do!) attract good tenants with the curb and sidewalk looking the way it does? Tenants that provide goods and services and JOBS. You want the state to improve the gateway to downtown Bristol, but you don't want them to fix up the downtown itself? You people are clueless.

Anonymous said...

Odin

How do you expect to attract good homeowners without having a good school system??

Check out the curbs and sidewalks" ain't all that bad!

Trees, brick pavers, double light poles: explain that!

Anonymous said...

There is no such thing as a free lunch!

Anonymous said...

Did Misenikowski and rosenthal ask the PWKS Director if this will add to his operating costs?

Would the state pay for that?
Or will BDA?

Anonymous said...

Geesh 10:08, let's give it a chance. We're still in a recession here. The new street scape is definitely much more attractive than it was and business is starting to filter back in. Blondie's is a great place and a new restaurant will soon be reopening Jake's. We can't afford to be short-sighted here. If we make our downtown attractive to retailers, they'll come back. I have to agree with Odin here...you people really are clueless!

Anonymous said...

Wow!

Guess they wil be waiting in line to see the new streetscape.

Can I get the Hot Dog Concession?

Anonymous said...

8:03 - Totally clueless

Anonymous said...

10:12

You are right, they will still be waiting in line on North Main Street.

Or will they?