City leaders eye downtown master plan

AUSTIN, Minn. – As more communities look to spruce up their downtowns, a southern Minnesota city wants to make sure they do it right.

Wednesday, city leaders in Austin got a look at what the community sees for the future of the downtown. Consultants from CR Planning and SEH presented a “straw man” draft of the downtown master plan.

“The idea is to take input from the group, and knock down that straw man, and tell them things that are correct, things that are wrong and give them additional input on it. It’s just the first take at the downtown master plan,” said Austin Public Works Director, Steven Lang.

Some of the ideas include finding focus areas, like the high school and various business districts. Leaders gave their ideas for change at Wednesday’s meeting. The consultants will take those ideas into account before creating a final draft.

The city conducted a downtown master plan in 2005 as well.

“It’s important to make sure that it’s current and up-to-date. As we have interest in the development of the downtown area, we want to make sure that we’re planning accordingly for that development,” Lang said.

He said the final draft should be done in about a month.

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