Spring Valley downtown building owners and businesspeople are invited to public meetings this week to get input on the design plan for downtown.

The meetings on Wednesday, Feb. 6, at noon and Thursday, Feb. 7, at 7 a.m. will be held at the Spring Valley Public Library. The meetings will be hosted by The Urban Studio, which is handling planning and the design concept for downtown.

"The EDA has assembled funding to produce a design plan for downtown and we want your input on the outcome of the design," said economic development director Cathy Enerson.

The Urban Studio will have a design team, a historian, a building materials specialist, a labor cost specialist and a person knowledgeable on financing options on hand at these planning meetings.

"Ultimately we would like the fix-up funds to make a large impact on the vitality of downtown," said Enerson. "Your attendance and input on the design is important. There will be a great deal of information at the meeting all for you and the future of the downtown."

The preference is to have North Broadway Avenue building owners on Wednesday and South Broadway building owners on Thursday but Enerrson said people may come to the meeting that they can fit into their schedule.

Enerson has secured funding for the project from Spring Valley Public Utilities; Spring Valley Economic Development Authority; Spring Valley Area Community Foundation and AgStar for Rural America.

An initial meeting Sept. 7 on the project was well-attended by business people. The aim of the project is to create a coordinated, community-driven, design incorporating the historic features of Spring Valley's Broadway Avenue. An intern with the company had made some sketches of the district for that meeting.

The Urban Studio will help with the design and materials to use; its staff will guide business owners to make improvements to their buildings.

The Rochester company, founded by Teresa McCormack, has been used by other Spring Valley businesses for individual projects. The company offers planning and design to communities, businesses and organizations within southeastern Minnesota.

The public and interested parties are welcome to attend. If you have questions, contact Cathy Enerson at cathy.enerson@cedausa.com.