The Changing Landscape
- January 20, 2023
The landscape of the Clifton Main Street District saw significant changes in 2022 with seven major rehabilitation and remodeling projects taking place. Private sector reinvestment in the district exceeded $7 million and included both commercial and residential improvements. This activity is especially encouraging during a season of wavering consumer confidence at a national level. It’s easy to recognize that our community benefits from safer, more attractive, vibrant spaces; but it’s equally important to understand that preservation-based reinvestment also encourages further improvements by the private and public sectors. Increased available, attractive properties provide turn-key space for local new and expanding businesses and residents; they also attract outside investors and developers who are searching for a community that provides needed amenities and that demonstrates commitment to excellence and community pride. As a grant writer for the City of Clifton, I can attest that funding entities highly value a community’s reinvestment practices. In the rigorous competition for state and federal monies, cities need every point in their favor to secure funds required for addressing community needs. Essential to successful planning and reinvestment are communication and cooperation among stakeholders, and the progress made in 2022 reflects the dedication of Clifton’s private investors and local government.
In late spring, the public and private sectors joined forces to breathe new life into the City Park entrances. With the assistance of Bosque County AgriLife Extension Services, Bosque County 4-H Junior Master Gardeners, and local horticulturalist Michele Morris, the City of Clifton reestablished the entryways to the spacious public spaces along the city’s eastern border. A natural design with low maintenance, drought hardy plants was selected for a resilient, attractive welcome for visitors to the park.
Additional park improvements were addressed by the City throughout the year. Six hundred feet of overgrowth was cleared along the banks of the Bosque River in the Pecan Bottoms, allowing for easier, safer access to the waterfront. Boulders were set along the shoreline to prevent vehicles from approaching the river’s edge, protecting visitors and the environment. City workers provided repairs and maintenance to the gazebo and additional structures, mowed the grounds, and painted flagpoles.
Fireworks on the Bosque, hosted by the City of Clifton and the City of Clifton Event Committee, drew thousands to City Park in celebration of Independence Day. Clifton Main Street hosted free events – FallFest and Trick or Treat with Main Street – that attracted over 6,000 attendees and reinforced downtown as the heart of our community. We are grateful for our sponsors who made the events possible. Thank you to everyone who came out and made each event a fantastic success!
Outside of the Clifton Main Street District, the City of Clifton continued to address needed street and infrastructure repairs. City employees and contractors completed projects on Mary Street and South Avenue Q. Along Mary Street, overgrown areas were cleared and levelled prior to new curbing and ribbon curbing. Base material was added, and the foundation prepared for a complete resurfacing of the street with asphalt. The project extended from North Avenue Q to State Highway 6. Additionally, curbing and ribbon curbing were added along a section of South Avenue Q. The site foundation was prepared before the avenue was resurfaced. The combined projects involved 2,004 tons of asphalt and were completed at an approximate cost of $638,000. The modifications will help prolong the street life by protecting the surface from the effects of aging, cracking, deterioration, and water infiltration.
Along Riverside Drive, on the banks of the beautiful Bosque River, improvements included widening and improving the asphalt road and levelling the approach to the river. Boulders were set to define a parking area and pedestrian only access.
For the first time in many years, the Main Street gardens in Historic Downtown were decorated with Christmas decorations provided by the City of Clifton Main Street. The second annual Christmas Tree Lighting was held again in Heritage Plaza, and children were delighted to share their Christmas dreams with Santa and offer him their best wishes.
As we enter a new year, we at the City of Clifton are busy planning continued improvements, maintenance, and additions that will enhance community life and the local economy. We look forward to serving our neighbors and stakeholders in the year ahead.