• retain the former downtown fire station for reuse as an event facility, offices or residential lofts
• consider changes to existing codes to facilitate a dynamic district for restaurants, retail, nightlife and temporary events
• promote smaller niche events like the recent downtown bluegrass and folk festival or possibly an art expo to attract targeted groups
• encourage commercial trucks to use routes that circumvent the downtown area
• coordinate with representatives of the Booth Western Art Museum, Bartow History Museum, Grand Theater, Legion Theater and other venues to promote downtown arts
• implement secure, free WiFi access downtown
• install aesthetically pleasing signage in the downtown area
• create a new landscape design plan for downtown
• make functional and aesthetic improvements to the Church Street bridge area, including closing the under-the-bridge area for events or, possibly, permanently.
“The first-ever downtown master plan has been drafted,” Downtown Development Authority Manager Tara Currier told the council. “It is a compilation of past planning efforts and input from residents, merchants and property owners, the DDA board and elected officials.”
Currier said the Downtown Development Authority would oversee the plan and make recommendations with the council having the final say.
The plan was approved unanimously.
Assistant City Manager Dan Porta asked council to approve an ordinance to establish a 2.5 percent convenience fee for utility customers that use a credit or debit card to pay their bills.
“We are currently having to pay more than $10,000 monthly in processing fees,” Porta said. “This fee is another opportunity to pass on savings to the taxpayer.”
In other business, the council:
• heard a first reading of a rezoning and annexation request from Womack Two LLC to add an automobile storage yard to its property.
• approved fence replacement at three Dellinger Park fields
• issued a proclamation proclaiming November Native American Awareness Month.
• approved reinstatement of water and sewer capacity fees.
To avoid a conflict with the city’s Christmas parade, the Cartersville City Council’s next meeting will be held Thursday, Dec. 5, at 9 a.m. at City Hall.