The city of Page is moving forward with the first steps of its Downtown Revitalization plan and they are seeking input from the public. On Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 3 and 4, from 5-7 p.m. Page residents will have an opportunity to meet with a group of professional city planners and share with them their ideas of how they’d like to see Page’s downtown improved and transformed.
The downtown revitalization area includes North Lake Powell Boulevard from highway 89, block 17 (which is the block containing Mesa Theater, Boston’s Hardware, Pow-Wow Trading Post and other businesses), the Safeway block, the businesses along 6th avenue and John C. Page Park.
One of the city’s strategic priorities from fiscal year 2016/17 was initiating a master streetscape plan which identified strategies, policies and feasibilities for improving the aesthetics and appeal for Page’s downtown and block 17. The city’s Downtown Revitalization plan was moving forward earlier this year under the direction of Community Development Director Kim Johnson and Economic Development Coordinator Lexie Woodward but the project stalled after both employees were terminated.
Since then the city has temporarily hired Jerry Stabley as its interim Community Development Coordinator who has brought the moth-balled project back on the table.
The revitalization plan has taken on increased significance with the likely closure of NGS a year from now, and tourism taking a higher profile role in Page’s future.
“The idea is to be more appealing to our visitors and entice them to stay here another night,” said Stabley.
As part of the revitalization efforts the city has hired a team of city planners who will guide the process as it gets implemented. The team will be led by Wayne Feiden, director of planning and sustainability for the city of Northampton, Mass. His areas of expertise include community resilience, sustainability, downtown revitalization, multi-modal transportation and open-space preservation. Feiden will be joined by Ashley Allis, an associate with a landscape architecture and planning firm from Aspen, Colo., Courtenay Mercer, who specializes in comprehensive planning and strategic community development, and Ryan Wozniak, a planner for the city of Maricopa, Ariz.
All of them belong to the American Institute of Certified Planners AICP).
Feiden and another AICP Fellow, Eric Roach, visited Page in June during which time they met with city council members and business owners in the downtown revitalization area.
It’s important to have professionals with experience and practical knowledge guide us through this process, said Stabley.
“It’s helpful to have people from outside Page who can see the city with fresh eyes,” said Stabley.
Feiden, Allis, Mercer and Wozniak will be paid by the AICP. The city of Page will only pay for their meals, airfare and lodging.
During the meetings Monday and Tuesday the four urban planners will have spaces set up where they can meet face to face with the residents of Page and hear and gather their input.
“It’s critical to get input from locals and property owners and business owners as we start this project,” said Stabley. “We want to hear their dreams and aspirations for Page.”
The city hasn’t yet set a date when they want to begin implementing their ideas for downtown, said Stabley. He also added that the project doesn’t have an end date either. The improvements that are made will likely be done incrementally, with new additions possibly being added year after year.
“Downtowns are never done,” he said.
Page Mayor Levi Tappan has some ideas for Page’s downtown.
“I hope to get the businesses on board and excited about this and together turn it into a real nice, walkable downtown,” he said Monday.
Mayor Tappan said he’d like to incorporate Page’s modern-industrial heritage.
“The people who built this town also built a dam and a powerplant,” he said. “They are men and women of industry. I’d like to find a way to honor that history and heritage and incorporate that as we re-brand and revitalize the town.”
The citizen input for downtown revitalization will be this Monday and Tuesday from 5-7 p.m. at the Page Community Center, 600 S. Navajo Dr.