By Alex Naughton
In line with the community goals found in Ashland’s 2020 Comprehensive Plan, a task force has been assembled to beautify or revitalize Ashland’s downtown.
Known as the Broadway Beautification Task Force, the group of citizens and stakeholders are working to improve the Broadway strip. From a resolution presented to the Board of Aldermen, the Task Force’s goals are to determine the boundaries for the Broadway Corridor and to evaluate and recommend ways to improve the corridor. Items included on the list of things to be improved are: establishing a sense of place, attractiveness, walkability, public spaces, street lighting, public safety, cleanliness, marketing and events, designing a street that is safe, vibrant and healthy, communicating the importance of the area to Ashland, and funding for improvements.
The Task Force has been working with a non-profit organization called Missouri Main Street Connection. The organization has helped small towns across Missouri to revitalize their downtown areas. In addition to providing technical expertise, the organization also has a grant program to help financially. The Broadway Beautification Task Force has applied for this grant on Ashland’s behalf. To start the process, the Board of Aldermen sent a letter of intent to apply to the organization. Then about a month ago, they sent a formal application. Two weeks ago Ashland received word that it had been selected for the next phase. This phase consisted of an evaluation of the downtown area. On Wednesday, August 5, representatives of the organization came to Ashland and were given a comprehensive tour of the downtown by members of the Task Force, members of the Southern Boone Economic Development Commission, Mayor Sullivan, City Administrator Tony St. Romaine, and an Alderman. The group surveyed the Broadway area for approximately three hours, giving the representatives a chance to get to know the community, its goals and objectives for the downtown, and a thorough tour.
~See more in the Boone County Journal~