Now that the downtown construction project is in the rear-view mirror the Alexandria Downtown Merchants Association is looking forward to summer 2015 and beyond. One plan is to bring back the popular flower baskets that have adorned utility/light poles along the downtown city streets.

Kevin Mahoney is chairing a Beautification Committee that is looking for donations to help pay for the more than 75 hanging baskets that could potentially hang in downtown Alexandria this summer.

Flower Baskets in DowntownMahoney says they have researched and found a nursery that specializes in these types of pots. The ADMA owns about 80 old 16-inch pots, but weather and time have corroded them to the point that many should be replaced. The committee is looking at buying new hard plastic 23-inch pots this year.

Not only are they more durable, they can hold much more water (important for hot, dry summer days).

Downtown Merchants are currently being asked to contribute to the purchase of the baskets and flowers, as well as the community at large.

With the recommendation from the committee, the city included irrigation in the new downtown poles to help reduce the costs of maintaining the flowers throughout the season. The pots will need to be fertilized by hand, but they are looking into time-release fertilizers that will reduce the maintenance time necessary to keep the plants healthy.

If you would like to help with the project, the ADMA’s Beautification Committee is seeking your donations. This summer is will cost is $150 per basket. That includes the cost to purchase the new, larger baskets. In the years to come the cost will be much less, @ $90 per basket.

If you’d like to help, you can contact Kevin Mahoney at (320) 762-2172, contact a member of the ADMA or you can simply mail a check to the Alexandria Downtown Merchants Association (ADMA) at P.O. Box 344, Alexandria, MN 56308.