The Woodward News

Local News

December 28, 2012

Big plans for 2013

Leaders expect Woodward to continue growing, moving forward

(Continued)

Woodward, Okla. — COMMUNITY IMPROVEMENTS

Montgomery said he also believes that Woodward's progressive approach to community improvement will only create a more favorable business environment.

"The foundation that's been laid recent for improvements and planned improvements in the community will certainly help Woodward continue to be an attractive place to live and do business," he said.

Those improvements include a proposal to renovate the Woodward County Fairgrounds and add an Expo Center.

"I hope people think about the way our town is growing and how we need a place to have some certain kind of activities.  I'm talking about activities that there is no place to do them now, but ones that will bring in traffic into our community," County Commissioner Vernie Matt said.  "I've heard talk about RV shows and stuff like that.  But right now there's no place to go for an RV show or for a big farm equipment show.  We just don't have the facilities."

However, Matt said the proposed Fairgrounds Improvement Project could change that and he hopes that voters will make it out this February to support the proposed half cent sales tax increase that would be used to fund the new $12.4 million fairgrounds complex.

"I really hope it passes. It's just my thinking so we can better the community," Matt said.

Other community improvement projects should come to be realized this next year.

"In 2013, you'll see the beginning of the Streetscape project downtown, starting in January and ending in June," Woodward Main Street Director Janet Fitz said.

Fitz asked shoppers to "bear with the merchants" throughout the construction process.

While there "might be some walking involved with the street closed for construction," Fitz said that people will still be able to shop the downtown businesses.

"Once it's done, it will enhance our downtown with new sidewalks, new entrances going into businesses and seating on Main Street.  It's just a big beautification project for our Main Street," she said.

But more than making the downtown area look nice, Fitz said Streetscape will make a larger area of Main Street more accessible for people of all abilities.  She said that the high curbs will be replaced with 2 shorter steps, the sidewalks will be fixed to provide level walking areas, and additional handicap ramps will be installed so that people in wheelchairs can actually use the sidewalks.

Riffel said the Streetscape project is just one of many improvements that the city of Woodward will see in 2013.

"We look forward to building a new fire station along a main thoroughfare," he said, adding "we will continue to look how to address the 34th Street improvements and will be bidding out the new softball fields.  And undoubtedly there will me more things to come as we go through the year."

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