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Cleaning up downtown for summer

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Thursday, June 7, 2018 9:59 PM

Downtown Durango looks great this summer and will only get better in the coming weeks.

The Durango Business Improvement District thanks the Chamber of Commerce and the city of Durango for their help on the 15th annual Downtown Clean Day, which was held on May 25.

More than 100 volunteers helped us clean up downtown before the busy Memorial Day weekend. Approximately 300 gallons of trash was removed from downtown on that day.

Also that same day, the city delivered 100 flower barrels to downtown businesses. The flower program has been around for many years. Businesses purchased the barrels back when the program started. The city stores them in the off-season and delivers them when summer starts.

The city also pays for the beautiful flowers that are planted each year. BID thanks the city and all the businesses that continue to host a flower barrel every summer, for this great addition to downtown.

Coming up in June are two cleaning programs. First is BID’s gum-removal program, which removes unsightly gum from downtown sidewalks. BID started this program last year with the purchase of a gum-removal machine. The machine uses steam, a non-toxic, biodegradable soap and elbow grease to disintegrate and remove gum.

BID has hired someone to operate the machine two or three days a week in the morning hours, before downtown gets crowded. BID’s goal is to clean the gum from every block face in downtown twice this summer.

Next will be a new program for BID, sidewalk repairs. BID has hired an experienced concrete worker to patch the holes and cracks that are in some of the downtown sidewalks. Removing these tripping hazards will make walking in downtown a little easier. There are about 150 patches that are needed. Work will be done over three or four weekends, starting early in the morning. This project should be complete by late June or early July.

The city provided BID with a report on the downtown lighting upgrade project a few days ago. For phase one of this project, the city has ordered 21 new lights, 19 of which are 90-watt, and will be installed at intersections to improve pedestrian visibility. The remaining two will be installed in a mid-block location. One of these new lights is 40-watt, and the other is 60-watt.

Input will be solicited on the look and feel of these two different light levels. After it is determined which wattage works best at mid-block, the city will order new lights for the rest of Main Avenue, 7th Street, 12th Street and possibly 10th Street, too.

Phases one and two should be completed by mid-summer. The remaining lights in downtown will be upgraded in early 2019 to complete the project.

The city and BID are partnering on this lighting upgrade project, with BID paying 35 percent of the costs and the city paying the remaining 65 percent.

Combined, all of this will make downtown look its best for this summer and beyond.

Tim Walsworth is the executive director of the Durango Business Improvement District. Contact him at timw@downtowndurango.org.

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