First phase of downtown improvements discussed


PAXTON, Ill. (WCIA) — Changes are coming to downtown, and the city wants the public to get involved.

Leaders and engineers involved with the project invited business owners, residents and anyone else interested to an open house Monday evening. The plan is to improve the city’s streetscape.

Sidewalks and parking spaces will be redone, and you might notice a few features that give the area a historic flair.

The whole idea of this 1.2 million dollar project is to enhance downtown Paxton. That also includes adding new park benches, green spaces, and retro light features.

The architect told us the key word for his vision is “linger.”

In other words, he hopes the proposed changes will attract people to town, but also make them want to park their cars and stick around a while.

“It’s going to make it more pedestrian-friendly, it’s going to hopefully calm traffic down. It’s going to be more attractive. We’ve got decorative street lights. It’s playing on the whole history of Paxton, and trying to kind of recreate that with a little bit of a modern twist,” said architect Jeff Martin.

Martin explained to everyone how these improvements will impact people who live and work nearby. The goal is to start construction by next year.

Mayor Bill Ingold also showed us ideas for ways to improve the facade of the downtown district, with things like new window treatments, signs, and pavilions.

But some of those costs would need to be covered by the business or property owners.

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