City approves concept for Creekside Park

Charlie Denison

During Monday’s City Commission meeting, much was discussed, including an update on the final concept plan for the Creekside Marketplace and Pavilion.

Karen Sweeney, a spokesperson for the project, presented the concept to commissioners and asked for their approval to move forward, which was granted by unanimous decision.

The final concept plan includes a natural area, an amphitheater with event greenspace (with a capacity for plus or minus 250 people), a picnic area, a patio, public restrooms, a memorial garden, a 71-space parking lot and more.

The project will also enhance the trails, Sweeney added.

“We want to make sure the trail stays open and accessible, even if there is an event taking place,” Sweeney said.

Much of this has already been discussed. A public meeting was held June 26, which included topics such as flow of traffic, signage, pet issues, dust from the unpaved Broadway Street, ways to capture the history of the area and safety on the greenspace that borders Main Street. New details Sweeney brought up at Monday’s meeting include two picnic tables with permanent canopies over them and ideas for adequate lighting and electrical outlets.

Sweeney told commissioners the estimated cost of the project is between $1.4 and $1.5 million.

When final designs are in for the stage and restroom facility, Sweeney said the committee plans to bring them in for commissioner review and approval.

Commissioners were pleased with what they saw and heard Monday.

“I just love this concept,” Commissioner Gayle Doney said at the meeting. “I think it will bring families back.”

City Commission Chairman Dave Byerly agreed with Doney.

“I think this is tremendously exciting,” he said, adding that he believes this site will be a draw and will lead to economic development.

Like a handful of other recent projects, the Creekside Marketplace and Pavilion concept was inspired by Recharge Our Community program. Snowy Mountain Development Corporation brought the program to Lewistown with assistance from the Rural Community Assistance Corporation, the City of Lewistown, Fergus County, the Lewistown Downtown Association, Job Service and the Lewistown Area Chamber of Commerce. The Youth Engagement Committee came up with the Creekside Park plan. Members Susan Barta and Ross Butcher were in attendance.


City approves proposed angle parking for 3rd Ave North

The parking on the west side of 3rd Avenue North’s 100-block is going back to the way it used to be in the early days of Lewistown, as the City Commissioners have approved a request from Lisa and Theo Wright to change from parallel to diagonal parking, primarily to double the amount of parking spaces and provide three van-accessible spaces versus one handicapped curb space.

“If you look at the way the block is laid out now with parallel parking on both sides, the lane width going to diagonal parking doesn’t change, ” architect Jeff Whitcraft said at the meeting. “You’ve lost a total of three inches in the width of the street as far as traffic pattern and snow removal. It’s a net gain for Lewistown and, if it works out, I think Lewistown should look at doing it on a whole bunch of blocks.”

Commissioners approved the proposed unanimously.

“I agree with that 100 percent,” Byerly said.


Riverdale Sewer Project approved

City Commissioners were happy to announce Robert Peccia and Associates approved Do-All Construction’s low bid for the Riverdale Sewer Project.

“This is really good news,” Byerly said.

 For a total price of $470,501.20, Do-All Construction will remove the septic tanks in the area and connect the properties to City water.

“In talking with the sanitarian, all those septic systems are at or near failure,” Lewistown City Manager Holly Phelps said.

According to paperwork from Peccia and Associaties to Phelps, affected landowners “will be given the opportunity to review bid prices and determine if they want to connect to the sewer mains as part of the project, or not.”

The total price of the project will cost approximately $543,301.20.

“We’ve discussed this a lot and I believe the City was innovative and did some things they haven’t done before to make this project feasible to the residents,” Byerly added. “When we look at this area 20-30 years from now, it will look totally different than it looks today because of the infrastructure we are putting in now. I think it’s a really great step.”

The project is three years in the making, Phelps said, and two public meetings were held in that time. Landowners are aware of the situation, Phelps said, and have been for some time.





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