John Dam Plaza stage and other projects planned for 2014

John Dam Plaza stage and other projects planned for 2014
RICHLAND, Wash. -- You might be getting ready for Christmas...but Richland already has your summer plans in mind.

It's eyeing big projects to improve the outdoors around town.

It may be fall -- but Richland already has its sights set on next summer. City wide projects in 2014 aim to beautify the city -- and help protect your investments.

Zach Allen lives in Richland--he'd like to see more development.

"There's lots of stuff on the river, but there's always room for improvement," says Zach.

Zach takes his lunch near John Dam Plaza.

It's the spot where Richland is hoping to put in a half-million dollar stage. The stage would replace this grassy knoll where outdoor movies are shown.

And just down Mansfield Street, the city is spending another half-million dollars to renovate Columbia Playfield. A new parking lot, extended softball fences, and new play equipment are planned for next year.

But Richland says its biggest goal is taking care of what we already have. That was the biggest point of feedback from a recent survey.

"We've probably been lax on that the last few years in the city, because we've had a pretty tight belt, it's now time to play a little catch up," City of Richland worker Joe Shiessl says.

Some of those up-keep type projects include rebuilding Shelterbelt Park and adding picnic areas to Richland parks. There are also plans to add and repair docks along the Columbia River. All these projects totaling almost a million dollars.

Future improvements that mean more opportunities for people like Zach.

"There's going to be more emphasis on arts and performing arts, so I think there's going to be a dual benefit for that kind of thing," Zach says.

Many of these projects are set to be completed by next summer.

Richland also has a seven-million dollar street-scape project in the works for next year. It would add plants and trees all over the city.