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Killebrew pushes for phase three of Downtown Revitalization Project
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Remember when. This picture shows Main Street McMinnville in 2005 when phase one of downtown revitalization work was taking place. The short-term setback has produced long-term gains with a more vibrant downtown area. - photo by James Clark

Planning for the Downtown Revitalization Project began near the turn of the century. While two phases have been complete, the third and final phase hangs in limbo. 

“I’ve devoted the last 20 years trying to help downtown McMinnville and I’ve probably driven everybody crazy,” said Rachel Killebrew, a member of Main Street McMinnville. “One of the things that I would like to see done before I die is to finish master plan phase three. That infrastructure is 125 years old. I think everybody can agree that phase one has proved to be an asset to McMinnville and the citizens and we’ve had a lot of new businesses who pay taxes come in. I would like to see phase three done.”

The request was made during Tuesday’s meeting of the McMinnville Board of Mayor and Aldermen. Killebrew spoke during recognition of visitors.

Revitalization phase one was Main Street and Court Square and it began at the intersection with Chancery Street. It started in August 2004 and was complete in January 2006 at a cost to the city of more than $5 million. 

Improvements included storm drainage and water system upgrades, burying of overhead wires, new sidewalks highlighted with brick and stone, new decorative-style traffic signals and streetlight poles, reorganized parking, and restoration of the Court Square plaza and fountain features. 

Phase two was Morford Street, but it stopped at its intersection with North Chancery Street. It started in 2010 and was complete in 2011. For this phase, a $1.2 million transportation enhancement grant from TDOT, which required a 20% match from the city, was used.

Phase three would complete the downtown loop, from the North Chancery intersection to the W. Main Street intersection. Cost is unknown. 

“In the original plan that we did, I was head of the Design Committee for Main Street at that time,” said Killebrew. “We had hoped to have phase three finished within five years. We have 125-year-old sewer lines from North Chancery down the street that we all know gives lots of problems. I think it’s time and I’m willing to do whatever it takes. I’m willing to do whatever you say is necessary and work tirelessly as a volunteer to make sure that the rest of downtown becomes as beautiful, productive and profitable as phase one.”

EG&G, now called CT Consultants, generated the Downtown Revitalization Project’s master plan for the three phases. 

“CT Consultants is willing to come here and share those master plans with you at no cost,” said Killebrew.  

A power point presentation may be arranged for a future meeting of the city.