ABILENE Texas (KTAB/KRBC)- It’s been three months since Abilene Mayor Anthony Williams created a community lead task force to research and recommend how to move forward with the much anticipated Abilene Entertainment & Culture District. Now after months of community input, they’ve made their first recommendation to council. Deciding where to draw the lines for the district.
“They’re really leaving it up to us to do some initial leg work, we’re honored and privileged to be able to be a part of this” Says Task force Chairman Ian Nickerson.
The boundaries were set from the Abilene Convention center lot down to south 4th, and from the alleyway between Hickory and Cedar street across to the Frontier Texas lot.
This area was chosen partially because it includes many of the City’s attractions and venues such as Grain theory, the Mill, Storybook Gardens, Matera Gardens/Sockdolager, and many others. though the Task force sees room for further development as well.
“Not just the venues already there, but then also what could be in the future.” Nickerson said.
Though as they plan for the areas future, Some area business owners are concerned with some more immediate issues.
“We are afraid that there may not be enough public restrooms in Downtown Abilene…The plumbing in some of these buildings is old. We can’t function as a public restroom” Says Co-owner of Under One Roof Diane Leggett.
She says patrons carrying in food and drink and pedestrians leaving plastic cups and cigarette refuse are already something they deal with daily. Their concern is that this will increase along with the foot traffic.
“We’re not going to be out fighting against it no. But we do have some concerns and I’d like to talk to the task force or whoever and see if we can’t come up with a way we can address those concerns.” Leggett said.
They like most venues and business owners are excited about the coming Entertainment & Culture district. They just want to make sure public amenities are up to the task.
“We think that it’s a great idea. If the city just wants to help with the bathroom situation by putting public bathrooms somewhere closer than the library.” Leggett Says.
Also hoping that the new demographic wont take away from the Storybook Capitol’s childhood Charm.
“Of course there are adult venues but we’re not taking away from the family aspect that makes Abilene, Abilene.” Nickerson says.
The proposed boundaries will go before city council for final approval. As of now the Mayor’s task force will focus on what kinds of things they’d like to see develop within those borders.