Officials Eye Major Improvements to Main Street
Improvements to Main Street could be next on the list of North Easton Village revitalization projects.
Town Officials say improvements to the aesthetics, parking and pedestrian access on Main Street could be next in a number of improvements to North Easton Village in the near future.
"It’s really nice to see that it might happen now," Selectman Ellen Barlow said Monday night after a presentation by Town Administrator David Colton.
Main Street improvements are part of what Colton called the "revitalization of North Easton Village", which includes the Ames Shovelworks Project, a public/private partnership with Beacon Development which will house a wastewater treatment plant for a new sewer system in the village serving approximately 70 parcels.
Colton said the town will use $75,000 of the capital budget approved at Town Meeting to create architectural plans for a new-look Main Street, including improvements and expansions to the public parking areas, removal of street-crossing wires, installation of historic period street lights, and improvements of sidewalks, crosswalks and traffic management. The town would then use the plans to apply for a $1 million Massworks grant administrated by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development to fund the project.
"I am so glad that this grant process has come together so beautifully with this project," Board of Selectmen Chair Colleen Corona said. "It’s happening because we’re digging up the streets – it’s an opportunity we were given."
Colton said the development in the area (Ames Shovelworks construction is expected to break ground in September), combined with the possibility of the SouthCoast Rail traveling through town, would make Easton a good candidate for the grant.
"I think we're in a good position for this kind of grant because of the shovelworks and the SouthCoast Rail," he said. "We have a lot of things going on."
Moving forward, Colton said town officials will ask for public participation while designing streetscape improvements and revitalizing the area.
He also said the possibility to improve Main Street wouldn't have been made possible without the approval of the Ames Shovel Works Project and the subsequential wastewater treatment plant.
"I hope that people can begin to see that the shovelworks project wasn’t about 119 apartments," he said. "It’s about the whole village and its’ about the town.
"If we weren’t doing shovelworks, we wouldn’t’ be doing the sewers and if we weren’t doing the sewers we wouldn’t be doing this. Success breeds success."