Improvements to Stanfield’s main street could take shape

Maegan Murray photo Members for the Main Street Revitalization Committee have been chosen. The group will now meet regularly to discuss ideas and make recommendations to the City Council for what improvements should be made to the Stanfield downtown.

Improvements ranging from small to large could start happening in the Stanfield downtown now that the city’s Main Street Revitalization Committee has been formed.

During the Stanfield City Council meeting Tuesday, City Council members appointed eight community residents to the committee who will be charged with the task of voting on projects and providing the council with direction on possible improvements to the city’s downtown. The new committee members are Anthony Leggett, Karen Johnson, Kathy Baker, Teresa Pearson, Lisa Mavis, Maria Hurth, Cecili Longhorn, and, from the City Council, Jason Sperr.

“These are the members that have voting privileges,” City Manager Blair Larsen said. “The only powers the committee has is to make a recommendation to the City Council.”

Larsen said he doesn’t know yet when the committee will meet, but he would like the committee to meet at least once a month. He said Sperr will conduct the first meeting, during which the committee will select a chairperson and determine regular meeting times. All of those meetings will be open to the public and will be announced.

Larsen said earlier this year that the committee will probably focus on various projects mentioned during meetings with representatives from the Oregon Department of Transportation, the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development and MIG, a planning consulting firm, at a downtown revitalization workshop earlier this year.

Larsen said the committee could discuss implementing a color scheme for the city’s buildings, potential road improvements to Highway 395, such as adding medians and bulb-out crosswalks, and an overall branding for the city. The branding, he said, should specifically come from ideas of community members.

Larsen said identifying funding to pay for those and other projects will be the greatest challenge, but he is considering starting a tax increment finance or facade grant program.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Sperr asked if the city was collecting any transient room tax money, but Larsen said it was not. He said the only source the city could currently collect that tax from is the RV park, but city officials have not done that in the time he has been in Stanfield.

“That is something I could look into starting up,” he said.

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