Provo City approves funds for downtown improvements

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A group of people eat at Rocco's Tacos on Center Street in Provo on a summer evening.The majority of the funds will be used to improve public safety during the open house, with the rest being used to beautify the city and help visitors find their way around. (Chris Bunker)
A group of people eat at Rocco’s Tacos on Center Street in Provo on a summer evening. The city is planning on over 800,000 visitors coming to see the temple during the open house this coming January. (Chris Bunker)

The Provo City Council passed two resolutions during its Nov. 14 meeting approving the use of $425,568 to improve the downtown area for the new Provo City Center Temple open house.

The majority of the funds will be used to improve public safety during the open house, with the rest being used to beautify the city and help visitors find their way around.

“There is a wonderful opportunity for us to say, ‘Welcome,'” said Wayne Parker, the city’s chief administration officer.

The city is planning on over 800,000 visitors coming to see the temple during the open house, which is scheduled to run Jan. 15 to Mar. 5.

The city will spend $256,628 on increased safety measures. Most of the money will pay police and firefighters, who will have to work longer hours during the open house. The city will also work on repairing sidewalks to eliminate potential tripping hazards.

Other safety measures include increased snow and ice control and the repainting of crosswalks for increased visibility.

The rest of the funds will be put toward beautifying the downtown area. Flowers, benches and pole wraps will be put in to welcome visitors.

Two electronic kiosks will also be built with touch screens to help promote restaurants and businesses to those visiting the city.

Many of these improvements, such as the electronic kiosks, will continue to benefit the city well after the temple open house, according to Provo City Council Chair Gary Winterton.

Residents voiced their approval of the new temple during the public comment section of the meeting, with Provo Mayor John Curtis adding his support.

“The impact of this temple far exceeds this period of time,” Curtis said. “It’s hard to measure just the number of weddings that will be held here. This building is amazingly beautiful and has raised the bar for downtown. It’s a blessing to our community.”

 

 

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