The Hotchkiss Downtown Improvement Committee, with Mary Hockenbery and Tom Wills, presented some new information at the Jan. 10 town council meeting.
Two yards of compost were donated by North Fork Organics for the proposed planters.
The committee was requesting the council's approval of its general 2013 concept to build 10 new planters from mine timbers and place them on the Bridge Street sidewalks. The project will need 144 mine timbers, half of which are being donated by Todd Enterprises. The cost per timber is roughly $9. They will be in 12-foot lengths and then cut to six feet. They will be cut from dry beetle-kill pine so they will take preservative right away. Six planters will be three by six feet. The remaining four will be planters with a bench.
"We're deferring anything to be in the street this year. Let's just do the sidewalk," Tom Wills explained. He was referring to CDOT not approving having the planters on Bridge Street in the no parking spaces, and to the town not wanting the benches on side streets' corners.
Wills wants the planters on the sidewalk butting up to the curb. The whiskey barrel planters will be moved down the street and used for fill in. Wills said some new whiskey barrels will be purchased so there will be big and small barrels with flowers.
Also, they want to place three of the mine timber planters for the alley between the North Fork Valley Restaurant and The Rose. Bulletin boards are proposed for the front of the alley to break the force of the wind which blows through the alley. The bulletin boards will have different panels with historical information and photographs, walking tours, tourism information and town notices.
Wills said all planters will be placed so as to not interfere with people opening their car doors on Bridge Street.
Mike Owens, public works director, said, "I've got concerns about where they will be placed, the way they are placed, and the ADA availability to the sidewalks. There are some more issues we need to discuss on this because we can't just go throwing them out. The sidewalks have to be a certain width."
Wills interjected that ADA rules require five feet of clear sidewalk. That's why they want the benches to be three feet rather than four feet wide for the eight-foot wide sidewalks.
Owens also wants the issue of whether the planters can be located on the sidewalk to be included in the sidewalk ordinance. "By the time we get all these sidewalks with objects sitting on them, it becomes an issue. Especially when you start having planters and then allowing the business owners to set something in front of their shops on the sidewalk. We've got some places that have steps in front of the buildings, and they are already taking up good portions of the sidewalks. There are some things we need to look at."
Mayor Wendell Koontz suggested to test how the concept works with seven planters on the sidewalks on Bridge Street and three in the new pocket park by the restaurant and whether the planters are properly maintained throughout the season.
At that point, Wills clarified that the bench planters will only be two \feet wide.
Hockenbery said that six teams will handle the maintenance and care of the planters. Business owners took care of most of the barrels of flowers last season.
Owens has volunteered a 400-gallon water tank to assist in the watering of the flowers.
Owens did not like the idea of having the benches by the street curb. He preferred they be placed up by the buildings, saying it is too congested by the street. Trustee Carrie Wingfield also thought that having the benches by the building will be pretty.
Trustee Jim Roberts was concerned about trash thrown in the planters. Hockenbery said there was "remarkably little trash" last year.
Jim Briscoe, town attorney, said that the proposal needs to be passed by CIRSA.
The town approved a motion to pay $650 to purchase mine timbers and to build the planters and benches. The council wants more time to consider where the planters and benches would be placed. The town has budgeted $2,800 for 2013 downtown improvements.blog comments powered by Disqus