Yakima sets $200,000 price tag for downtown development next year

YAKIMA, Wash. -- City officials are moving forward with concrete plans for downtown development. And you could say it's back to the drawing board to finalize designs for how everything will look. And they're looking for your input.

"I think it's a good move because it would make downtown a little bit more appealing to people, as far as businesses downtown. I'm not sure about the parking I think that's our big issue," said Floricel Quiroz.

City officials are hoping to change this uncertainty by presenting us with finalized plans at a cost of $145,000.

First on the agenda is to select a final design for the plaza. This has cause the biggest controversy, losing parking spots that would hurt local businesses.

"The thing I'm struggling with the most is the ability for the city to be able to reach out to businesses to actually draw them in before the beautification happens," said Alyssa Skiles, owner of Patina.

Other businesses owners like Alyssa Skiles voiced this same opinion at the recent public hearing on the issue, which led to the creation of the Implementation Committee, a group of business leaders and residents to give their input. It's been given a budget of $10,000.

Also on the agenda for next year is to develop strategies to bring in more retail stores, and to carry out a study to focus on parking, which is given a budget of $25,000.

These items on next year's agenda put the city at a tab of just more than $200,000. Money coming out of our general fund.

"I think it's a huge investment. I think it's difficult to be able to present that to the tax payers when there's so many people struggling in terms of their own livelihood, I think in the long term if we're ready to invest in Yakima, there's going to be a cost that comes with that," said Skiles.

A cost now that is only on paper.

As the designs are completed the city will hold several more open meetings to get feedback from the public.