Valdez Beautification Task Force
The Mayor's Beautification Task Force was first commissioned by Mayor Dave Cobb in 2012 to address a coordinated, all-season community beautification and revitalization effort throughout the City of Valdez. Former Mayor Larry Weaver and current Mayor Ruth E. Knight enthusiastically continued this effort.
Since 2012 the Task Force has been working to update the last Beautification Plan published back in the late 90's, as well as develop projects which can be implemented over time to make Valdez an even better place to live, more inviting for tourism, and attractive to new investment.
In its first year, the Task Force successfully designed and installed a new Welcome Sign (PDF) out at the Valdez city limits near mile 18 of the Richardson Highway.
The main Downtown Business District was also identified as a primary target area. A major Task Force enhancement project for 'Main Street' (Egan Drive) began design in 2013 and construction in 2016, to include decorative pedestrian lighting, intersection upgrades, and the welcome arch over Richardson Highway. The Downtown Beautification Matching Grant Program completed its second year in 2017.
Mayor Knight invites all citizens of Valdez to get involved with ongoing beautification efforts! The Task Force meets the last Monday of the month at noon in Valdez City Council Chambers.
To learn more about Task Force projects still in the planning stage, view meeting agendas and listen to meeting audio.
Have beautification ideas or comments? Feel free to contact the City Economic Development Director at 834-3490 or email for additional information on the Task Force or to provide input.
Core Downtown Business District Beautification Matching Grant Program (2015 & 2017)
The Task Force developed and City Council approved a private property beautification incentive program in both 2015 and 2017.
The program enables private property owners or businesses within the core downtown business district to seek 50:50 matching grants for aesthetic upgrades in order to (1) attract more local residents and visitors to shop, eat, and do business in downtown Valdez and (2) encourage property owners to reinvest in improving the overall aesthetics of our core downtown area.
As there is limited funding for this program, interested parties must complete and submit an annual application. All submissions are then evaluated by the Beautification Task Force. Those projects selected are reported to the City Council.
Eligible properties must be used for commercial, non-profit, and/or mixed use purposes, and must be located in the core downtown area of Valdez. The core downtown area, for purposes of the grant program, is bordered by Galena Street to the south, Pioneer Drive to the north, Meals Avenue to the east, and Hazelet Avenue to the west, and along the Richardson Highway from Meals Avenue to Crooked Creek. Properties must also be current on City property taxes to be eligible for the program.
Click to download the 2018 Downtown Beautification Matching Grant Program Application.
Applications for the 2018 program are due to Martha Barberio, Director of Economic Development, no later than April 20, 2018 for round two. Applications received after the due date will not be considered. Please submit grant applications to City of Valdez Beautification Matching Grant Program, Attn: Economic Development, PO BOX 307, Valdez, AK 99686. In 2015, the Task Force received six applications for the Downtown Beautification Matching Grant Program. All six applicants received matching grants: Mountain Sky Hotel, A Rouge's Garden, Northwind Floral & Gifts, Epiphany Church, South Central Hardware, and Copper Valley Electric Association.
Egan Drive Enhancement (2014 - 2016)
Following stakeholder meetings and numerous planning sessions, the design for the Egan Drive Enhancement Project moved to the conceptual stage in early summer 2014. The project progressed through to full design in 2015 and went out to bid in spring 2016. This project consists of three main elements: (1) intersection upgrades, new street lights, and a welcome arch over the Richardson Highway. There is a chance that the Welcome Arch may be delayed depending on the required fabrication time and weather during construction season.
Stakeholder Meetings (2013)
Following the initial conceptual development for a city-wide plan in 2012, the Task Force decided that in order to move the project beyond a conceptual stage and toward an actual design, that it was best to focus on just one part of the overall concept at a time. The component the Task Force decided to focus on first was the Egan Drive Corridor. This was because there was very strong broad public support for this part of the plan as determined by survey data.
So the Task Force worked diligently during 2013 to reach out to Stakeholders on Egan Drive since they would be directly affected. Two Stakeholder meetings were held, one in June and one in September, to discuss an updated Egan Drive Streetscape.
Initial Conceptual Ideas (2012)
The documents listed below were developed during public involvement workshops and as the result of public surveys during the summer of 2012. This included visual preference exercises and questionnaires, as well as direct discussions with Task Force members and project consultants.
The Slide Program below was shown during the first workshop explaining the project and presenting concepts.
- Slide Show-revised 5/4/12 Please view the link below to see the synopsis of surveys taken during the public involvement workshops.
- Survey Results-revised 6/25/12 The Conceptual Drawings below were based on information gathered during the public involvement workshops. The drawings are also included in the full slide show.
- Valdez Gateway Options-revised 5/4/12
- Town Square Options-revised 5/4/12
- Egan Street Options-revised 5/4/12
- City Street Corner Options-revised 5/4/12
- Richardson Highway Options-revised 5/4/12
- Overall Town Plan-Revised 5/15/12
- June Update-Revised 6/25/2012
- September Update-Revised 9/14/12
All concepts presented were preliminary in nature and required further vetting by the public and the City Council. In an effort to solicit this input, the City Council was briefed on initial concepts at their July 2, 2012 regular meeting. Additional outreach to the public then took place during the annual Valdez Gold Rush Days event; where the Task Force manned a booth at the open air market for two days (August 4-5). At this booth the concepts were explained and comments collected. The public was again engaged in a Town Hall style public meeting on August 30, 2012. Surveys and comments were collected at both the Gold Rush Days event and the Town Hall meeting.