This is an update designed to inform and update Blanco citizens and interested parties on the many activities underway and planned to improve Blanco and its surroundings.
The Blanco Streetscape project has reached a new milestone! Of the 10 letters that were sent to prospective urban planning organizations requesting their ideas, concepts and plans for a Master Streetscape Project, 3 organizations submitted formal proposals. These are now being evaluated to determine which best ‘fits’ our Vision and Objectives, and which provides the ‘best value’ for Blanco. The evaluation process should be complete within a month and we’ll announce the selected organization!
In each of the proposals, the organizations proposed a series of public meetings to obtain community input as to what makes Blanco unique, what would make it more unique, what could/would stimulate economic development while still maintaining our rural character, etc. After this process, the urban planners would then begin to develop preliminary concept plans and sketches of what the Blanco Historical District and points beyond could look like in the future. In each of the proposals, the planners included examples of their past work in similar cities – all of which raised the ‘excitement’ level of the committee members reviewing the proposals. As you may remember from our last article, the Streetscape Committee’s Vision for Blanco is to Preserve and maintain the unique historical character of Blanco while encouraging and attracting economic development. What many of the urban planning organizations have done to satisfy similar visions in other cites is nothing short of amazing! We want to capitalize on their experiences and capture the uniqueness and rural character of our town while revitalizing Blanco.
The final hurdle to contracting with the selected urban planning organization is to obtain funding for the Master Plan project. In that regard, the committee has been researching both public and private sources of funding. Once the committee has selected the planning organization and the City Council has approved it, we will have solid data with which to begin preparing our funding proposal(s) to those agencies and organizations most likely to support our Streetscape project.
In summary, the Streetscape Committee is enthused and excited over the proposals they have received. Each is unique and offers exciting possibilities for Blanco! Once the evaluation and approval process is complete, the excitement and enthusiasm level will build even higher! We look forward to the public meetings and input from the citizens of Blanco. Together, we can truly achieve our Vision!