ST. CLOUD (WJON News) -- Anyone interested in learning about or sharing ideas for the redevelopment of St. Cloud’s east side can attend an event focusing on exactly that later this week.

St. Cloud City Councilmember Karen Larson is hosting the second annual East Side Business and Community Development Meeting at Iron Street Distillery on Thursday. The goal of the event is to continue dialogue with the public and business owners as the city looks to breathe life back into the once vibrant part of town.

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Larson represents the 2nd Ward. She says both sides of St. Cloud’s downtown are distinctly different and she hopes to preserve the “scrappy, eclectic, gritty identity” of the east side throughout the process.

Obviously, if you're going to create a new eclectic character in either side of the downtown, handling historic buildings is extremely important. Either, if they're not useable, you're gonna have to demolish and then redevelop, or if they can be repurposed and used, then you want to retain that traditional character.

The event runs from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. with guest speakers that include St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis, Kevin Johnson from the Mayor’s Task Force, Community Development Director Matt Glaesman, and Tyler Bevier from the Downtown Alliance.

Some topics of note include the city’s interest in securing bonding money for the project, the potential for reinstating public parking on East St. Germain Street, and how to help and support local businesses affected by several major road construction projects.

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