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Ashland considers sprucing up the place

Committee may be formed to develop beautification plan funded by hotel taxes
 Posted: 2:00 AM December 16, 2013

The Ashland City Council may create a committee that would develop a beautification plan for the town, with projects funded by hotel tax money.

The council meets at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in the Ashland Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main St.

The city is expecting $128,000 in revenue during the current two-year budget cycle that could be used to fund beautification projects downtown and in other parts of Ashland.

Under state rules, a portion of hotel tax money must be used to promote tourism.

If formed, a committee could review an existing list of potential projects, identify others, prioritize projects, seek citizen input, draft a plan and make recommendations to the council.

The city has already undertaken some changes downtown, including renovating the downtown Plaza, landscaping planter boxes, replacing garbage cans and removing a phone booth.

Costs to carry out a preliminary list of beautification projects far exceed available funds.

Ideas include:

  • Fixing a broken fountain in front of the Black Swan Theatre. Cost: $35,000 to $40,000.
  • Switching Gothic-style downtown street lights to a different style. Cost: $150,000.
  • Putting planters on the downtown Plaza. Cost: $3,500.
  • Placing moveable tables and chairs on the Plaza. Cost: $450 per set of two chairs with a table.
  • Installing historical markers. Cost to be determined.
  • Hanging colorful pennants along North Main Street, in the I-5 Exit 14 area and in the Historic Railroad District. Cost: $27,500

In other business on Tuesday night, councilors will consider a proposal from Councilor Dennis Slattery to open a city building as a homeless shelter for two nights each week.

The city currently allows use of a city building as a shelter one night per week.

For a complete list of agenda items and for details on each item, visit www.ashland.or.us/Page.asp?NavID=15976.

Staff reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-479-8199 or vlaldous@yahoo.com.


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