City approves Main Street MEET plan

A plan designed to expand commercial opportunities along the river and downtown was green-lighted by the city council last week.

The plan, M.E.E.T., stands for Main Street, Expedition, Expansion, Transformation. Green River URA/Main Street Administrator Jennie Melvin said the Expedition portion will focus on Expedition Island and the plan is designed to expand and transform downtown Green River and the river corridor. The plan has been in the works since 2013. Wyoming State Statute requires towns to have a plan that designates an area with blighted properties and aims to revitalize that area.

“The M.E.E.T. in Green River Urban Renewal Plan is a plan that was created for the Central Business District and the River Corridor District which are Urban Renewal Areas that were adopted by the governing body in 2013,” Melvin said. “It is a plan and directional tool to improve the areas and a guideline of how we must operate to realize those efforts of improving the area.”

While implementing this plan, she said there will be no relocating or displacing families or businesses.

“We’re not going to go in and buy up everyone’s houses,” Melvin said.

Councilman Gary Killpack agreed that displacing people was not and should not be an option, however he was concerned that left a lack of opportunity in the area and they may be “stuck.”

Melvin said she did not believe they are stuck. She said an option they have is to revitalize vacated properties that have no current use. She also said there has to be recreational areas and parks within the area so that could provide opportunities. She also hopes people who own property in these areas will be inspired to do something with their property.

“People may be inspired to change uses or start businesses on their property,” Melvin said. However, she knows developing the river corridor will not be a simple task, but she mentioned the governing body could have the ability to do something with blight properties.

Mayor Pete Rust said he believes there is a lot of opportunity for revitalization. He listed the water treatment plant, Union Pacific railroad and the county road and bridge as possible opportunities. Rust said it may take a long time because it will be done incrementally, but he believes it will revitalize the river corridor over time.

 

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