COLD SPRING - Some Cold Spring residents want to improve the look of the downtown. City Engineer Brian Lintgen says Stearns County is reconstructing County Road 2 - also known as Red River Avenue - next year. At the same time the city will replace the utilities under that road.

Lintgen says it's an opportunity to also do some streetscaping, "looking at what the county is going to do for the roadway, looking at what the council has approved for the streetscaping, looking at some of those costs, pulling them together and then looking at what are the impacts of that. What's the cost to the residents, to the property owners?"

Lintgen says a second phase, working on main street from Red River Avenue to the Sauk River, would be done in 2017.

Lintgen says they want the downtown to be inviting, "some additional lighting with a little more of a decorative style of street lighting.  Because we are in the heart of granite country, and the former Granite Company  was in Cold Spring, utilizing a lot of granite throughout the project, and trying to do it in a way that highlights it, but without spending too much money."

The county would pay for the road replacement, while the city and property owners would be responsible for the new utilities and streetscaping. Lintgen says it's possible they could get some Cold Spring area businesses to help pay for part of the amenities with sponsorships of benches, lights, etc.

A feasibility study is expected to be done by early June, which will give city council members a better idea how much the project would cost.

The Downtown Committee has been working with an urban planning consultant on the project for about the past year.