ALTON - The City of Alton has requested planning assistance from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to study and create a comprehensive plan for the Alton riverfront.

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Alton City Council members on Wednesday approved a resolution authorizing Mayor David Goins to enter into negotiation with the Corps of Engineers to participate in the “Planning Assistance to States Program.” Under the program, the Corps of Engineers helps states, local governments, and more prepare “comprehensive plans for the development, utilization, and conservation of water and related land resources.”

Alton’s Riverfront Advisory Commission recommended the city pursue this partnership with the Corps of Engineers. According to the resolution, the commission’s role is to “provide suggestions, options and feedback intended to further develop the design of the riverfront that supports, enhances, and grows the facilities, programs, and services of the City of Alton in a fiscally responsible manner.”

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The Riverfront Advisory Commission also reportedly aims to develop a “Riverfront Strategic Plan” and will “assist in engaging the public by soliciting input that will inform the overarching design, development and management of a plan for the Alton Riverfront.”

Mayor Goins and his staff are now authorized to begin negotiations with the St. Louis District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regarding the use of funds from the Planning Assistance to States (PAS) Program to begin an Alton Riverfront Study.

Comprehensive planning activities through the PAS program are normally cost shared at 50% with the study partner, according to the Corps of Engineers website. According to correspondence contained within Wednesday’s Council meeting packet, “certain requirements regarding environmental justice impacted communities will waive the cost share requirement,” so the City of Alton is requesting a cost waiver for participation in the program.

A full recording of the Alton City Council meeting is available at the top of this story, on the Riverbender.com Facebook page, or on Riverbender.com/video.

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