Leesburg’s downtown business area is getting more attention this budget season, and for the first time in many years it has nothing to do with capital improvements.
Town Manager Kaj Dentler has proposed $60,000 in funding to market and enhance “downtown as a park.” Included in his budget are earmarks for beautification—enhanced landscaping, maintenance and clean-up and additional trash and recycling collection areas. Dentler is also proposing that the town provide technology support to the Leesburg Downtown Business Association for its website and smartphone app that shares information on the downtown area, as well as a special event reimbursement grant to the LDBA. Finally, $25,000 is budgeted for the addition of wayfinding kiosks and directional signage.
The budget line items come at the end of the year-long streetscape improvement project along King and Loudoun streets. Recently, a mid-block crosswalk was raised on South King Street between its intersections with Market and Loudoun streets. This week, the town began taking applications from restaurants in the areas of the widened sidewalks that are interested in allowing alcohol service to on-street tables during dining service.
According to the proposed Capital Improvements Program, a future improvements project is envisioned along North King Street between its intersections with Market and North streets. While many downtown merchants and patrons—not to mention Town Council members—are eager to see construction on the downtown improvements projects complete, additional improvement projects are possible, but not until public input is garnered.