The Fulton City Council was generally receptive to the Brick District Association's downtown beautification proposal, but some councilpersons were apprehensive that the project's proposed $26,583.90 price tag was too much, too soon.
With the support of nearly a dozen downtown business owners, Brick District Association member and Fulton Area Development Corporation President Bruce Hackmann approached the council at its regular meeting Tuesday night with the first phase of the project.
The plan would would buy wrought-iron benches, trash cans, street sign posts and Brick District banners for the downtown area of Court Street from Sixth Street to Fourth Street, and Fifth Street from Nichols Street to Market Street. It would also convert the diveway between the Nichols Street parking lot and the businesses into an outdoor concert and dining venue.
Hackmann said Brick District President Tom Riley could not be in attendance, but Riley wrote in the foreword of the proposal that his organization believed the improvement plan was "necessary for the continued vitality of our community's government, business, retail and cultural center."
Hackmann said the plan was largely founded on recommendations from the DREAM Initiative, a state project Fulton participated in that was intended to improve and revitalize downtown districts in smaller communities throughout Missouri. Hackmann said that after focusing on this phase for 2014, the Brick District hoped to move on to upgrades to the roundabout, Market Street and other portions of the downtown area.
"I've always felt the downtown business district was next in line to get support from the city," Hackmann said, noting that Fulton provided economic assistance and incentives to the shopping center near Walmart and the Fulton Commons on the south end of town previously. "This would be a good start to have some of this in place by the Street Fair (this June) ... to try and beautify the downtown area."