Special to the Ely Times 

Three action teams were created following the Roger Brooks presentation held on October 13, 2017, to plan and implement ideas to make Ely a showcase community and improve quality of life.  The grant funding to bring Roger Brooks to Ely was awarded to the City of Ely by Nevada Department of Tourism; however, the Public Plaza Development Team, Downtown Beautification Team and Nevada Northern Rail Way (East 11th Street) Beautification Team are all citizen-led efforts.  You are encouraged to join any and all action teams.

The first meeting of the Public Plaza Development Team was held on October 27, 2017.  The team’s goal is to create 250 days-a-year of experiences and activities for citizens and visitors in downtown Ely.  This goal will be reached by supporting existing experiences and activities and creating new experiences in downtown areas.  In the short term, the Sculpture Park, located on the corner of Aultman and 7th Streets, will continue to be utilized for plaza events.  The long term goal is to build a larger public plaza that will accommodate a variety of experiences including a summertime splash pad and portable ice skating rink during the winter months.  The team is creating a comprehensive calendar of annual events and activities held in downtown Ely that can be linked to existing websites.  Other goals include creating downtown walking itineraries to bring foot traffic to downtown Ely and opening areas for people to enjoy.

The next Public Plaza Team meeting is scheduled for Friday, November 10, from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the Ely Art Bank, 399 Aultman Street.

The Ely Downtown Beautification Team held its first meeting on November 1, 2017.  The team reviewed suggestions provided by Roger Brooks to improve first impressions of downtown Ely and added additional ideas to the list.  Downtown beautification ideas include:  branding Ely’s downtown as historic, old west, railroad or mining;  hands-on train car displays in vacant lots to create a walking train museum; creating a business co-op for consistency in signage, windows, and facades;  adding more store front planters, benches and trash cans; install way finding signage; organize a community clean-up to clean properties in decline;  demolish blighted buildings; create more downtown murals;  become a Dark Skies Community; institute an abatement program;  solicit ideas and help from middle and high school students;  creating a cell phone app and building plaques to tell the story of each of the businesses that occupied each downtown building; meet with owners of the blighted properties to enlist their help in creating a better first impression.  The next Downtown Beautification Team meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, November 15, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the Ely Art Bank, 399 Aultman Street.  The first Nevada Northern Rail Way (East 11th Street) Team meeting is scheduled for Monday, November 20, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the East Ely Depot, 1100 Avenue A, Ely.  To be included on an email list to receive updates, send your name and email address to:  carolinemcintosh@live.com.  Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend these meetings.