The Grovetown Merchants Association asked city leaders Monday for money in the 2008 budget to fund the second phase of its Grovetown 2010 Initiative.
The initiative is designed to help implement the city's 20-year comprehensive plan and improve the appearance of the city's two main commercial corridors.
Merchants Association President Sonny McDowell asked the mayor and city council for $45,000 to pay for conceptual drawings and the development of zoning overlays as part of the second phase.
"We're not asking for any money tonight," McDowell said at the semimonthly city council meeting. "We're not asking for a vote tonight. We just ask you to consider funding the next phase for next year."
In May, leaders approved the first phase of the 2010 Initiative - the development of graphics showing what certain commercial zones would look like if they were renovated according to the plan. McDowell presented those photos, which depicted the difference underground utilities, sidewalks and landscaping would make.
The 2010 Initiative was a proposal developed by the Merchants Association to facilitate the implementation of the 20-year plan, focusing on the fast-growing commercial corridors of Wrightsboro Road and Robinson Avenue.
McDowell said now is the perfect time for the city to begin the process because Grovetown has control over the state road rights-of-way and the population has grown to more than 10,000 people.
"And they are going to Evans and going to Augusta and going to Thomson to buy things you should be able to buy in your own neighborhood," McDowell said, adding that the improvements will attract more businesses to the city.
"The objective of all this is to try to manage the growth of the commercial sector in Grovetown in such a way that we don't end up with just more piled on top of more of what we've got now. To try to manage it in such a way that it remains attractive for businesses to locate here. And that's the whole idea," he said.
The comprehensive plan, approve by Grovetown leaders in 2006, calls for several new zoning districts, including parkway commercial and regional commercial.
The second phase of the project is to develop conceptual drawings of the city's commercial corridors, write the zoning overlay guidelines to include the new zones and form a citizen committee to oversee the project and do research regarding rules and funding.
"I agree 100 percent with Sonny," city Councilman Dick Manion said. "Then again, what are the alternatives?"
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