Sylvania gears up for construction, including ‘transformational project’ downtown
Multiple road projects are underway, beginning, or ending soon in Sylvania, with plans for new streetscapes, reconstructions of intersections, and upgrades to aging infrastructure.
Officials are starting the design process for a new and updated streetscape on Main Street, Sylvania Mayor Craig Stough said on Thursday, and it’s possible that project could connect with the city’s downtown streetscape project.
“I’m very excited about it,” Mr. Stough said. “It’s going to be a transformational project for our downtown community.”
He said the funding would at least partly come from the money the city received from the American Rescue Plan Act — Sylvania was awarded $2 million in those federal funds.
The plan is to have a 12-to-18-month design phase that will include working with several different groups and organizations, Mr. Stough said, like the business association and local homeowners, among others. Officials want to take the time to get the design right.
“This is a major project and we’re just starting the process,” he said. Other road construction projects are already under way.
The Maplewood Avenue reconstruction is about halfway done and scheduled to end in June, Mr. Stough said. That project was to fix the concrete base under the portion of the road that stretches from Main Street to the western railroad tracks.
“It’s going to look a lot better and not look so deteriorated,” Mr. Stough said.
Another project that’s scheduled to finish up in the summer is the pedestrian walkway on the Sylvania River Trail where the trail crosses over Harroun Road. Mr. Stough said the walkway will be fitted with HAWK beacon lights to allow for greater visibility to drivers when pedestrians are crossing.
“These get your attention,” he said about the lights.
Later this year, construction is scheduled to start at Harroun Road and Monroe Street to lessen the traffic congestion. Mr. Stough said part of the construction will require moving the historic wall on Monroe Street.
Officials are also progressing on establishing a tax-increment financing district in the downtown Sylvania area, said Bill Sanford, the city’s economic development director.
Tax-increment financing is a mechanism that allows certain districts within municipalities to dedicate increased tax revenues to public-works projects within the district. Those within the district wouldn’t pay any new taxes.
“I expect to move forward on this, but the details have to be worked out,” Mr. Sanford said.
Still to be decided is the type of tax district, how long it will last, and when it will start. Officials want to make sure it works out for everyone, he said.
“We want it to be a win-win situation,” he said.
And while he’s optimistic that it will eventually be approved, Mr. Sanford said Sylvania City Council could ultimately reject the proposal.
“If we’re going to do it, it’ll happen this calendar year,” he said.
Posted By: The Toledo Blade on May 5, 2022. For more information, please click here to read the source article.
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