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Eileen Hampshire tends to the colorful flowerbed in front of her store, Art to Walk On, as she has for the past five years. She has performed and funded all landscaping maintenance outside her front door.
Sarasota Thursday, Apr. 28, 2011 6 years ago

Palm Avenue spruce-up in the works

by: Robin Roy City Editor

By now, Eileen Hampshire is used to doing things herself.

Her shop, Art to Walk On, has been on Palm Avenue for five years. And for all five years, she has had to take care of her own landscaping and sidewalk cleaning — just like all other storeowners on Palm Avenue.

“Everybody on Palm pays out of their own pocket,” Hampshire said.

But financial help may be on the way.

The Downtown Improvement District is planning to set up a meeting with Palm Avenue business owners to see what kind of improvements they’d like to see on their street.

Palm Avenue shop owners have felt forgotten in the DID’s improvement plans, even though they pay taxes into the district.

Most of the DID’s focus has been on Main Street and Five Points Park, but many on Palm Avenue feel because their street already looks nice that it’s been ignored.

“A couple of years ago we were really annoyed,” said Hampshire.

That was when Hampshire noticed that the city had a watering truck dousing plants lining Main Street. She asked that it visit Palm Avenue to do the same there.

“They said, ‘No. It’s only for Main Street,’” she recalls. “Then I discovered (the city) picks up trash, sweeps sidewalks and plants plants on Main Street.”

DID Chairman Ernie Ritz said he wants to help Palm Avenue spruce up and maintain the plant beds along the sidewalk.

Hampshire will also ask DID for hanging plant baskets to line the street, as well as more large flowerpots.

However, she’s not entirely unhappy with the way things have turned out.

“Looking back, it’s not a bad thing (the city didn’t fund Palm Avenue), because our street looks better than theirs,” she said.

Contact Robin Roy at [email protected]

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