With the announcement that the City is conducting an annual citizens survey, some residents have called to ask why. The reason that we conduct resident surveys is to get critical information from those that we serve, the citizens of the City of Aiken.
Parking and the possibility of a parking structure downtown will be the focus of a public meeting scheduled by the City of Aiken on April 12 at 5 p.m. The meeting will be held in City Council Chambers at the Municipal Building, 214 Park Ave. SW.
Aiken City Manager John Klimm said the April meeting will be the latest in a series of public meetings where hundreds of local residents have gathered information and offered input on the future of the City’s central district.
“We are now recommending that we start a new journey of public meetings starting with a major public hearing on the need for and the pros and cons of a parking garage in the downtown,” Klimm said during a recent City Council meeting. “For many years the issue of parking in the downtown has been raised. When we had our workshops last year, the number one issue raised was the matter of parking in the downtown and the challenge of how best to address the parking issue.”
Last Friday a thousand Aiken residents went to a High School basketball game with their children, neighbors and friends. And then the unthinkable happened. Outside of the School, someone pulled out a gun and shot three of our neighbors. Chaos ensued but our Department of Public Safety professionals where there and responded as they have so often recently. Over the past seven days, these dedicated staff worked night and day to find the shooter. And today we learn that their hard work paid off and we have an arrest.
AIKEN – The City of Aiken has received four proposals from developers who wish to form a public-private partnership to undertake a proposed Downtown Revitalization Project. The deadline to receive such proposals was 3 p.m. today.
As we work to revitalize Downtown Aiken, we know the key to the success of any plan to spur economic, architectural and cultural vibrancy doesn’t just depend on bricks and mortar. It depends on people. People walking the streets and frequenting the stores, eateries, churches and green spaces Aiken has to offer. It requires more and more people who will call Downtown Aiken “home,” not just a place to visit on occasion.
We have heard it time and time again from developers, realtors, business leaders, Millennials and young retirees. We keep hearing the same thing. “People want housing downtown,” they say. “ We want to walk to the shops, to recreational spots and to church. We want to be downtown.” That desire and demand is good for our City and the mission is clear. We must act to provide what people are seeking. When we talked to interested development teams about the Revitalization Plan, they kept saying the same thing too.