New CRA board likes Twin Hills Park, downtown improvement ideas

CRA mtg June10

Members of the Community Redevelopment Agency, from left, Joe Blocker, Shannon Hayes, Mickey Rytman, Robyn Helt and Tom Gordon, discuss improvements to the district at the Monday evening meeting.

BRIAN HUGHES / News Bulletin
Published: Monday, June 10, 2013 at 09:50 PM.

CRESTVIEW —  The new Community Redevelopment Agency board unanimously approved forming a citizens and business representatives committee to make recommendations for new facilities within the district.

Meeting for the first time since new members were elected to office, board President Robyn Helt asked her colleagues for thoughts on proposed dog and skate parks, and a pedestrian and bicycle corridor connecting downtown and Twin Hills Park.

"I really want to assess where the current CRA board stands on these issues," Helt said during the Monday meeting.

Helt explained that CRA funds, generated by businesses located in the CRA district, could only be used for improvements within the district. The current balance is about $900,000 she said.

Board member Tom Gordon said he had consulted Economic Development Council interim President Kay Rasmussen about whether the projects could help the community attract businesses.

"She said people are looking for things like the dog park and the skate park," Gordon said. "They're looking for things like the connector. Ms. Rasmussen was very helpful in explaining what the community needs to encourage development."

While the other board members said they have received positive feedback from constituents on the three projects, member Joe Blocker said he talked to about 50 people who were "5 to 1 against the dog park, period."

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