Fruitland Downtown Master Plan

Prepared for The City of Fruitland
Prepared by PlanMakers

(Page 23)
A strong and appealing downtown is of undisputed importance to the well-being of Fruitland. Implementing the recommended plan will lead to expanded patronage, increased retail sales, higher property values, and additional private investment for the city. The revitalized downtown will also create a fresh image for the city, generate a feeling of pride among residents, and be a natural draw for visitors. This revitalization would occur through the related actions of the public and private sectors, utilizing the plan as a blueprint around which a working partnership can operate.

The planning effort, funded by the City of Fruitland, has served as a catalyst for revitalization and provided the initial momentum needed to allow the downtown to become more viable and attractive. Continued management and action is now called for to implement the recommended plan, which may require up to five years to accomplish.

The City of Fruitland will continue to lead the revitalization project with the support of the Fruitland Chamber of Commerce. Likewise, enthusiasm, cooperative action, advertising and individual merchandising efforts are all essential to downtown's success.

The City of Fruitland would be responsible for public improvements to the downtown including street and sidewalk upgrading, street lights, parking management and enforcement, parks, public signing, sewer, fire and water improvements, overall planning, coordination and administration. Downtown property owners would assist with sidewalk and streetscape improvements, off-street parking, building renovation and property maintenance. The Fruitland Chamber of Commerce and downtown merchants would upgrade business signs, promote the downtown, assist in maintenance and sponsor special events.

City funding to accomplish these tasks can be budgeted through the annual city capital improvement fund. The city's capital improvement program would involve scheduling physical improvements for the downtown over a period of time with consideration for priorities and the financial capabilities of the community.

Federal and state funds may be available, depending on project eligibility and the reshaping of public programs. The City of Fruitland should immediately seek new funding sources to implement the plan. Potential sources include the Idaho Department of Commerce Block Grant Program and transportation funding available for enhancement and safety projects. Efforts are underway by Jim Birdsall and Associates and Holladay Engineering to seek potential funding for the downtown.

The benefits of revitalizing the downtown are sufficiently attractive to the business sector to justify committing private capital for improvements that will increase sales and business. One option is for private landowners within the study area to form a local improvement district as a method of extending streetscape and parking improvements over a period of years. Under such a district, the city government can assess individual property owners for specific public improvements, which will improve the downtown business climate. Another potential is forming a business improvement district to allow area businesses to raise funds for promotion and events.

The Fruitland Downtown Revitalization Plan serves as a blueprint for action and requires an on-going evolution of support, funding and dedication to bring the plan to fruition. The first phase of implementation emphasizes streetscape improvements, expanded parking and building rehabilitation. These follow the upgrading of Fruitland Community Park and the Old School Community Center, both bringing citizens and visitors to the downtown. The second phase includes enhancing South Pennsylvania Avenue, improvements to Zeller's Crossing and ongoing renovation and redevelopment.

This plan provides a working document for developing policies, determining design details, setting priorities, and guiding development.

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