For the second time in as many years the Leduc city council has sent out tender packages for the first phase of it’s downtown improvement project.
Mayor Greg Krischke says the project went for tender late last year but council was not satisfied with what came back. “We looked at the package and said ‘no, it’s too expensive’.”
Krischke says it was too late in the year and most companies already had contracts in place.
The need for improvements and a revitalization of the downtown was identified in the city’s 2012 Downtown Master Plan.
“Once we had the actual master plan … we contracted a group to do a detailed concept and then prepare tender documents,” said Krischke.
The original master plan was to include four blocks south of Main Street and another two north of it in phase 1. Krischke says at council’s Feb. 8 meeting was was refined to just 50th Avenue.
In an earlier plan, 47th Street west to 50th Street was going to be done separately than the remaining portion from 50th Street to Highway 2. Now the two sections are both included in phase 1.
Council had put $2.2 million aside for phase 1 and $1.3 million for phase 2. Now, with the two sections combined the total amount for the tender package is $3.4 million, which was already budgeted and will not impact taxpayers. “We’re hoping that it will come back cheaper than that,” said Krischke.
“Companies are more hungry this year,” he added.
Krischke says in the future, as more money becomes available the city can look to expanding the project north and south of 50th Avenue.
The downtown improvement project is meant to increase the attractiveness of Leduc’s downtown, increase safety, become more pedestrian-friendly, essentially becoming a more well-connected, vibrant destination.