The Fayette Citizen-News Page
Friday, November 27, 1998
City gets ready for makeover

Coweta Editor

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Main Street Director Sue Beard believes the revamping of Newnan's historic square and central business district will provide a boon to the area's retailers and make the square even more of a tourist attraction.

Planning has started on a complete redo of the streetscape of a nine-block area in Coweta's county seat. The city recently received a $1 million grant from the Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration. The total cost of the project is $2 million, with the city matching the federal grant amount.

The scope of the project includes changes to the sidewalks, curbs, street trees, street planting, benches and trash receptacles. Beard said the project should upgrade the central business district. She's hopeful the new streetscape will merge the historic elements of the downtown area with modern elements to make the downtown shopping area more accessible for pedestrians.

As the planning for the project starts, Beard is meeting with a number of downtown merchants to get a feel for what changes they would like to see. Among some of the suggestions: * The parking situation needs to be evaluated. Merchants claimed that many spaces were lost the last time the road was restriped and resurfaced. * Decide on the proper trees for the area. Many merchants liked cherry laurels because there is no leaf drop, while others claimed the trees blocked signage and narrowed the sidewalk space. Other merchants said some of the tall deciduous trees caused leaf drop problems with some of the flat roofs in the downtown area. * Include the grounds of the courthouse in the overall plans. * After a conceptual site plan is drawn, show it to the merchants to get feedback.

Beard said the actual construction should begin by the middle of next year and take up to one year to complete.

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