KENNETH CITY — Drive along 54th Avenue N from beginning to end and it all basically looks alike. Without being told, you'd never know that you passed through this town.
That apparent lack of identity and presence that has Kenneth City blending innocuously into a mostly shabby-looking section of the county has long irked town officials and many residents. Now, the Town Council wants to do something about it. And officials want residents to help.
The council is holding a "visioning" workshop Thursday to start setting Kenneth City on a path to a more attractive future. It's a future that Mayor Teresa Zemaitis hopes will have a trickle-down effect so that business owners and residents alike follow the town's lead, fix up their properties and eventually coax a rise in property values.
The overall concept of the campaign, titled GROW Kenneth City, is to make the town better, not bigger. Proceeds of the town's red-light cameras and grants will help pay for the program, in addition to assistance from other area agencies. It has five main goals:
• Beautifying the commercial corridors (the main two, 54th and 66th Street N are also main corridors for travel through Pinellas County).
• Improving safety and comfort for pedestrians.
• Making major corridors more transit-friendly.
• Building consensus among residential and commercial communities to GROW Kenneth City.
• Encouraging residents to make efforts to improve residential streets.
Possible projects include construction of medians along 54th Avenue. The medians would hold "Welcome to Kenneth City" signs and would be landscaped. The town has already contacted the county, which owns the road, about the possibility. Zemaitis said county officials are eager to help.
Other ideas include placing one or more murals on public buildings, modernization of the baseball field, improvements on the tennis and basketball courts, creation of a mobile skate park, and creation of a Town Green. Walking paths, bicycle routes and attractive bus benches are also possible.
Contact Anne Lindberg at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 893-8450. Follow @alindbergtimes.