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Springfield community reacts after budget approved for improvement projects along historic Commercial Street

Published: Sep. 18, 2021 at 12:59 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 19, 2021 at 11:21 AM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The Springfield City Council recently approved a budget adjustment of $655,000 to support a slate of improvement projects in the Commercial Street Historic District.

The funding comes as part of a tax increment financing (TIF) plan first approved by Springfield city leaders in 2008.

Following public input in June, the budget adjustment was approved in August. To support upgrades along Commercial Street, the Springfield City Council plans to allocate $290,000 of TIF funding and use an additional $365,000 from previous-budgeted Public Works funds.

You may see some changes as early as this fall. The current budget allocations consist of the following:

  • Public Parking Improvements - $595,000: Two public parking lots located at Pacific Street and Campbell Avenue and Pacific Street and Robberson Avenue will be redesigned, including new pavement, lighting, landscaping and irrigation improvements through a cost-share split between TIF funding and Public Works funds. Public Works anticipates the design of both parking lots to be under development this winter. Construction is planned in early summer 2022.
  • Public Art - $40,000: Funding to purchase or commission two public art pieces and sponsor two temporary pieces for multiple years. City staff will work alongside C-Street stakeholders this fall to begin developing an Art Collection Plan for the district to help guide the future art selection process. The two temporary rotating pieces will be facilitated through Sculpture Walk Springfield.
  • Footbridge Plaza Schematic Design - $15,000: Funding to develop a schematic design for upgrades to the Footbridge Plaza to consider hard surfaces, landscaping, lighting and sound system installation. Construction is currently unfunded.
  • Directional Signage - $5,000: The City’s sign shop will produce and install street signage to help direct citizens and visitors from surrounding roadways to the historic district and public parking lots. Staff expects to install signage later this fall.

Additionally, public works will also proceed with the design and construction of Commercial Street gateway signage elements as part of $150,000 of TIF funding previously approved in early 2020.

In previous KY3 reports, many Springfield residents and city workers said the changes could present new opportunities for Springfield and Commercial Street.

“I think making our parking lots more accessible and more lighting would definitely bring more people and make more people want to come in this area and feel more confident leaving their cars,” says Adair Seifert, who lives on C-Street.

“We feel like those public improvements definitely would enhance the area and would provide investor confidence and make the experience of Commercial Street a destination,” said Springfield Senior Planner Olivia Hough.

One business owner on C-Street shared how excited they were for the improvements and are grateful for the recent ones as well.

“They got the streets, parking lots and alleyways redone, and it looks really cute,” said business owner Gina Cooper. “I’m excited for the improvements because we need some more way-finding signs to show where things are because most people don’t know where [they can find the] parking lots.”

“People do not know enough about it, so I think more parking and signage would help it grow,” said C-Street resident Karen Holden.

To follow the latest developments for C-Street, CLICK HERE.

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