The village is in the early stages of a $900,000 plan that would improve lighting and sidewalks downtown, making the area more attractive for Enon residents and businesses.
The village has arranged for about half of the funding needed for the project, which will be in the planning stages for the next two years and could begin construction as early as 2016, said Chris Lohr, village administrator for Enon. The project would involve 80 percent of the project being paid for through state and federal grants, with the remaining 20 percent being paid for by the village.
Along with improving sidewalks, the project would include new street lights, additional ramps for residents with disabilities and trees planted throughout the downtown. The Clark County-Springfield Transportation Coordinating Committee is working with the village to set aside funding and plan for the project, said Scott Schmid, transportation director for the TCC.
“This is really an effort to increase the attractiveness and the appearance of the downtown area,” Lohr said. “The street lighting is going to have an old-fashioned historic feel to it similar to what you see in some other nicer downtown areas in the state of Ohio.”
About $332,000 is available through the Transportation Alternatives Program from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The village has also set aside about $91,000 from its budget for its share of the project and will be able to pay for the improvements without raising taxes for residents, Lohr said.
Other area cities, including New Carlisle and Tipp City, have been successful with similar projects in the past, Lohr said.
Officials in New Carlisle completed a three-phase project to improve sidewalks and add streetlights just a few years ago, said Kim Jones, New Carlisle city manager. She said the city often works with its downtown businesses, and that project helped encourage more residents to visit the city to shop.
“We’re trying to make it more inviting and to encourage businesses to come downtown and encourage visitors to shop,” Jones said.
The Springfield News-Sun will continue to keep track of area transportation projects and the effects on residents and businesses in Clark County. For this story, the paper spoke to area officials about how a $900,000 proposal might encourage business growth in downtown Enon.