Monroe's Downtown Revitalization Efforts Will Soon Be Visible

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The Photo News Published Feb 5, 2015 – By Nancy Kriz

Monroe’s downtown revitalization efforts will soon be visible The village will spend $1.4 million to redo crosswalks and sidewalks and create a new downtown lighting system

— Residents will soon see the launch of the Village of Monroe’s long-term revitalization efforts. The work is part of the village’s comprehensive plan, which was adopted last year. The village, Mayor Jim Purcell said, has allocated up to $1.4 million for the project, which includes hiring Albany-based Creighton Manning Engineering for design work. The firm will also put the project out to bid and oversee the reconstruction. Purcell said the project will include redoing crosswalks, sidewalks, a new intersection at the Lakes Road so that it becomes ADA compliant and a new downtown lighting system. “This took three years to complete, it was well thought out and executed and had all the interested parties involved,” said Purcell. “There was a lot of input, and a lot of time and effort went into this.”

Mayor: It’s the landlords’ turn

The project doesn’t address any cosmetic changes to the storefronts in the downtown area, as those are privately owned. But Purcell is hopeful those landlords look at the major improvements the village is doing and choose to make enhancements to storefront facades. “We told the landlords, when they asked us what we’re doing for them, that we are rebuilding the downtown,” he said. “Now it’s their turn to see what they will do for us.”

Impact of library and movie theater

Currently, Purcell said, there’s only three vacant storefronts in the downtown area, which he believed is a tremendous improvement from the past. The reopening of the Monroe Free Library, scheduled for early spring, will also have a positive impact, added Purcell. Even the movie theater building could have a helpful effect, Purcell felt. “But unfortunately it’s not going to succeed,” he said. “There’s no plan. We’re here to work with them (the town board) and talk with them, but we’re doing what we have to do.”