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Franklin and Mechanic streets to get makeovers from county grant

Community members walk the proposed sites for streetscapes on Wednesday afternoon.
SPRINGVILLE—Gateway features, an ice rink and benches were all discussed at a walk-through for the village of Springville’s Erie County Smart Growth Grant project.

Hosted by Joy Kuebler Landscape Architect, PC, the afternoon began with a presentation by John Lutz featuring ideas for the design and concluded with a rainy walk on Main, Mechanic and Franklin streets to gain community input.

“It’s very exciting,” said Springville Mayor William Krebs. “The people who did [the walk] did it because they’re interested in it.”

Krebs said that while the enhancements don’t focus on Main Street, he believes that focusing on Mechanic and Franklin streets is important because they connect to Main Street and are vital to the village.

The grant program gives funds to the village to improve streetscaping in the village center to provide safer walkways, more defined streets and visual improvements. The village partnered with Joy Kuebler Landscape Architect to design the improvements for the three streets.

The presentation by Lutz included the proposed idea for an outdoor ice rink which would be next to the Skate Park behind the Municipal Building on Franklin Street.

“It fits without a lot of effort,” Lutz said of the ice rink. “We would have to look at overflow parking for the courthouse, but that won’t be an issue.”

A gateway feature welcoming visitors to the village was included in Lutz’s overview, as well. He explained that this is any feature that clearly defines the entrance into the village, which could come in the form of an archway, sign, stone, or anything that would be eye-catching and memorable.

The idea would be to let people know they’re entering a designated district, in this instance, the downtown area of Springville, Lutz said.

Lutz also explained that the firm will look at the cultural meaning of Springville. Considering it is a historic district, Lutz said it would be nice to give passersby an idea that they’re standing in front of a historic building or provide information about the village. The addition of benches, planters and trash bins were discussed as well.

Marsha Reding brought up a concern that with the amount of snow the village receives, it might be a good idea to have the benches and planters removable as to not interfere with snow clean-up.

“We’ll certainly take that into consideration,” Lutz said. “That’s why we’re here, to get community input.”

During the walk-through, community members were asked about their opinion of a crosswalk at the Post Office and the addition of curbs and sidewalks on Franklin Street from the WSPQ radio station to the Trading Post.

“There was a lot of talk on how that would enhance Franklin Street,” Krebs said. “The idea is to make the village more enjoyable to walk through and safer for pedestrians and bicyclists.”

Formulating a plan to open Mechanic Street for more community eevents was also discussed to be included in the design.

The grant, which comes in the form of $350,000, would provide funds for the enhancements after the firm and the village agree on the design.

“The sooner the better. Hopefully by the end of the summer or September we will have a design.” Krebs said of seeing a design for the area. “Generally speaking the design of the project would be completed this year and construction would begin next year.”

The inclusion of community input gets residents excited for the possibility of what the village could look like, Krebs said.

“It is very exciting,” he said. “And to have [ Kuebler] do it and be enthusiastic about it really helps.”

The project would also include landscape and amenity improvements to Fiddler’s Green Park and Shuttleworth Park.
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