Manson Makes Improvements

Sunday, August 18, 2019

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Kelby Wingert

The city of Manson recently completed a year-long streetscape project in its downtown area.

The streetscape project, which was announced in January 2018 and broke ground in June 2018, was a much-needed update to the downtown business district, said Manson Mayor Dave George.

“There were several things that came into play,” George said. “No. 1 was the condition of the street, condition of the sidewalks. The city and businesses, after the tornado in 1979, put up a wood facade or overhang on top of the sidewalks and a lot of that was deteriorating to the point where it was becoming unsafe. The City Council had pondered this over the last 10 or 12 years.”

George said the council held a series of meetings, including local business owners and residents to discuss their vision and what the city needed to do to realize that vision.

“Most every meeting, the first on the list was downtown and it needed to be updated,” he said. “It takes a lot of money to do something like that in a small town, so we had to wait until there was a time that was right, where it financially made sense for us to do it.”

The project in total cost “right around $1.5 million,” the mayor said. The project was financed through general obligation bonds. The project components included reconstruction of the street, curbs, gutter and sidewalks, as well as replacing the water main, water services, storm sewer and intake structures, street lights and traffic signals and reconstructing the alley north of 10th Avenue.

George said the completed streetscape project is a “huge, dramatic” change from what the area looked like before.

“It turned out gorgeous in my opinion,” he said. “Everything is handicap accessible now, we beautified the whole downtown, new lighting. I think it’s a much more attractive downtown for people to come and visit, to come do business. We flattened everything, so it’s just a lot more accessible and more updated.”

While Manson’s Main Street re-opened to traffic in December 2018, the project was not complete until June of this year. The project took longer than originally planned, causing frustration for some residents and owners of businesses near the area of construction.

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