Oak Creek gets Main Street grant

Oak Creek's Main Street could have a "face-lift" in time for Labor Day 2007.

The improvements would be made with a $320,000 enhancement grant from the Colorado Department of Transportation that the town recently received, which will be used for a pedestrian safety and Main Street beautification project, Mayor Kathy "Cargo" Rodeman said.

Rodeman, also the town's grant writer, applied for the grant at the end of last year. When she learned at a meeting in mid-March that Oak Creek would receive all of the program's funds budgeted for 2007, she said she was ecstatic.

"I was absolutely thrilled," Rodeman said.

The project, estimated to cost $644,000, would let the town extend sidewalks, install street lights and add tree gates and flower barrels in front of Main Street businesses.

Improving safety and beautifying Main Street, along with important infrastructure work the town also is completing, should improve the quality of life in the town, Rodeman said.

"I see a difference in pride," she said. "I think the Main Street beautification and safety enhancement are just going to solidify what everybody's feeling."

The town's sidewalk system ends at Bell Avenue in front of Bonfiglio Drug, and at the intersection of Main Street and Lincoln Avenue near Pocket Park. With the grant, sidewalks could continue to Routt County Road 27 at one end and to the entrance of Soroco High School at the other. The sidewalk's length would be about three-quarters of a mile. Along the new stretch of sidewalk, streetlights would be installed every 160 feet.

Sidewalks would be extended 1 foot on both sides, keeping pedestrians farther from the road and making room for tree grates.

There will be large flower barrels along the sidewalk, and the walks will have a brick patterning. Brick crosswalks, benches and trash receptacles also will be installed.

Street lights will be replaced and moved back from their positions next to Main Street, which will help protect the lights from being hit by cars.

The town can make up for its 50 percent match to the grant through in-kind work, as well as with the help of other grants, Rodeman said.

Having the Main Street improvements completed by Labor Day 2007, along with a new trail around the town and renovations to the Old Town Hall so it can be a town museum, would be ideal, Rodeman said. She is working on grants for the Old Town Hall renovations and trail construction.

-- To reach Susan Bacon, call 871-4203

or e-mail sbacon@steamboatpilot.com

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