Spruce Up Austin continues project

Published 2:29 pm Saturday, May 16, 2009

Spruce Up Austin, Inc. is ready to begin the second phase of a major landscaping project at the intersection of South Main Street and Eighth Avenue Southeast.

Directors met Thursday morning in the Town Center conference room to review plans.

According to Mike Ruzek, project committee chair, the second phase will involve partnering with Mower County 4-Hers.

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The project will entail enhancements to a traffic circle layout as well as other improvements to the area.

On April 25, SUA, Inc. directors and other volunteers planted 20 trees near the site to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the community betterment organization.

Now, the emphasis will move to the area nearest the intersection, where the Richard and Charlene Kelly home once stood.

Brian Dolan has designed the landscaping plan, according to Ruzek, which comes with a price-tag of $7,786 previously approved by SUA, Inc.

The work will begin later this summer, according to Ruzek.

Still to come is the third and final phase of the improvements: a rain garden.

Also Thursday morning, SUA, Inc. directors approved participation in a landscaping project at the Seibel Family Visitation and Chid Exchange Center at the site of the former Downtown Motel along First Avenue Southeast.

According to the agreement, SUA, Inc. will contribute $2,000 to the project with the Center responsible for all other monies.

In addition, SUA, Inc. volunteers will assist the Center’s volunteers in installing the landscaping improvements.

SUA, Inc. director Julie Thomsen coordinated the agreement with the Center’s staff.

Harlan Nelson, an SUA, Inc. director, inquired if the property met the criteria for the organization’s involvement.

Melanie Faust, board president, and Ruzek assured Nelson the Center does met the qualifications for a public property.

Another director, Howard Nepp, inquired if the organization should invest both money and sweat equity into the project and the directors, by consensus, said it should.