Eugene Leahy's facelift is progressing nicely. Officials say they hope to finish the renovations on the mall named for the former mayor by the time the holidays roll into town.
The work began early last spring. Cement trucks have recently been pouring the soup that will form a wall surrounding the mall and neighbors are ready for the progress to turn into the finished product.
Colleen Nicol is among those who've had their fill of the muddy mess.
“Well, it's a nightmare to put it mildly," she said. "When they started digging it out and slopping all of the stink out of it when they took the old water out of it.”
Slop and stink aside, the city says crews have been hard at work on the rejuvenation plan but some weather delays have slowed their progress. The hope now is to have everything set by the time the holiday lights are lit on Thanksgiving.
Those lights are a project in their own right. The bulb crews have been working for months to get them prepped for the holiday ceremony.
Brook Bench said, "It's important for our downtown to have. It's like the beginning of the holiday season and thousands of people come down. So it's always been a goal to try to get it done at that time so we don't distract from that event.”
Nicol hopes they can make it in time.
“Absolutely! I want to see that it's going to be the same thing. For a lot of money.”
A lot of money is citizen-speak for $2 million. That's the price tag on the project.
At this point, the troops are still trying to finish that mall wall and fix the unhappy trails.