After over two years of planning and weeks of debate, the City Council on Monday approved, by a 7-2 vote, the $750,000 Ellicott Streetscape, a variety of aesthetic improvements to one of the major arteries, Route 63, in the city.
The project includes landscaping with trees and other plants, new sidewalks and some facade improvements.
A Department of Transportation grant will cover $500,000, and the Business Improvement District, an association of merchants and service providers, will pay $150,000 from assessments on members.
The sticking point in weeks of Council discussions and a tabling motion last month is the city's share of $100,000, to be paid with a 20-year serial bond.
At-Large Council Member Charles L. Mallow Jr. and 6th Ward Council Member Rose Mary Christian, whose district covers part of the improvement, voted no. A bond issue requires a two-thirds majority or six affirmative votes.
The improvement will be similar to the new lighting, sidewalks, trees and plants that were part of the Main Street reconstruction completed two years ago. However, while three miles of the city's main thoroughfare were rebuilt, the Ellicott Street project covers only aesthetics.