ENM downtown projects will begin to bloom

The Elko New Market City Council unanimously approved work for establishing plants or flower gardens in the city’s downtown along Main Street (Scott County Road 2). The action at the council’s Thursday, April 13, meeting was one of three recommendations that the council considered.

The other two recommendations were to establish a formal committee for a downtown improvement group and install decorative lighting in the downtown area. The council instructed city staff to form the committee, while the lights will be part of the city’s budget discussions and where they will fit into Elko New Market’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP).

City Administrator Tom Terry provided history on the downtown improvement project, explaining that in 2012 downtown business and property owners approached the city about improving the aesthetics of that part of the city between Dakota Avenue and Church Street. It would improve the image of the city, as well as attract visitors and businesses. Discussions also happened in 2013 and some progress was made. Last year, discussions began again with representatives from non-profit organizations being involved. These include such groups as the NEW (New Market, Elko, Webster) Lions, the Knights of Columbus of St. Nicholas Catholic Church, the Elko New Market Chamber of Commerce and the Fire Relief Association. The organizations would provide some funding and volunteers to help with potential projects. Terry noted that Jeanne Mahoney, owner of the Old Hotel Market, has been one of the leaders in the project.

For the gardens, it was decided that the plantings would be at each end of the downtown, at the intersections of Webster and Church streets and another around the sign at City Hall. For the gardens the city would need a landscaping permit from Scott County, since they are in the county’s right-of-way. Terry said he checked with Scott County and they would allow the gardens.

Pastor Shari Luebbert of Tapestry Vineyard Church, who was attending the meeting, said,...

To see more on this story pick up the April 20, 2017 print edition of The New Prague Times.