Downtown Planning & Revitalization Study
Protection and Enhancement of Lake St. Croix and Other Resources
The protection and enhancement of Lake St. Croix is a priority of the Solon Springs area. The Village has already taken measures to improve the boat landing at the end of Main Street by removing the old deteriorating concrete landing and replaced it with a new concrete landing. Other improvements include a new dock, paving, and handicap parking per WI DNR requirements. The Village recognizes the need to divert and treat storm water that flows from a 5-block section of Main Street. Other resources that need to be addressed include the preservation of forested areas within the Village and enhancement and/or further development of Lucius Woods County Park.
Address storm water issues along Main Street.
Divert storm water flowing into Lake St. Croix from Main Street.
1. Conduct a storm water study of Main Street area to determine storm water flow to Lake St. Croix.
2. Incorporate storm water devices, i.e. curb & gutter, piping, etc. in Main Street infrastructure improvements.
3. Acquire the necessary land for the implementation of best management practices (BMP's) for storm water management.
4. Design storm water best management practices (BMP's) to effectively treat storm water.
Protect and enhance the forestry/woodland resources of Solon Springs.
Maintain forested areas within the Village of Solon Springs.
1. Work with the Douglas County Forestry Department and WI Department of Natural Resources to devlop an Urban Forestry Plan.
2. Enforce local ordinances with respect to cutting of trees within the Village.
3. Apply for "Tree City USA" designationthrough the National Arbor Day Foundation.
4. Work with local utilities and the railroad to plant, preserve and properly maintain trees within utility right-of-ways.
Promote Lucius Woods County Park as a recreational/natural resource and enterainment venue of the Solon Springs area.
Improve and promote park amentities within Lucius Woods County Park as part of the pedestrian thoroughfare plan incorporated in this plan.
1. Improve the existing trails within the park to include crushed aggregate or limestone.
2. provide low-level lighting along existing trails to further define the trails and for safty purposses.
3. Construct public bathrooms at ball field and downtown.
4. Negotiate a cooperative aggreement with Douglas County to provide for the improvement and maintance of the grounds and buildings.
5. Investigate the possible transfer of the park to the Village of Solon Springs.
6. Expand the parking facilities at the park to accommodate the summer "Music in the Park" concerts.
7. Work with the Lucius Woods Performing Arts Center to continue and expand the promotion of the "Music in the Park" cancerts and other events.
Downtown Revitalization Efforts
Another high priority focus of the Solon Springs Downtown Revitalization Committee is the downtown area. this includes physical improvements to buildings such as facade improvements, the acquisition and demolition of blighted buildings, and improvements and enhancements to Main Street and Business 53. The Committee identified three blighted structures in the Village and Town of Solon Springs that need to be addressed. They include; the former mobile property, the former school building, and the house/commercial building (located in the Town) at the intersection of Business 53 and Baldwin Street.
While a majority of improvements are focused on the Main Street area, the Committee determined that a comprehensive downtown revitalization plan be connected to the area's other assets such as Lucius Woods County Park, the Solon Springs Community Center, Lake St.Croix, and Highway 53. These other assets would be connected through a pedestrian/bike trail system and signage.
Eliminate identified blighted properties.
Develop a program for the elimination of blight buildings and areas in and around the downtown area of Solon Springs.
1. Investigate and secure grant funding, through various agencies, to assess, acquire, and remediate blighted properties.
2. Develop a "blighted" or "rehabilitation and conservation" Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District in the downtown area.
3. Provide incentives to developers to purchase and redevelop blighted properties.
4. Form a Redevelopment Authority (RDA) or Community Development Authority (CDA) to implement the goals, objectives, and strategies identified in this plan.
Develop a building facade program.
Educate and assist owners on the value of upgrading their facades.
1. Develop a building "theme" or standards that business owners can use as a guide for building facade improvements.
2. Create a village revolving loan program for downtown business assistance or utilize the facade improvement program available through the Northwest Regional Planning Commission.
Reinforce the central downtown as the heart of the community through the implentation of the preferred Downtown Concept Design.
Implement the recommendations of this plan to define the downtown of Solon Springs as an attraction for visitors and tourists alike.
1. Define a "theme" for the Solon Springs area and incorporate into the final concept.
2. Create overall approach to local development that can be staged with segemented individual projects.
3. Authorize the devolopment of plans and specifications for the various stages of the final design of the Downtown revitalization.
4. Acquire the necessary land, if needed, for the contruction of trail and trail facilities along Main Street.
5. Investigate sources of funding to implement the infrastructure improvements identified in this plan.
6. Create a Tax Increment Financing District (TIF) to assist in funding of improvements in the downtown area.
7. Create a planned unit Development (through zoning) in the downtown business district that would incorperate design guidlines based on the defined theme for the downtown.
8. Investigate and, if feasible, form a business improvement District (BID) to assist in funding downtown improvements.
Enhance the Economy of the Solon Springs Area
Promote the Solon Springs area as a tourist destination location.
Attract tourists and non-tourists to the Solon Springs area.
1. Build on Solon Springs small town heritage through community events.
2. Provide directional signage on Highway 53 where business 53 intersects with Highway 53 at the north and south ends of the Village and at the intersection of County Highway A.
3. Build upon and enhance the railroad and transpotation heritage of Solon Springs area.
4. Install information kiosks within town, as identified in the plan.
5. Create and Update a community's web site. In place spring of 2008. Through the Solon Springs Development Committee in cooperation from the Town, Village and local businesses.
6. Cooperate and collaborate with Lucius Woods Performing Arts Center, the Douglas County Forestry Department, Friends of the Bird Sanctuary, Friends of the St. Croix Headwaters, and other groups to promote tourism to the Solon Springs area.
7. promote and advertise the area's recreational assests, such as the St.Croix and Brule Rivers, North Country Trail, Lake St.Croix, and snowmobile and ATV trails, among others utilizing regional signage.
Expand and enhance economic development opporunities for businesses and residents.
Promote and coordinate community and economic development activities with Couny and region.
1. Joint meetings of the Redevelopment Authority, BID District, The Development Association, Inc., and Village Board need to be organized.
2. Capture the knowledge and experience of existing retirees or retirees relocating to the Solon Springs area as a pool of potential entrepreneurs and as a business resource.
3. Foster the development of future community leaders by visibly including young people in local decision-making, organization-building and other community activities.
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