The $300,000 Streetscape Project, which looks to enhance the landscape of downtown Richmond Hill, is in the final stages of federal funding approval. Planning and Zoning Director Steve Scholar said it is anticipated to break ground within 90 days.
The Richmond Hill City Council, during Tuesday’s regular meeting, authorized the mayor to sign a resolution for the grant, which Scholar said "is step 11. There are 14 steps in all until construction begins."
Steps remaining include accepting bids to see who will do the work.
The project includes sidewalks and a grassy median on Hwy. 144 in front of Richard R. Davis Drive. Benches and landscaping will stretch from City Hall to the police station. There will be new short term parking spaces in front of City Hall, a grassy traffic island, live oak and sidewalks and crosswalks added to the area between City Hall and the police station. A new sidewalk will also border Richard R. Davis Drive.
In 2006, the city applied for a $2.1 million federal grant to undergo the project. Only $300,000 ended up being federally allocated, and the city is required to put up $75,000. Therefore, the project had to be broken up into stages. Scholar said the city has already met their requirements as the city has already shelled out $97,000 in engineering fees.
Current plans call for future phases to extend the grassy median all the way up to Hwy. 17 and see the addition of a traffic light at the intersection of Hwy. 144 and Cedar Street.
In other business:
- Council chose the South Carolina-based hospitality management company The Wilderman Group as the company to manage the City Center. No specific monetary proposals were discussed, rather the company was chosen as the best of three candidates to begin negotiating how the Center should operate.
- Council approved William Christianson & Associates’ $10,750 bid to conduct a billboard study along I-95. In July, council instituted a six-month moratorium on billboards along I-95, which included plans for a study to look at things such as where, how many, and how far apart billboards should be. City Manager Mike Melton said this will eventually lead to a new billboard ordinance being written in December.