Helen Mussenden, who owns property in the 3300 block of 30th Avenue in Vernon, listens to an explanation of the proposed revitalization project that will transform the western half of downtown Vernon's main street.
With the city paying for trees, irrigation and street lights, the assessment for property owners on the three blocks dropped by about a third.
This was good news for Helen Mussenden, who initially opposed the revitalization project but changed her mind after attending an open house at City Hall.
"I can see the value of the wider sidewalks," she said.
In addition, stamped concrete will be used instead of the bricks that were included in the eastern half of the project.
Infrastructure improvements, which will also be done during the construction period starting next week, will include the replacement of underground utilities in addition to the construction of new sidewalks, curbs, street lights, benches and landscaping.
Traffic will be restricted to two lanes to accommodate the wider pathways, the trees and the benches.
Mark Dowhaniuk, City of Vernon infrastructure engineer, said the finished look will resemble recent work in downtown Kelowna.
As for the narrowing of the street, Dowhaniuk said 30th Avenue is classified as a local road and 32nd Avenue to the north is the main arterial road that links the east and west ends of the city.
The project was requested by merchants and property owners. Eighty-one per cent of property owners, representing 66 per cent of the property value, supported funding the improvements.
Focus Corporation will lead the design of the project in co-operation with the landscape architects Outland Design.
The project is expected to be complete by the end of June.