City to launch website for downtown redevelopment feedback, updates

Those wishing to voice an opinion on redevelopment of Frankfort’s Capital Plaza area may soon be directed to a city website. On Wednesday, City Manager Cindy Steinhauser said city staff would be launching a site, possibly before the end of the week, to house an online survey. The website will pose the same questions that […]

Those wishing to voice an opinion on redevelopment of Frankfort’s Capital Plaza area may soon be directed to a city website.

On Wednesday, City Manager Cindy Steinhauser said city staff would be launching a site, possibly before the end of the week, to house an online survey.

The website will pose the same questions that attendees of a public meeting in February answered, Steinhauser said. At that meeting, urban planning consultants asked multiple-choice questions that focused on downtown Frankfort’s image, needs and housing options.

The website will also “allow individuals to see news and information concerning the downtown revitalization process,” according to a memo distributed at Wednesday’s meeting of the Capital Plaza working group. The committee has been meeting in the Franklin County Fiscal Court conference room on Wednesdays at 1:30 p.m.

The website announcement comes as county magistrates have stepped up their criticism of the process used by the group of local officials to solicit feedback on how to redevelop and, ultimately, return to local property tax rolls the land where the former Frankfort Convention Center stood. The building is almost entirely demolished.

Earlier this week, county magistrates expressed alarm that CityVisions, the firm Frankfort hired to craft its master downtown redevelopment plan, appeared to have moved beyond the information-gathering phase without making more of an effort to solicit input from county residents. CityVisions’ $100,000 contract is technically with the City of Frankfort, but the Franklin County Fiscal Court is covering half the cost.

According to CityVisions’ contract, stakeholder meetings were slated to run through the end of February, culminating in the first of three public meetings. A second public forum, now scheduled for May, will “focus on the initial findings/observations, analysis” and help the public “understand the ‘conditions’ as they exist.”

Steinhauser says CityVisions consultant Barry Alberts will continue to incorporate feedback throughout the process. For example, opinions on downtown Frankfort gathered as part of the Blue Grass Community Foundation’s recent “On the Table” focus groups won’t be sorted and sent to Alberts until after his next public meeting.

According to the memo distributed Wednesday, city staff and members of the Capital Plaza working group also plan to distribute surveys in person at upcoming events, including Reforest Frankfort, Daphne’s Legacy 5K Glow Run/Walk, the The Frankfort Christian Academy Glo Run 5K, the Downtown Frankfort ArtWalk, the Oaks Day Festival, the Derby Eve Gala, the Governor’s Downtown Derby Celebration, the Senior Fish Fry, the ProActive for Life 5K, Downtown Frankfort Inc’s summer concert series, Soundscape and Longest Day of Play.

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