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 Mayors Larry Weaver and Ruth E. Knight and current Mayor Jeremy O'Neil enthusiastically continued this effort.
Since 2012 the Task Force has been working to 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.
Mayor O'Neil 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 907-834-3468 for additional information on the Task Force or to provide input.
Beautification 50/50 Matching Grant Program (2015, 2017-2019)
The Task Force developed and City Council approved a private property beautification incentive program.
The program enables private property owners or businesses within city limits 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 forwarded to the City Council for formal funding approval.
Eligible properties must be used for commercial, non-profit, and/or mixed use purposes.
Eligible properties shall be geographically located in one of two "tiers". Due to program goals and limited program funding, eligible properties located in Tier One will given first priority for grant selected. However, Tier Two properties may also be considered.
- TIER ONE: Eligible properties located in the downtown area of Valdez. The downtown area is bordered by North Harbor Drive and Fidalgo Drive 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. To be eligible for Tier One, properties must additionally have not have received City beautification matching grant funds in the past.
- TIER TWO: Eligible properties located within Valdez city limits, but outside the downtown area. Eligible properties which have previously received a beautification matching grant also fall into Tier Two.
Properties which are strictly residential properties or home-based businesses, and properties with delinquent property taxes are not eligible for the matching grant program.
Click to download the 2019 Downtown Beautification Matching Grant Program Application. (Applicant period is now closed for 2019 - Stayed tuned for additional information on the 2020 program.)
Past beautification grant awardees include: South Central Hardware, A Rogue's Garden, Copper Valley Electric Association, Mountain Sky Hotel, Northwind Gifts, NAPA Auto, First National Bank, Valdez Food Cache, Totem Inn, R&R Testing Services, Orca Bay Gifts, Totem Hotel, Downtown B&B, and Pangea Adventures.
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 May 4 2012 Please view the link below to see the synopsis of surveys taken during the public involvement workshops.
- Survey Results Revised June 25 2012 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 May 4 2012
- Town Square Options Revised May 4 2012
- Egan Street Options Revised May 4 2012
- City Street Corner Options Revised May 4 2012
- Richardson Highway Options Revised May 4 2012
- Overall Town Plan Revised May 15 2012
- June Update Revised June 25 2012
- Town Square Update Revised September 14 2012
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.