By JAIMIE JULIA WINTERS
It has been eight years since the fountain at the Church Street Circle has worked, and the area — once a centerpiece to Montclair — had since turned into disarray.
After a $547,234 repaving and curb replacement project and removal of the fountain in late May, Montclair Center BID officials decided to beautify the center circle by planting flowers.
The BID, which plants and maintains flowers throughout the district, worked with Brookside Garden Center and O’Boyle Landscaping to transform the mound of dirt into a colorful garden, executive director Jason Gleason said.
“It was a much-needed transformation,” Gleason said.
The BID, which has two watering trucks to water the flowers and the 112 flowering baskets throughout downtown, will maintain the circle garden as well.
Plans for the fountain are still up in the air. It is currently being designed by an outside architectural firm, Township Communications Director Katya Wowk said.
A redesign for the fountain was presented to the council in 2019 by street design consultants Arterial and included three different options.
The fountain construction budget had been $150,000 in 2019. But at the time, then-Councilman Sean Spiller, now mayor, said the cost could rise to $250,000 if the council chose a more elaborate design.
The fountain was constructed in 1976 to commemorate the nation’s bicentennial.
Real estate developers LCOR gave $40,000 to be used for design improvements to the traffic circle, as part of the site plan approval to build the Valley & Bloom apartments.
The township received a $333,430 New Jersey Department of Transportation Municipal Aid Grant to cover some of the costs of the circle improvements.