By Jim Krencik
Medina Journal-Register — ALBION — Plans are firming up to add trees, benches and a large memorial statue in downtown Albion while also meeting business owners’ desires to increase downtown parking.
The Albion Village Board endorsed a flexible plan to use $50,000 in streetscape grant funding Wednesday after seeing maps detailing the placement of various improvements.
The plan would have artistically-enhanced benches, sandstone markers, potted trees and bike racks to a three-block area in the downtown business district installed over the summer.
Both Public Works Chief Dale Brooks and Codes Enforcement Officer Ron Vendetti blessed the plans Wednesday, citing the compromises made by the Downtown Albion Neighborhood Advisory Committee.
“This doesn’t appear to be egregious in terms of adding too much clutter,” Vendetti said. “We have our reservations ... but we’ve looked at it and don’t have any issues.”
Among the major changes to DANAC’s newest plans are moving the potential site for a quarryman’s memorial and removing new light poles from the proposal.
Streetscape sub-committee chairman Tom Rivers said County Legislature Chairman David Callard has proposed placing the memorial in the Courthouse Square.
“His thought is (to place the memorial statue) in the corner near the First Presbyterian Church,” Rivers explained. “There’s a nice sandstone building nearby and it’s a peaceful area.”
Placing the monument in the park would free up a village-owned lot to be used for additional parking for downtown businesses.
“I’ve been in favor of the monument, but I understand the merchants’ perspective,” Trustee Pete Sidari said. “I think this will work.”
Brooks presented the board with a pair of proposals for the parking lot. Both have more than 40 spots to the lot and include extensive greenspace.
All of the plans on Main Street will require Department of Transportation approval, Brooks noted. Rivers’ ideas also need to be approved by the Town of Albion and the full DANAC board.Contact reporter Jim Krencik at 798-1400, ext. 6327.