Twin Falls Downtown Makeover Approved


By Paul Johnson

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) - Over the next five to eight years $10 to 17-million dollars will be used to improve downtown Twin Falls. That’s according to the Old Town/Downtown Infrastructure Committee of the Twin Falls Urban Renewal Agency, who on Monday April 7 voted to move forward with millions of dollars in upgrades. Those upgrades will include water, and sewer lines, irrigation, streets, sidewalks, landscaping and other infrastructure. The revitalization efforts will allow for future development and revitalization efforts in Historic Downtown and Old Town in Twin Falls.
The infrastructure improvement plan is the product of more than a year’s worth of discussions that collected input from citizens, stakeholders and City officials on infrastructure shortfalls. A committee was appointed by the Agency to assess downtown infrastructure shortfalls – such as water and sewer lines, streets and landscaping – that were preventing future growth and redevelopment activities. The agency contracted with JUB Engineering to draft the final version of the assessment, which was presented to the Agency in October 2013. The assessment identified Old Town and Historic Downtown infrastructure that was in need of replacement or improvement, and then prioritized them based on condition and the impact to the downtown area.
As part of the plan, the agency will include the overhaul of five blocks of Main Avenue, which will include repairs and upgrades to streets, sidewalks and landscaping, as well as the replacement of water and sewer lines. The Agency will also replace several water and sewer lines in other parts of the downtown area that were identified as bottlenecks in redevelopment opportunities.
Because of staffing shortages at the City of Twin Falls, the Agency approved a recommendation to help the City pay for an engineer who will oversee the design phase of the downtown infrastructure project, and to ensure the completion of the plan’s objectives within the required timeframe. The revenue allocation area that covers the downtown area – identified as Revenue Allocation Area 4-1 – will expire within eight years. Upon expiration, all tax increment financing revenues within the district will return to the seven taxing districts within the City’s boundaries.
The engineer will also identify ways to minimize the impact on downtown businesses and the community during the extensive infrastructure overhaul. The Agency plans to hold a series of open houses before and during the construction process to educate the community about the project and ensure that it has the least possible impact downtown stakeholders.

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