The City of Merced is seeking ideas from families, youth and seniors and other residents for the creation of a Downtown park. A meeting to consider the City Center Commons project will be held during the Downtown Steering Committee Monday, March 14, at 7 p.m. in the Sam Pipes Room of the Civic Center, 678 W. 18th St.
The public can also share their ideas for the project at the Redevelopment Advisory Committee meeting at noon Tuesday, March 15, in the Sam Pipes Room.
The Redevelopment Agency of the City of Merced is pursuing grant funding from the State to assist the community in obtaining up to $5 million for the project. With that money, the downtown could be transformed to include a water splash feature, children’s playground, community stage, outdoor movies and much more. The Redevelopment Agency is seeking the community’s opinion on what would make a downtown park enjoyable.
If selected for the grant, funding from the State of California would pay for the costs of the project. The Redevelopment Agency would pay for any additional costs of the project above and beyond the grant amount as its funds can only be used for the construction of capital projects like community parks. No City general funds will be used to construct the City Center Commons project.
The City Center Commons idea came out of the 2007 Downtown Strategy, a guiding document created by Merced residents and business owners for the advancement of downtown. It called for the development of a focal point for community activities and commerce.
The 2007 Downtown Strategy Task Force toured dozens of downtowns throughout California and recommended items that the City of Merced and the Redevelopment Agency of the City of Merced could accomplish to bring a unique ambiance and fun environment to the downtown. One way to accomplish this was considering the option to create a large public park and plaza in downtown.
The Merced Redevelopment Agency can be reached at 209-385-6827 for information about the meeting and grant application. In addition, more information about Redevelopment projects and the 2007 Downtown Strategy may be found at www.cityofmerced.org.