HONESDALE, PA — A 100-car parking garage, a robust system of river trails and parks, and a shared street plaza could all be in Honesdale’s future. Residents now have the chance to peek at …
HONESDALE, PA — A 100-car parking garage, a robust system of river trails and parks, and a shared street plaza could all be in Honesdale’s future. Residents now have the chance to peek at a vision of what their borough could look like in the coming years. Planning and design firm Derck & Edson has released its full report of the Downtown Honesdale Revitalization Plan, the latest step in the Greater Honesdale Partnership’s (GHP) efforts to turn Honesdale into “the premier downtown in the region.”
The 72-page document lays out recommendations on how to achieve six fundamental goals: create a welcoming atmosphere for locals and visitors; protect the small-town feel and historic architectural character; improve the appearance of downtown buildings, sidewalks and streetscapes; promote downtown living; enhance the parking experience; and create a clear vision for revitalization and economic development.
The effort began over a year ago when GHP received $90,000 through an LSA-Monroe Grant to hire a downtown revitalization consultant. Since then, an 11-member committee of locals has received feedback from more than 550 individuals, learning what residents’ top priorities for Honesdale were. An initial listening session and online survey in the summer of 2020 revealed broader areas of interest, and an open house in the fall allowed residents to narrow down what issues were most pressing.
Based on its findings, the plan identified eight revitalization recommendations ranked in order of priority: enhancing streetscapes of Main and Church streets, connecting the Lackawaxen River to the town through trails and parks, and enhancing downtown parking rounded out the top three.
But there is a long way to go before the borough sees these projects realized. According to the report, accomplishing everything the committee hopes to accomplish could cost up to nearly $10 million and take six years of work.
“It is a process and this was just step one in many,” GHP executive director Lisa Burns said in an email, adding that the next step is to have an engineer tell them what projects are feasible and what the cost will really be. “We hope people understand this is a six-year plan and will take a ton of perseverance.”
The plan was recently endorsed by the Honesdale Borough Council. Burns said the committee is embarking on a capital campaign beginning this May to raise money for match grants and has submitted an LSA-Monroe grant application for more than $178,500 to begin phase two of the project.
The design committee includes Burns, Patti Bursis, Mike Frigoletto, Jim Gershey, Jeff Hiller, James Jennings, Jared Newbon, Judith Poltanis, Holly Przasnyski, Brian Wilken and Mary Beth Wood. The full report can be found on GHP’s Facebook page.
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