Wednesday Apr 29 2009
Loomis wants to know what you think
By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Staff Writer
Give your opinion on what to do with town's new land
The Town of Loomis is seeking guidance on the development of the newly purchased strip of former railroad land that runs from Circle Drive to King Road. They’ve hired two firms to create the plans and will hold workshops to solicit ideas from the public. “No more retail. We need something for recreation, youth facilities, maybe a gym or daycare facility,” said Brody Fernandez, Sierra College student and Del Oro High School graduate. Barbara Christensen, of Loomis, is looking forward to the development and hopes it contains more parking. Longtime Loomis resident Frank Fujita agrees and said, “A park would be nice.” “Loomis doesn’t have a book store. That would be perfect next to a coffee shop,” said Sara McElroy, of Loomis, as she worked on her laptop while enjoying a beverage at Wild Chicken Coffee. She’s hoping for a small, independent book store and added, “The reason I like Loomis so much is because there aren’t a lot of big commercial places.” The town is using funds from Caltrans to hire MIG & TLA, a planning firm, to help with the plans for the property and to market the downtown area. According to Brian Fragiao, director of public works, the firm’s contract includes planning, environmental and construction documents for the railroad property, conceptual drawings for a park, and streetscape plans. The project design is estimated to take 10 to 12 months. Town manager Perry Beck said that a marketing study on retail space and the types of businesses that Loomis needs will also be developed. The cost of the contract is expected to be $650,000. Beck said the town will receive $400,000 from Caltrans and the remaining balance will come from the town general fund. Beck also said that the town has contracted with Alicia Moniz Architecture to establish a ground-floor design remodel for the new town hall, which is located in the former South Placer Municipal Utility District building on Taylor Road. “The firm will design the plans and specs and have the project ready to bid,” Beck said. Beck expects the process to take two months and cost $40,000. He hopes the town staff and planning department will be able to move in by the end of the year. Beck said they plan to move public works to the office space located at the Loomis Train Depot.