Options for the second phase of the Pardi Market Plaza Project were discussed at Tuesday’s Dixon City Council meeting.
Over the summer, the city completed the first phase of its efforts to remodel the space at the corner of East A and South First streets, which once served as the home of the Pardi Market grocery store and a series of service stations. Since the demolition of the buildings in the ’90s, the space primarily served as a gravel parking lot until the city began drawing up plans for a redesigned parking lot with several town square elements, including walkways, a clock tower and some kind of stage for concerts. A groundbreaking took place last fall.
In July, the space reopened with 22 spaces to park, pathways, pavers, decorative LED lighting, a trash enclosure and receptacles, and a perimeter soundwall.
Joe Leach, public works director, discussed the 90 percent construction documents as well as options for the second phase of the project, which will include the stage, bandstand, clocktower and other elements. The discussion followed up on one held at the Jan. 21 meeting where the council talked about matters such as stag heights and the potential for a community garden.
Leach said the first phase was complete, pending resolution by the council of the contract change orders with the contractor, which Leach hopes to have resolved within the next few weeks. The warranty period would start afterward.
Thus far, Leach said $1.8 million has been spent on design, construction, inspection and legal costs for the first phase of the project. He emphasized that the project will only have two phases.
The second phase provided a variety of options for the council to consider. As far as a stage, options included a flush stage with no risers, a 12-inch two-step stage and a 24-inch four-step stage.
Councilman Jim Ernest, who had previously suggested a flush stage to save money, said there did not appear to be a significant difference among how each option would contribute to the overall cost of the project.
“Now I’m looking for direction from the designer which would be the best as far as our community,” he said.
Mayor Thom Bogue was not a fan of the flush option since the stage would be blocked by people in front, so he recommended a 24-inch stage.
“One of the purposes of having a stage is so that people can see the entertainment venue that’s before them,” he said.
Vice Mayor Steve Bird said he suggested having a portable stage when the council previously had conversations on stage types, citing their usage in past downtown events.
“There are risers that you can rent or lease for the particular length of whatever event you have that will give you the same thing,” he said. “I think it boils down to what our expenses are gonna look like this year coming out of COVID.”
Councilman Scott Pederson also supported the 24-inch option.
“I think we actually have a future to think about here and not just what’s going on during COVID,” he said. “We need to think three, four, five, 10 years down the line what we actually want this to look like.”
Ernest said he was also leaning toward a 24-inch stage.
“It gets you above the point farther than 24 inches,” he said.
Leach also posed if the council would be willing to consider a bandstand with a roof and wall.
“If we can get a good-looking bandstand out there, it would be the pride of our community,” Ernest said.
In terms of electricity, Leach said the space currently had a 200-amp service. An additional 200 amps were suggested to provide more outlets in the southern landscaped areas between the pavers and wall as well as the eastern area between the fence and wall. Leach said this would provide sources of power for various uses.
“What that does is afford the opportunities for vendors, food trucks, farmers market type of environments,” he said.
Pederson said he supported the idea but hoped the wiring was already underground and would not go through the pavers. Leach said they would not go through pavers on the parking lot.
Leach said staff were working on types of trees for the development and looking for species that would thrive. Pederson asked if the trees would be evergreen. Jessie Lett, the project architect and manager, said the palate was not exclusively evergreen but would be a mix of deciduous and evergreen trees.
“We find that deciduous trees in parks are often appreciated because they allow winter sun in and prevent summer sun, which is a climate preference for a lot of park users,” she said.”We do have some evergreen trees, and we could definitely shift the balance if that is the preference of council.”
Pederson said evergreen trees would look better in the area than “bleak winter trees,” and Ernest said there was an advantage to having a mix. He said he had too many of the same type of tree on his property and found they all died at once after one contracted a disease.
“I would just like to remind you to look at keeping the trees different so that you don’t lose a whole bunch at once,” he said.
Other items discussed included a solid roof shade structure over the cars and a trellis shade structure over pedestrian walkways, an entry sign reading “City of Dixon” and a clock tower donated by the Dixon Rotary Club.
While not voting on any of the specific topics that were discussed, Pederson motioned to approve the 90 design as discussed, which was approved 4-0 with Councilman Devon Minnema abstaining.
In other business, the council unanimously voted to extend the terms of Leach’s contract through Dec. 31.
Crdit: Source link