Water Street looking from the Library.
With little fanfare and a few snow flurries, south Water Street was reopened to traffic on Monday, December 5. Closed in early April, the street and the adjoining one acre of land, has been transformed into the Bentzin Family Town Square.
“We’re getting close,” said Mayor Emily McFarland. “The back ordered railings, which held up the ribbon cutting/opening, are now on site and will be installed within the next week or so.” A few “tweaks” are being made to some of the railings and lights before securing in place.
“We are still waiting for some of the electrical components to arrive,” she continued. “Current ship date on the critical elements is December 21, I’m hoping those parts arrive earlier like other back ordered parts that just ‘showed up’ without notice, ahead of schedule.” The goal is to hook up the meter and energize the Town Square by mid-January.
The picnic tables arrived and were placed in storage until spring. Some work requiring warmer weather, the testing of the interactive water feature and irrigation, the installation of the floating dock, and adding perimeter plantings, will take place in spring.
“Another critical element in creating a successful Town Square is the hiring of a Programming Events Coordinator,” McFarland added. The position, approved by the Common Council on November 29, is posted on the City’s website. “We are seeking a dynamic person to develop programming and entertainment that aligns with the economic development goals of the City and RDA,” she said. The goal is to fill the position by mid-January.
“It has been a long time coming, but I can assure you it will be worth the wait,” McFarland concluded. “Mark your calendar for Saturday, May 20 and plan on taking part in the community celebration of the Grand Opening of the Bentzin Family Town Square!”