The City of Benton held a meeting Tuesday night for local residents and business owners to share their ideas about how to improve historic downtown Benton. With around 50 people present, Amanda Sturgell, an architect with Polk Stanley Wilcox – and a product of growing up in Benton – led the group on a walking tour from the 111 N. Main events venue southward to the Benton Farmers Market and then northward to Main St Station, with a detour into a park, alleys and parking areas along the way. Afterward, the group returned to the indoors to write their ideas on big maps.
Some ideas were related to the popup festival that the City is planning. The goal for that event to happen is this June. Participants suggested a beer garden, shuffleboard, chalk art sidewalks, a dog park. One idea was a tie-in with the proposed Southwest Trail that would flow a few blocks south of this focus area if constructed. That was to have a popup bicycle shop, as well as cycling and running gear and some type of educational program for health and safety tips.
Other ideas were more permanent, such as murals on the outer walls of some buildings, a sound system spanning several blocks for use during festivals or holidays, art in crosswalks and sidewalks, a community garden, a place for dogs to drink, and more greenery.
You still have the opportunity to put in your ideas for downtown Benton’s future. Fill out the online survey by clicking here: http://www.mysaline.com/city-survey-1904. Also be sure to like the PopUp Benton Facebook page.
I’ll update about the popup plans and more, as soon as there is more information. Meanwhile, squint really hard at this photo gallery from the event and you might see some of the specific ideas.
For more info, click to see the report from the April 2019 meeting.