“We are proud of our past and confident in our future,” said Crowell at his lunch hour news conference in the Community Center right before the first of two downtown theming workshops began. The second workshop was held after the workday ended, also at the center’s Sierra Room. The mayor at mid-day talked of the downtown corridor improvement project, as well as other capital improvement projects already under way or yet to come.
Among them are the multi-purpose athletic center (MAC) now being built, the animal shelter yet to be bid, later business corridor improvements to complement the downtown remake, and upgrades for cultural purposes at the community center. City government underpinning finance for the projects is from the one-eighth of a penny city sales tax hike last year.
“This is an all encompassing effort to tie all of these enhancements together in a way that our entire community could rally around and show our pride in being the state capital,” Crowell said.
The mayor invited people to “like” #CarsonProud on Facebook, follow it on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, use the Hashtag #CarsonProud, and to text CarsonProud to 31996 to sign up for notifications on downtown project details. The website, he said, is www.carsonproud.com.
The mid-day workshop that began immediately after his news conference was built around three potential themes characterized as Historic, Transportation and Civic/Capitol.
Steve Noll of Design Workshop, a subcontractor for downtown design firm Loomis Associates, elicited via technology responses from workshop participants showing the Historic theme was favored while the other two trailed. All three themes actually had historic aspects and respondents could see that in images used during the presentation.
Those mid-day respondents, about 60 in number, were skewered in the upper age ranges and nearly a third of them declared via an immediate technological response mechanism that many were proud of the community’s historic structures. They also said the thing that needs most work downtown would be greater diversity in downtown businesses.
Most of those attending the mid-day workshop were 50 or older, while those under that age represented some 25 percent of the audience. Just about half as many showed for the second workshop and at that evening event, the split was 44 percent under 50 and 56 percent above that mark.
The evening group favored Historic as the theme as well, with 57 percent in that camp. They were proud of downtown public facilities and said both the pedestrian environment and business diversity need improvement.