Kent City Council approved a collaborative landscaping installation Wednesday for the patch of Kent-owned land bordering the new downtown development along Haymaker Parkway (S.R. 59).
Kent City Engineer Jim Bowling said that while installing and maintaining any landscaping the area normally would fall solely on the city, a deal was made with Davey Tree Expert Co. and developer Fairmount Properties to share some of the cost.
The cost to install the landscaping, which Bowling described as an open, public space, where people can sit, is $35,000.
Under the agreement approved unanimously by council, Davey Tree will cover $5,000 and College Town Kent, the name given to Fairmount Properties retail and restaurant developments, will pay $10,000, leaving the city to pay $20,000.
"That equates to us paying 57 percent of the cost. We own 85 percent of that land and College Town Kent owns 15 percent," Bowling said. "We see that as leveraging our money to get more investment from the area for something we have to do irregardless."
Bowling said Davey Tree donated the landscaping design at no cost. The funds to pay the city's portion of the cost come through the tax increment financing given to the new downtown developments, Bowling said, adding that it can only be used in downtown.
Logos Bookstore owner Ann Kardos said she appreciates the city's effort to beautify downtown, but also wishes to see an emphasis put into landscaping along the west end of S.R. 59, where her business is.
"The weeds are huge. They're growing above the fence line and are blocking the visibility of my business and my neighbor's business," she said.
Council agreed to look into addressing the issue.
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