Colorful additions coming to downtown Cambridge

The new banners with this design will be placed downtown by Memorial Day.

One of the main goals of the Cambridge Discover Downtown Committee was to find ways for making the downtown area more aesthetically pleasing for visitors. With that in mind, the Cambridge city council has approved two colorful projects.

The first is an “adopt-a-flower basket” program. For $36 per basket, people can donate towards the maintenance of a basket that will be hung from lampposts throughout downtown streets. As of the May 7 council meeting, donations totaling $504 have been made, with more promised in the near future.

The second addition is the purchase of 50 new, 18x36 inch banners to be hung on lampposts. The banners will be a dark blue color with “Discover Downtown Cambridge” printed in white and the Discover Downtown Committee’s logo under the words.

During the May 7 meeting, the council approved the purchase of the banners from Northern Lights Display at a cost of $53 per banner, plus $98 shipping, for a total of $2,748. 

Of the two bids placed, Northern Lights Display was slightly higher in cost; however, the council felt the material appeared more durable than the lesser-priced bid. The banners will come with a five-year warranty on the fabric and a three-year warranty on the ink fading.

The banners should be printed and hung in time for Memorial Day weekend activities.

An update on updates

The council heard an update from Police Chief Todd Schuster on the Lexipol Policy Manual updates. According to Schuster, this was one of the top priorities he labeled upon being hired as chief.

“I have been working on it, and progress has been made,” Schuster said. “But I’ll be honest with you, I’m not as far along as I wish I was.”

Schuster indicated that their manual was in such disarray that an entirely new manual had to be sent to him, and that manual has to be custom-made for his department.

“There’s a total of 165 policies, broken into 10 sections in this manual,” Schuster said. “We don’t need every policy for various reasons. But I do have to go in and open up each policy to determine whether we need it or not. If we don’t need it, I still have to delete it out for our final copy.”

Schuster said he has five of the 10 sections complete. There are two other sections that are nearly complete. However, Schuster admitted that he doesn’t have a solid deadline for completion; however, “it still remains my number one priority. I will continue to work to get it done as soon as possible, because nobody wants this done more than I do.”

Other council action

• The council awarded the sale of bonds for the 2018 street improvement project to FTN Financial, who came in with a lowest interest rate of 2.6386 percent. The total of the bonds is $3,480,000.

• The council awarded a contract for towing services to Leaf’s Towing, but under the condition they continue to clean up accident sites as they previously have done, and that within the next year, they pave a larger section of their holding lot. Currently, part of their lot is dirt and the council is concerned about fluids leaking into the ground.

• The council approved a downtown grant fund of $4,999 to Guetschoff Theatre for the repainting of the exterior of the building.

• The council approved a special assessment agreement and waiver of irregularity and appeal to The Leader. This will assist in the costs of the excavation of the street in order to install a new water line for a sprinkler system for the building as it is being remodeled to include a restaurant and ice cream parlor. The cost is expected to be $103,000 and will be paid as a special assessment on the property over a 10-year period, with a 3 percent interest rate.

At the same time as hearing this request, the council also heard an update on the remodeling plans. According to Grant Johnson and Erick Harcey, things are going well and they hope to have some sort of open house in conjunction with Downtown Customer Appreciation Day.

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