by Joni Astrup
Two areas of Elk River are next in line for beautification.
The Elk River City Council has unanimously agreed to move ahead with the development of landscaping plans for the Highway 10-Jackson Avenue area and for the southern face of the railroad embankment, which motorists pass as they exit off westbound Highway 10 to go north on Highway 169. If the city goes ahead with the projects, the work would be done in 2014.
The city will apply for funding from the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s Community Roadside Landscaping Partnership Program. The MnDOT program funds plants, mulch, soil amendments and so forth. The city also has $30,000 budgeted for beautification projects and $40,000 for entrance signage. Zack Carlton, a planning intern at the city, said an entrance sign could be fitted into the slope of the railroad embankment.
Enhancements proposed to the Highway 10-Jackson area include landscaping to soften the edge of the King Avenue parking lot and landscaping on the north side of the Highway 10-Jackson intersection, according to Carlton.
Beautification was one of four goals identified by the City Council in an earlier visioning process. Specifically, it calls for having attractive, welcoming streetscapes at city entrances and primary corridors.
This would be the second beautification project. The first one involved landscaping the four corners of the Highway 169-Main Street intersection. In addition, a number of stop lights have been painted in the city.