Although it is technically not known as “Main Street,” Cascade’s 1st Avenue serves as the city’s main thoroughfare through its downtown district. As such, the functionality and aesthetics of not just the buildings, but of the alleys and parking lots around them, provide the town’s main impression.

The Cascade City Council during its Monday meeting discussed three different improvement projects that each impact the downtown area along 1st Avenue West, and is moving forward to find out its options to make cost-effective repairs and upgrades.

The Council first discussed improvements needed in the alley behind the businesses on the north side of the street, near Buchanan Street NW.

Councilmember Steve Knepper asked if this was something that could be done locally to eliminate the need to have the project engineered, thus saving an engineering fee. Mayor Greg Staner replied that as long as the cost of the project remained under the $49,000 threshold, it could be done locally.

Nick Callahan, owner of Callahan Insurance, which is located on the block, said he has spoken with a few of the property owners, who had agreed to finish off the portions behind their businesses.

The Council also discussed asphalting the public parking lot on the south side of 1st Avenue.

Councilmember Bill Hosch suggested the Council first get concepts of the projects so they would be working with more accurate numbers. The motion passed by a unanimous vote.

The Council also talked about the results of a recent inspection of the city’s bridges — an inspection that is performed every two years. The inspected bridges were those on 1st Avenue, Monroe Street and Tyler Street.

Staner emphasized that the work suggested by the inspectors constituted routine maintenance. City manager Deanna McCusker said that the minor repairs suggested would extend the life of the bridges. Council decided to go ahead with the repair on the 1st Avenue bridge, and to examine the costs to repair the other two at budget time.