You Asked: Why is Frankfort creating another Holmes Street plan?

Frankfort has applied for a federal grant to provide funds for a plan to revitalize the Holmes Street corridor, but City Manager Cindy Steinhauser said the resulting document will not conflict with one created for the same area in the mid-2000s.

The grant would be for $616,000 in funds from the U.S. Department of Transportation and contribute to a project that’s estimated to cost $770,000. The city’s website states that, if awarded, the grant funds would be used to study and design a “complete street” along Holmes Street.

Steinhauser said that would include sidewalk improvements, bike lanes, better bus stops and improved entries and exits from businesses on Holmes Street.

But a “Holmes Street Redevelopment Master Plan” dated January 2007 already spells out a vision for the Holmes Street area. That plan started with a general community meeting on May 18, 2006, and ended with a presentation to the Frankfort City Commission on Jan. 11, 2007.

A reader asked why Frankfort would apply for a federal grant to create a plan for Holmes Street when one already exists.

In response, Steinhauser said that the grant money would be used to create a design that could be used to solicit bids for construction. The current plan is not suitable for obtaining bids for construction, she said.

“The only plan we have is a concept, and we will take that plan, that schematic, and do final design,” she said.

At 88 total pages, the 2007 plan generally describes a vision for the future of the Holmes Street corridor rather than dictating specific tasks to complete.

“Effectively, the Holmes Street corridor serves as the ‘back entry’ to downtown Frankfort from the east and north,” the 2007 plan states. “Approximately 2 miles in length, it serves as a centerline in a small valley prone to flooding and bounded by steep ridges … There is significant potential – large tracts of land that are underutilized and, until the Holmes Street Task Force was created, there were no comprehensive plans existing that treated the corridor holistically.”

Designs in the plan range from streetscapes to a community event shelter and farmers market, but the grant money for which Frankfort has applied would only pertain to streetscaping, Steinhauser said.

The city expects to learn about whether it has received the grant in December, she said.

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