By Brandi Makuski
Mayor Mike Wiza has approved a proposal creating a series of temporary mini-parks in the Downtown District.
Known as “Main Street Parks” and modeled after International Parking Day, the event will turn 11 downtown parking stalls into temporary public parks on Sept. 16.
The proposal was made by Trevor Roark, who currently serves on the city’s bicycle pedestrian advisory committee, on Aug. 25. Wiza’s office approved the request via a Mayoral Order — the mayor is allowed to make changes to parking under city ordinance — but it was not immediately clear on what date that approval occurred.
In a letter from Roark to Wiza’s office obtained by the City Times, Roark said the event would increase foot traffic in the downtown, which in turn would increase revenue for downtown businesses.
“Long-term goals may include re-purposing space downtown for further development, assisting downtown businesses to out-compete big box retailers and increasing the vibrancy and resilience of downtown,” Roark’s letter reads in part.
The first annual Main Street Parks, which Roark said is being sponsored by the Golden Sands RC&D, will be held from 11 AM to 6 PM.
According to Roark, nine downtown businesses and non-profit shops have requested a parking space in front of their storefront be closed off for themed mini-parks. Themes include “rest and relaxation” and a “human-sized chess game”, according to Roark’s letter.
Businesses would also be permitted to display merchandise for sale outside their stores during the event, Roark said, but no food or alcohol will be sold outside.
More information can be found on the event’s Facebook page.
Representatives from the Association of Downtown Business and Golden Sands RC&D were not immediately available for comment.
Wiza said the proposal is not required to make an appearance before the Stevens Point Common Council, and has already been “reviewed” by downtown businesses, police and fire departments and the rest of city staff.