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Town master plan still taking shape

Workshops continue to determine what Loomis' downtown will look like
By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Staff Writer
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Roundabouts, center medians, horse and bike trails, plazas, dog, skate or water parks – all could be part of Loomis’ future. These ideas, plus many others, are being bantered about during workshops to create a downtown master plan. MIG, a consulting firm hired by the Loomis Town Council with state transportation funds, presented a variety of conceptual drawings for the railroad property and streetscape ideas for Taylor Road at a September workshop. “It still needs a lot of work. We need people’s input,” said Russ Kelley, Loomis town councilman. “We need paving back there, with parking and trees,” said Ann Fleming, co-owner of the Vintage Charm. Fleming said that no one had approached the business, which is located on Taylor Road near High-Hand Nursery, to ask about their needs. Fleming said she plans to attend the next meeting. Tina Raibley, owner of Simply Portraits, also located on Taylor Road, said no one had talked to her yet. “They need to get rid of the dust. Paving, parking, benches, a place to take photos – those would be nice,” Raibley said. Daniel Iacofano, a principal with MIG, said his company will hold another workshop tentatively planned for 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 5 at the Loomis Depot. “We’ll see some new ideas, new options, alterations to ideas, some ideas refined. It’s not too late to come and share ideas,” Iacofano said. Iacofano said all of the ideas are tracked and later conversations with town staff occur to determine feasibility of ideas. Kelley said the consultants need to “get in touch with the real Loomis – simple and effec-tive. “We want to be able to walk in town. We need more consideration of who people are and what they do. Walking and riding in Loomis should be a part of our rural Loomis.” Brian Fragiao, director of public works/town engineer, said that MIG is not trying to force their ideas on the town, but rather the consultants are trying to get input from resi-dents and business owners about what they want downtown. “They’re not trying to shove it down anyone’s throat,” Fragiao said. Fragiao said the town will create a “shelf-ready” document for work that can be done in phases, as construction funds are available. “We want something in the ground on the depot property at the end of the day,” he said. According to Fragiao, in May of 2010 MIG will present a detailed conceptual plan to the Loomis town council for approval. He said projects will be identified in phases with the land from the Train Depot to Walnut Street being Phase 1. “Phase 1 will be an immediate (go) once funding is identified,” he said According to Perry Beck, town manager, planning and design of the projects will cost $580,000. He said the design is being funded by a $400,000 grant the town received from Cal Trans. Beck said the town had to provide $250,000 in matching funds. Fragiao said the Cal Trans money can only be used for design and not construction. He said a plan must be finalized by May 2010 or the town will lose the grant. Iacofano said they have identified “three areas of need” that all parties seem to agree on. Those needs include strategically located parking, connectivity through the town center, and help for retail businesses so they will flourish. “Business owners have concerns – how can we help them be successful, where can de-sign play a role in that?” He said. While public input will be sought, Iacofano said, “The Town will ultimately de-cide.”medians, horse and bike trails, plazas, dog, skate or water parks – all could be part of Loomis