West Carrollton project aims to attract more to city center

The city is preparing for more than $500,000 in streetscape and infrastructure projects aimed at improving the heart of downtown West Carrollton, where a $4.5 million sports complex opened last month.

Streetscape, electric, water line and resurfacing work are all part of the upgrades planned along West Central Avenue and North Elm Street, West Carrollton records show.

That intersection is the city’s center and where Miami Valley Sand built its 17-court sand volleyball facility expected to draw up to 300 people a night.

Yet the North Elm corridor has deteriorated, and city officials want to make it more inviting and become known as a community gathering place, West Carrollton Planning and Community Development Director Greg Gaines told city council last week.

“This is our western anchor to the downtown corridor,” he said “It’s clearly time for a refresh of the area.”

“The idea is to get more foot traffic down in this area and get people experiencing it again – seeing what’s available,” Gaines said. “The whole idea is to re-energize this part of the city.”

Projects for that area approved by council include:

•Streetscape improvements on North Elm.

•Replacing a water line on North Elm.

•Resurfacing West Central between Miami Avenue and the waste water treatment plant.

The North Elm streetscape work is a significant element in the revitalization plan, Gaines said.

It is projected to cost $148,000, with West Carrollton paying $88,000 and a Community Development Block Grant funding $60,000, city records show.

The city has worked with area merchants and plans to plant trees, improve sidewalks and curbs, installing planters, pavers, and improving the lighting and electrical access, Gaines said.

The electric work is a key issue to make Elm – located between rec center facilities and Miami Valley Sand – a place for public gatherings and community events, such as concerts, food truck gatherings and city-wide block parties, he said.

“The physical improvements to the streetscape and new event programming…..will focus new attention and bring new energy” to the area, city records state.

The North Elm water line work will improve flow to customers in the area, West Carrollton Service Director Rich Norton said.

The city plans to hire an engineering company to survey and design the project to replace a four-inch line with an eight-inch one, as well as upgrade the fire hydrants and the service connections, he said.

The cost is estimated at $54,500, of which $40,000 will come from CDBG funds, records show. Norton said he expects design plans to be complete by July.

The West Central resurfacing is projected to cost $330,588, but is scheduled for next year, Norton said. The city anticipates being awarded a federal grant for the work, but that will not be decided until March, he said.

The project would include the area from the Miami Valley Sand West Central entrance to the treatment facility, he said.