By Sam Jack
CLEARWATER – The Light Up Clearwater project, which aims to improve the attractiveness of the Ross Avenue streetscape between Tracy Street and Lee, has garnered support from civic groups, businesses and individuals.
The Clearwater Lions Club has agreed to donate six street benches for the project, at a total cost of $6,000, and Clearwater Family Practice, SKT, the Chris Mikesell Foundation and Greg and Shirley Mills have sponsored five of eight street lights that are to be installed.
Other components of the project that local activists hope will be donated are ornamental trees, trash cans and bike racks.
The city is also looking at a sidewalk replacement project, including decorative concrete patterns, ADA-compliant curb heights, and “bulb-outs” at the corners to serve as both traffic-calmers and spots for decorative plants.
“That this came up through grassroots efforts, that was one of the great things,” city administrator Justin Givens said. “It was good that we had the ability to do the work that we’re doing here.”
Givens said his staff is hoping the project will cost between $150,000 and $185,000 total. They are waiting to get an official cost estimate from the city engineers, which they can then present to the city council for final approval.
Property owners will also need to be notified about the sidewalk work in front of their buildings.
“Once we get the information from the engineers, we’ll be ready to take it to the council, and to the sign-offs from property owners. Hopefully that will happen this month,” Givens said.