City officials received an update on the First Monday Project during Tuesday’s work session.
Assistant City Manager Sharon Hayes said work on the Trade Days facility began back in March and has shown immediate results. With two phases of the project nearly complete, an increase of between 40 and 70 percent in the amount of animal vendor spaces, with many vendors taking two spaces, has been noted. A 30 percent increase in the amount of general vendors has been seen, and general vendor occupancy is now averaging 96 percent. The city approved an ordinance banning animal sales in 2007 but rescinded the ordinance in April 2011.
Along with the construction of the animal lot, the facility includes free carriage rides around the area, an exotic bird exhibit, musicians and more, Hayes said.
Work on a 1,600 square foot restroom facility on the south lot began in March and is expected to be completed by the end of September. The facility will look similar to the Holland Lake Park improvements and include storage space and offices for the First Monday Trade Days.
Framing, painting, fixture installation and final grading are expected to begin in mid-August and last about a month. Landscaping for the facility will be done during the 2012-13 fiscal year. The restroom will serve both First Monday and the hike/bike trail year round, Hayes said.
Work on Phase 3 will include reworking the middle lot, including moving utilities underground, making all sidewalks ADA compliant, additional landscaping and centralizing all food vendors. That will begin sometime during the next fiscal year.
Property acquisition over the next few years will allow for lot development for the parking lot south of Columbia and also between Oak and Columbia. Also included in the FY 2013-14 work will be the hike and bike trail transition.
During a 23-minute council meeting, the council approved:
• The purchase of three vehicles for the police department from Sam Pack’s Five Star Ford in Carrollton not to exceed a cost of $52,645.11.
•The award of a bid for microsurfacing streets to Ballou Pavement. Microsurfacing is a cold-mix paving that creates a new surface that is more resistant to rutting in the summer and cracking in the winter. Ballou’s bid totalled $89,800, more than $9,000 cheaper than the other bidder, Viking Construction.