Czech Village/New Bohemia District Priorities for 2020

Jan 30, 2020

Recently the Czech Village/New Bohemia Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District (SSMID) Commissioners determined priorities for 2020, and coincidentally, the efforts chosen aligned with district action plan efforts the City of Cedar Rapids presented to the Commissioners for their consideration to plan, design and lead. In the past year, the Czech Village/New Bohemia SSMID Commissioners have focused on basic streetscape aesthetics and stakeholder communications. Those two focuses will remain but with a few added areas of work.

While several ideas were discussed, the Commissioners felt they could best work toward focusing on three items in the coming year: increased streetscape aesthetics, increased public art and continued stakeholder communications.

Increased Streetscape Aesthetics

  • Expand current use of planters, banners and holiday décor, utilizing the planning and research of the Beautification Committee to extend to additional areas, enhance what’s already there and increase the maintenance and attention paid to what gets put in place. Emphasis on developing a unified or complementary look across the District and creating and executing on a plan to ensure timely, consistent and quality displays.
  • Lead on 16th Ave. SW Streetscape plan, per City of Cedar Rapids request.
  • Discuss the potential for new minor scale amenities such as benches, limited lighting and signage that might include parking and/or wayfinding signs.
  • Discuss the potential for new major scale amenities such as bridge lighting, canopy street lighting, pocket park(s) and dog park.
  • Discuss what a master streetscape plan might entail and see if the Commission may want to go that direction.

Increased Public Art

  • Lead on the 10th Ave. SE artwalk project as requested by the City of Cedar Rapids. The City defined the scope of these responsibilities as plan, create, buy, install and maintain. Most of the budget impact will be professional service time devoted to planning the project, determining funding sources, building a supportive coalition and more.
  • Participate in Multi-District discussions about a district collaboration project that the Commission hopes could be steered toward a public art project.
  • Communicate and coordinate with Main Street on public art initiatives. Both groups have identified this strategy as something to work on and want to make sure no duplication of efforts is taking place. Identify clear duties and responsibilities to be outlined and communicated before proceeding.

Communications

  • Stakeholder communications will continue with similar frequency, content and delivery vehicles. There should be more wins and tangible benefits to communicate from the SSMIDs efforts in 2020.
  • Facilitate opportunities for the Commission to speak as a unified voice, submit feedback and testimony to issues that impact the district, champion its priorities and progress.



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