Decorating Albany’s new Main Street roundabout with a circular wall and wrought-iron fence would cost nearly $130,000, and the city staff thinks the benefit is not worth the expense.
The issue comes before the city councilors and other members of the Central Albany Revitalization Area advisory board on Wednesday. The board last year voted to go ahead with the idea of a wall and fence around the traffic circle’s center island, along with lettering, but wanted to nail down the cost first.
The city got a quote from ES&A Sign Corp. of Corvallis, which proposed to do the work for $129,534.65. “When I look at where we have ended up in terms of design and the associated costs, I cannot recommend moving forward with this expenditure as I do not feel you, or the neighborhood, is receiving enough benefit for the associated price tag,” Kate Porsche said in a memo to the CARA board. She’s the city’s economic development director and urban renewal manager.
She said the Main Street area is a priority for CARA, but she added, “When I think of other ways in which this $130,000 could be used, I believe there is a higher and better use for the funds that would result in a more significant impact for the area.”
Without the wall and fence, the traffic circle likely will get landscaping similar to roundabouts on North Albany and Knox Butte roads. If the city wants, signs could be added later. The CARA board meets at 5:15 Wednesday afternoon at City Hall. (hh)