The City of Fort St. John has narrowed down its plans for a new public plaza at the corner of 100 Street and 96 Avenue, and councillors will decide between the two at a council meeting next week.
The decision will allow the EDS Group to move into detailed designs in the new year, with construction slated to start as early as April.
Both of the proposed concept plans include a 4,200 square-foot building, built with either steel or wood, to play host to a number events, from markets to celebrations, theatre performances to open mic nights.
One plan proposes food vendor stalls and an outdoor picnic area anchored by a fire cauldron. The second plan proposes an expanded loading area, and a picnic and public area with flat stone seating. Artistic obelisks and other landscaping elements including trees, retaining walls, and pedestrian furniture are featured in the plans.
The plaza a key element of the city's downtown plan and Centennial Park redevelopment, and incorporates feedback and ideas gathered from public consultations in November.
"It provides an offering in the City of Fort St. John that does not currently exist - a space to hold outdoor events that offers a measure of weather protection," Jennifer Decker, the city's economic development manager, writes in a staff report.
"It will beautify the site and compliment the new Centennial Park design."
Just how much the plaza will cost remains to be seen.
In her report, Decker notes the city earmarked its $1.4-million signing bonus from the Peace River Agreement to the project in 2016, but warned the cost of the project is likely to exceed that.
"Staff are actively seeking grant funding opportunities," Decker writes.
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