Campustown plaza planning one focus of council meeting


Sarah Henry/Iowa State Daily

Tim Gartin at the Sept. 25 Ames City Council meeting.

Talon Delaney

The Ames City Council directed staff to get more business-owner input regarding a future Campustown plaza design at its meeting Tuesday night.

Though the council won’t discuss the Plaza again until January 2019, city staff issued a report detailing redesign options for the 2400 block of Chamberlain Street.

Options included a shared street design, which would integrate foot and vehicle traffic. All options would require reconstruction to the area and eliminate varying amounts of available parking.

The council decided more input from area business owners was needed before they selected a design.

“We need to have robust, substantial conversation on this project moving forward,” said Councilmember Tim Gartin. “I want to make sure we’re working closely with staff. I think they did a good job reaching out to people on the 100 block of Welch.”

This particular plaza design is part of a much broader plan that requires the input of Campustown businesses and property owners. The council also plans to change the structure of area parking, and wants to put shorter-term parking in the center of Campustown and longer-term parking on the outskirts of the area.

“It strikes me as obvious that it would be a good thing to make this area more limited parking,” said Councilmember  David Martin. “But I’m not a Campustown business owner so we should get more input.”

Councilmember Gloria Betcher echoed the sentiments of her cohorts and insisted that city staff work closely with local organizations, as well.

“I think we need to have as broad an outreach as possible,” Betcher said. “We should be contacting the Campustown Action Association and the Campus Community Committee.We have to lay out the specifics that we’re interested in.”

The council also approved nearly $350,000 in resolutions for two different construction projects. Weidner Construction, Inc. will receive a $111,997 contract to replace a screw pump drive for the Water Pollution Control Facility, and VanMaanen Electric, Inc. will receive a $238,792 contract to replace the traffic signals at the crossing of Lincoln Way and Hyland Avenue.