West Monroe looking for feedback on downtown project master plan

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WEST MONROE, La. (KNOE) - The city of West Monroe is looking for feedback on a new downtown master plan. The city received a $99,000 grant last year to revitalize the downtown district.

(Source: KNOE)

Officials say two proposals are on the table as of now. Both will bring new features like "greenspace addition to some of our sidewalks, bike lanes, looking at ways to do sidewalk cafes, looking at flow of traffic, looking at parking, looking at a number of things," says Courtney Hornsby, West Monroe mayor’s office chief of staff.

The big difference is one of the plans will leave Trenton and Commerce Streets as one-way streets.

"Right now, everything is just hypothetical. It's just a rendering of what could be,” Hornsby says. “Certainly, there would be a lot of process that would have to be undertaken for those to be made into reality. Right now, it's just a concept of what could be downtown."

The city has held several input meetings over the last few months for citizens to give their thoughts and to also take a peek at the designs. Now, officials are looking for input from businesses in the downtown area on the possible changes.

"Whether the street's a one-way street or a two-way traffic street, I think the main thing to focus on is that the city is looking to improve the downtown," Karen Laben says.

Laben’s shop, The Spice & Tea Exchange, sits on Trenton Street. She says she's good with both designs. "As far as my business goes, I have a loyal base of customers, and I think they are willing to compromise with a little change. I believe people will still shop."

Whichever plan the city decides on, Hornsby says the goal is the same. "Our goal is to create a downtown that is full of life, full of excitement, draws people down that businesses want to locate in and shoppers want to come in,” Hornsby says. “So, hopefully we can all work together. We're going to create a plan and implement a plan that meets all."

Another meeting will be held Wednesday at Kayla's Kitchen at 8:30 a.m. for business owners and people interested in seeing designs and giving input.

Hornsby says the city will send its final ideas to the company creating the master plans in the coming weeks. They hope to have a final plan in April that they will present to the community again for feedback.

Hornsby also encourages people with input or who’d like to see the designs to call city hall at (318) 396-2600 or by email at mayorsoffice@westmonroe.la.