Jim Firth promoting sidewalk improvements for Grass Valley | TheUnion.com

Jim Firth promoting sidewalk improvements for Grass Valley

Jim Firth, a candidate for the Grass Valley City Council, has announced that if elected, he will seek support from his council colleagues to have city staff explore the feasibility of undertaking a public/private/nonprofit partnership for sidewalk improvements in and around Grass Valley.

“Our downtown is a unique Gold Country tourist destination and I think we can shine an additional bright light on the history, character and amenities of our city if we can provide citizens and visitors with a more user-friendly walking experience,” Firth said.

“I raised this issue with Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce Director Keith Davies and perhaps he, along with other community members, can stress to the city that the utilization of Measure N resources in partnership with the business community, can repair and improve Mill Street sidewalks between Main and Neal Streets (two blocks) creating a user-friendly experience for locals and visitors, plus repair Richardson Street, Walsh Street, and maybe, finally even Race Street,” Firth said.

“Upgrading a couple blocks of the Mill Street sidewalks will not only enhance their appearance and add a spark to our downtown business core,” he added, “but by embedding interspersed gold-painted bricks along the sidewalk, an eye-catching Walk of Gold will be added to the streetscape.”

Firth notes that The Center of the Arts has already utilized a fundraising program similar to what he is proposing by offering grand piano key designation to individuals or others who chose to support the center.

Under Firth’s plan, individuals and businesses will be asked to sponsor gold bricks for placement along a Mill Street Walk Of Gold. In addition, one or more nonprofit organizations could position themselves to apply for private or public grant money. Also, he says, the City of Grass Valley could complement a small amount of Measure N funds by applying for state or federal funding designated for street and sidewalk accessibility compliance measures.

“The city will benefit by increased local and visitor foot traffic and, by extension, enjoy increased sales tax revenue from more pedestrians frequenting downtown businesses. This is a classic win-win concept,” Firth concluded.

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