Citizens view streetscape plan

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, August 23, 2000

Many Lincoln County residents are excited about the proposedlandscape improvements on Brookway Boulevard and MonticelloStreet.

Around 30 people turned out Tuesday night to view the masterplan for the streetscape project during a question and answersession at the State Room. Landscape Architect Dwight Weatherfordshowed residents a slide show about the master plan his firm,Weatherford McDade, designed recently.

“We want to create a unique feel about Brookway Boulevard,” saidWeatherford about the project.

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The plan includes the addition of three small brick buildings atwhat officials are calling the city’s “gateway” on BrookwayBoulevard near Interstate 55.

“We feel like the boulevard is our gateway to Brookhaven and wefeel like it can set the tone for businesses and visitors comingin,” said Chandler Russ, executive vice president of the chamber ofcommerce.

The master plan also calls for having more greenery andappealing sites on the two busy streets in Brookhaven.

Weatherford explained to citizens how important and beneficialtrees, flowers and bushes can be for the area. He had many examplesof how other cities have utilized the shade and beauty of greeneryalong streets and sidewalks.

Oak trees will be used in most areas, but Weatherford alsopointed out how crape myrtles can give a street color. The greenerycan also be used to distract the human eye from undesirable areas,he explained.

“We can control people’s eyes by giving them something nice tolook at rather than wires and poles,” said Weatherford about thecountless power lines that line streets in Brookhaven.

Residents were pleased with the idea of more greenery in thecity, but were concerned about the upkeep surrounding the trees andflowers.

Weatherford said the plants should be in the clear if theysurvive the first year. He commented on the importance of havingvolunteers take care of the plants.

“The first season is the most critical one, so they will takesome watering,” he said.

Water fountains could also be used to fill “dead spots” aroundthe city, added Weatherford.

The project, which may begin this fall, will be funded by grantsand partnerships with business owners.

Benny Hutchins, a grant writer with the Department ofAgriculture, said the project has been very successful in receivinggrants, but more funds are still needed. The project has notreceived enough funding to get started yet, but officials arehopeful.

“We’ve gotten three grants and we’re real proud of them, butit’s just a start,” said Jimminette Phillips, the chairwoman of thechamber’s appearance committee. “It’s going to take everybodypulling together, doing their part to get this done.”