Batesville aldermen voted unanimously Tuesday to allow ILLUS Visual and Design Arts to continue a project it began in 2013 to design and implement the Historic Downtown Batesville Gateway Park on old service station property at the Eureka Street entrance to the Public Square.
ILLUS owner/designer Angela Clanton presented a drawing of the park concept in 2013, but further development was curtailed to allow City Engineer Blake Mendrop to first develop a plan for traffic flow that will allow traffic to enter the Square from Eureka Street with less turning required.
Begins second phase
At the February 17 meeting of city officials aldermen selected from among three options that Mendrop had prepared, choosing a design that allows no parking and more space for park development.
On Tuesday, Clanton reviewed a five-phase plan for the park’s completion. The first phase, stabilizing the wall of the Polk building that was left exposed with the demolition of the service station building, has been completed.
With Tuesday’s unanimous vote by aldermen to pay one-half of the $5,580 design and planning cost, Clanton is authorized to begin phase two of the development. Batesville Main Street will also pay for half.
Clanton told the mayor and aldermen about a Lowe’s Community Partners Grant that could help with the cost of the park’s development.
Batesville Lowe’s manager Joshua Mortensen had agreed to “actively support the public works project and promote receipt of funding aid from the Lowe’s Foundation,” Clanton stated in her proposal to city officials.
Batesville Main Street has agreed to provide matching funds of $12,000.
Others who have been asked to participate in paid, voluntary and/or in-kind development of the park include Square Arts, the Batesville Garden Club, the Young Professionals of Panola and the SPHS art department.