Thursday, August 14, 2014

Downtown Advisory Committee Meeting

With 19 people on the Downtown Advisory Committee, I seriously doubt that anything will get accomplished beyond a lot of talking. While I believe that all involved want to improve downtown Carbondale, each person brings a different agenda/view of what they want to happen downtown and, while many of those views are congruent, they are going to different enough that bringing a final report will be difficult.I would bet we see at least one disgruntled committee member complaining about the outcome.
The size of the committee reflects the many groups that have a stake in the downtown area.

The Downtown Advisory Committee will hold its initial meeting at the Civic Center on August 20 at 6:30 PM. The session will be a broad look at the ideas that the public and members of the committee bring forward to improve our Downtown. Additional sessions will follow every two weeks, focusing on different topics such as transportation, business development, and the interface between SIU/SIH.
The last effort to develop a Downtown Master Plan for Carbondale was completed in 1989. Significant recommendations that were enacted by the City of Carbondale:  City Hall was consolidated and the new Civic Center was built.  The Town Square was rehabilitated and the Old Illinois Central Railroad Station was restored. The city implemented a railroad underpass on Mill Street that has helped alleviate long lines of traffic going east and west. 
The Carbondale City Council has directed that extensive public participation be encouraged from the residents, business owners and developers, as well as input from visitors to the city. 
“We plan to seek participation from all our constituents”, said Jack Langowski, Committee Chair. “We are scheduling a series of six or more meetings, up front, and before we engage a consulting firm.  This will allow us to develop our own local plan for the consultant to act on, and not the reverse. We don’t want an off-the-shelf plan for Downtown”.
All 18 members of the committee are volunteers who care about Carbondale and are working to generate the best plan for downtown development.  The committee also invites interested citizens to follow their progress on their web page at… and to get in touch with the committee at

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