Fountain Hills officials are hoping a multimillion-dollar expansion of the town’s water motif will boost downtown businesses and draw additional tourists.
The "sense of water" plan, still on the drawing board, calls for adding six fountains near the town’s flagship 562-foot fountain, officials said.
"We just want to expand on our signature attraction," said Town Manager Tim Pickering. "Collectively, we worked with a group of downtown businesses on this. It’s a great project. Hopefully, the investment will bring more interest to our business community."
Phase I of the project will bring $800,000 in infrastructure improvements, including the new fountains, shade structures, lighting, benches, walkways and other amenities, he said.
Pickering said town officials discussed the idea of fountains initially about 18 months ago, and brought them up at three town meetings for public input.
Megan Griego, the town’s economic development specialist, said Fountain Hills wants to transform the area into a destination spot.
"When people come to our community, they look at the fountain and it’s gorgeous and great," Griego said. "What do they do after that? Nothing urges people to look down (the street) and notice the businesses there. These improvements . . . will get people’s attention and help create a hub of activity and create a healthier economy."
The action is part of a $5 million renovation project scheduled to begin in March 2006 and end, tentatively, in 2009.