Open Meeting for Downtown Beloit Community Improvement Projects – September 16, 2022

By Terry Bailey

A get-together billed as an opening meeting for discussion of downtown Beloit community development projects was held at Kettle on Friday morning, September 16th. A sparse turnout of six citizens were in attendance, four of those serving in administrative positions affected by the possible projects.
Most of the meeting was a rehashing of topics already discussed in previous gatherings. Stephanie Simmons presented a display of a possible finished plan of the green space "pocket park" next to Bubba Q's where the old movie theater once stood. Simmons commented, "Obviously, the first action is to fill in the hole where the theater was, and then start working on possible improvements to the space."
The installation of concrete planters curbside at the street junctions along Mill Street was a topic of discussion relating to how to "green up" the downtown area. The planting of trees usually results in the line-of-sight downtown being obscured by foliage as the trees mature. With that in mind, the use of vegetation with a lower profile would be considered. Money is available at this time to proceed with this project.
Another topic often discussed in the past is how to connect Mill Street and the downtown area with the Solomon River and the Chautauqua Park. Old buildings, the railroad track and scrub foliage along the north riverbank are matters to deal with in making this a clean, inviting area.
Throughout the discussion one topic became prevailing, "Money." Many of the more exciting and progressive uses for the space along the river were exciting. This was followed by the observation, "Everything take money." The consensus is to operate on a pay-as-we go basis. This make fundraising activities even more unrelenting.
A street artist has been hire to paint representations of the plan on the downtown streets in time for viewing at the Millapalooza next Saturday. It is anticipated that by seeing a visual picturization of the project will increase "buy-in" by the Beloit community.


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Beloit, KS 67420, USA