BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — Major changes could be on the way to downtown Bloomington in the future.

Planning for a multi-million dollar streetscape plan will be discussed at next Monday’s committee of the whole meeting with city staff and council.

“Beautification is important when it comes to not only getting our residents to come to a downtown, but also to attract visitors into town as well,” said CEO of Bloomington-Normal’s Economic Development Council, Patrick Hoban.

Hoban said he hopes to learn more about the city’s vision for downtown as the planning process for the project moves along.

“I think that’s what comes out of the planning process; I think right now it’s just trying to find best practices and it’s actually kind of nice because they don’t have to look too far up the road of Uptown Normal as to what they could duplicate in downtown Bloomington,” Hoban said.

However, the proposed plan is causing controversy among some residents. Arthur Haynes lives on Bloomington’s west side and said it feels as if the city is forgetting about that area’s residents.

“At the price tag they’re announcing it at, it’s kind of like a slap in the face knowing that so many people in this community are going without fresh produce and groceries,” Haynes said.

Haynes said the USDA declared that area of town as a food desert. For five years, Haynes said the West Market Street Council has been working to end the food desert and give people access to fresh food in their own backyard with the West Market Street Plaza.

“The plan for this site was to put a grocery store here as well as local businesses, so we can bring some economic development to this community, so people can have affordable, fresh produce at their disposal,” Haynes said.

Hayne said the group is working to purchase an empty lot at Market and Howard Street. He said a purchase agreement was close two years ago, however fell apart following the death of the lot’s previous owner.

“We like to consider this project a shovel-ready project, all of the pieces are in place. The only piece that’s been missing for the past two to three years is the city’s involvement,” Haynes said.

Haynes said it was the city that wanted to bring more economic development to the city’s west side back in 2012. However, the group has taken on the task after he said the city failed to enact any of its vision.

Once complete, Hayne said the West Market Street Plaza would benefit all of Bloomington, not just the city’s west-side.

City Manager Tim Gleason declined to comment until after Monday’s committee of the whole meeting.