By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

Lafayette in sprucing up mode

City Administrator Preston Polasek not only won approval for a $9,250 facelift, but also for some new sidewalk, providing the price isn’t a deal-breaker. The city council asked him Thursday to gather some quotes, with an eye to adding that element when it meets March 14.

The original quote will cover new landscaping, new sealing and paint, and new gutters and awnings. “It should be a really nice facelift for city hall,” Polasek said.

The beautification represents a city attempt to contribute to an overall sprucing up it is trying to foster downtown. Already, downtown has undergone some major street improvements, upgraded sidewalks and a set of hanging flower baskets.

“Downtown has gotten a lot of attention in the last couple of years, and we’re going to continue that,” Polasek said.

The council also liked a proposal from Polasek for converting a vacant city-owned lot at Fourth and Market streets into a community garden. But it found the projected $8,500 price too steep.

Polasek said the proposal submitted to the council called for fencing the lot, replacing the top six inches of soil, purchasing a tiller attachment for the city’s riding lawnmower and buying irrigation supplies. He said he will be meeting with garden advocates in an attempt to negotiate a more manageable wish list.

Eventually, he said, the lot is intended to house a new city hall and/or fire station. “A community garden is a good short-term use for this vacant lot,” he said.

In a memo to the council, Polasek said:

“After allowing for access rows between lots, it is anticipated that this parcel would provide 14 garden plots, each approximately 400 to 450 square feet. Each user would pay a nominal fee for the permit to use the particular spot for each annual growing season. Users would provide their own seed and maintain their plot with water from city-provided spigots.”

In other business, the council appointed Sean Chase to the planning commission and received a clean 2012 audit report.

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