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downtown rehab

DREW NASH • TIMES-NEWS

The new Glanbia Cheese Innovation Center is shown July 30, 2013 in downtown Twin Falls. 

TWIN FALLS • A small group of top business owners shared their support — along with recommendations — over the recent $16.9 million approval to improve Twin Falls downtown and Old Towne during Monday’s Twin Falls City Council meeting.

The eight-member group told the council they would like to see a master plan of the massive downtown improvement project so that the revitalization vision wasn’t lost if council members are replaced or leave.

The group was responding to the Twin Falls Urban Renewal Agency’s recent decision to approve nearly $17 million of downtown and Old Towne improvement projects, including replacing water and sewer lines, improving lighting and replacing sidewalks.

The primary example the group, made up of representatives from First Federal Bank, Rudy’s — A Cook’s Paradise and others, felt could potentially improve downtown was relocating Twin Falls’ City Hall, said Jeff Williams, chief executive officer of Glanbia.

Williams said other similar-sized cities have found success by moving city hall downtown, in turn spurring private investment.

“We see that as a catalyst for downtown,” Williams said.

Council members thanked the group’s concern and support of downtown improvements and said they would consider their input.

“It’s a unique idea to replace city hall,” said Councilman Chris Talkington. “I think there might be a problem of boundaries as far as the current location. ... But you have given us some food for thought.”

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