An updated version of the Kaniva and Edenhope streetscape master plans has been put forward for another round of public consultation, following feedback from the community.
The plans consider the management of tree bays, landscaping, signage, outdoor dining, and the two streetscapes' general aesthetic.
Following an initial public consultation period in April and May, consultants working for Wimmera Mallee Tourism have put forward precedent images of new ideas considered for the streetscapes.
These include possible greenery and fauna, public artwork and electric vehicle charging stations.
In Edenhope, the masterplan will focus on Elizabeth Street, from Wallace Street to Orme Street.
In Kaniva, the masterplan will focus on Commercial Street, from Baker Street to the Kaniva Wetlands & Fauna Park.
West Wimmera Shire Council mayor Bruce Meyer said the aim was to "freshen up" the two streetscapes.
"We are looking to try and freshen the streets up. But of course a lot of people have different ideals of what you call freshening up, make it a little more up to date," he said.
"With the state government funding the council is already locked in to doing all of the street furniture and rubbish bins. They will all be modernised and brought up. That is already in place to be done, and this is going to be done in conjunction with that."
Cr Meyer said the initial streetscape plan faced criticism from the community over issues such as road closures, tree distribution and the position of traffic light crossing.
"There was a lot of opposition to certain things that were put in it. They have had to go back and rescope it after public comment and meeting with the community. It is out for public display again," he said.
"Where you seem to have the most difficulty is the potential for a loss of parking spaces for cars.
"The potential for road closure caused a lot of angst.
"And just how many trees, how big the trees are and where their placement is going to be - there was a lot of disagreement on that.
"There was a lot of fine-tuning that was needed, and there is still more fine-tuning that will be needed.
"It is going to be a slow process. The council hasn't committed. Whatever is approved, the council hasn't committed anything to it yet."
Wimmera Mallee Tourism provided the funding for the streetscape revitalisation plan through the federal government's Building Better Regions fund.
Kaniva and District Progress Association secretary Helen Hobbs commended the project and encouraged community members to get on board the second consultation process.
"The streetscaping plans are very exciting and it is good to hear that this could result in a COVID recovery funding project for Kaniva with a focus on economic viability, improved amenities and safety," she said.
"This is a fantastic project and will have a significant economic impact on the town's businesses. We congratulate Wimmera Mallee Tourism for their master plan initiative. It is a project that we have expressed interest in since being aware of the initial funding announcement in May 2019.
"General feedback from the community indicates that they would have liked to have seen a more collaborative process take place in creating these plans, given that zoom meetings can overcome distance for the consultants and also provide businesses with an opportunity to be part of the conversation outside of business hours.
"We encourage everyone to download both the plans and the concept ideas and to fill out the survey."
Presentations for the plans will be held in both towns on August 11, with the Edenhope session at 10am at the Edenhope and District Community Centre and the Kaniva session at 2pm at the Kaniva Hall.
For more information, visit the council's website.
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