The Brownfield Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone board members met today about plans for the upcoming Brownfield Community Plaza project. The meeting opened with a word of prayer.

Representatives from Kimley-Horn began discussion to review and finalize plans for the Community Plaza. It will be located on the corner of 6th and Main St. and will provide a public space for community events with wooden fencing around it, string lights above the area, tables and seating scattered within, awnings to provide some shade, art on the adjoining building’s wall, and spaces for a food truck and stage.

Upon going through the last set of plans from the previous meeting, the Kimley-Horn representative discussed the requested changes. The wooden fencing was changed from pine, what was previously chosen, to cedar, increasing the cost of wood by an estimated 25%, but offering better longevity and improved appearance. It was noted that the base bid had gone up because of price increases and several minor changes with demolition plans and the added cost of transporting materials, but the updated plan reflected these increases.

Plans for seating were then discussed as board members looked at several options for picnic tables that varied from the original solid wood tables included in the plan. A coated metal and a vinyl poly wood look-a-like option were both discussed, but board members quickly decided on the coated metal tables after weighing prices and previous experience into their decision. The coated metal seating was preferred as it was easier to clean, sturdier, and highly recommended. Since the coated metal tables would be able to withstand more, the choice was made to spend more than was allotted in the base bid for wooden tables in favor of the metal tables. Additionally, with seating along the edges of the plaza and tables available, it was suggested that the board reduce the number of tables purchased to cut down on the cost and simply encourage community members to bring lawn chairs for extra seating. The board unanimously agreed, then decided to further trim costs by purchasing six smaller tables instead of the 11 larger tables than the plan originally budgeted for.

In the demolition budget, it allowed for a street light to be removed, relocated, and updated. A suggestion to use the city’s existing spare streetlight was denied since the streetlight would have to be replaced and would not tie in to the planned “decor” of the plaza. The board continued to talk about the lighting of the area with string lights that will compliment the feel of the plaza while also providing adequate light for the area. They will be placed on a timer to go off at a certain time every night.

The budget includes plans to lay a concrete base for the area instead of the original gravel. After revisiting a previous discussion about a stage area in the plaza for performances, it was decided to fill in the food truck parking area with gravel instead of a concrete slab to save an estimated $14 thousand that would be better put towards purchasing the materials to create a stage that comes with a cost of $20 thousand. Brainstorming about how to fund the remaining stage cost, ideas of fundraising and donations were suggested before deciding the best option would be to cut out the cost of removing stucco, power washing, and painting the wall. The additional plans to decorate and cover the wall allowed the change to be made without decreasing the appeal of the area and made this a minor cost that could be put off for later and grouped with future plans to add more seating and make other adjustments if necessary.

Finally, estimates were talked about and approved concerning the cost of product and material testing from a Lubbock based company to ensure the safety and usability of materials used in the community plaza.

The ground breaking date is still unknown, but should be expected in the next several weeks as final bids begin in a few days. Once work begins on the plaza, it will be around three months until it is completed.

The minutes from the June 28th meeting were approved.

The next meeting is scheduled for August 1st at 3 PM.