City nabs key downtown lot

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A 45-minute city council meeting monday night saw the appropriation of more than $85,000 on projects and vehicles, and ended with the city’s purchase of prime real estate for $215,000.


The meeting centered on formalizing the council’s goals as well as purchasing a vehicle for public works and approving contract services for pavement rehabilitation.


Councilors approved the goals set forth in their annual workshop, detailing priorities for the next two years. The objectives fell into two categories: construction-oriented goals, such as the City Hall/Police Station, and policy-oriented goals, such as updating the city’s economic development strategy.


Buy, buy, buy!

The city also purchased a new Ford truck for the public works department to replace one that broke down from age, for use as a snow and ice remover. The new Ford Super Duty truck will be outfitted with a 9-foot snow plow blade and de-icing material for the winter. Councilors approved the purchase at $48,028.35, leaving the public works department’s vehicle fund with $32,000.


Additionally, councilors approved $42,700 to the Gray & Osbourn construction firm for pavement repairs to four streets downtown. The overall goal, according to City Engineer David Garlington, is to slow the average drop of pavement condition in the city by focusing on three key streets that can be overhauled.


West Maple Street between Fifth and Seventh avenues and West Prairie Street between Third and Fourth avenues will receive chip sealing treatment. A larger project will repair South Third Avenue between U.S. Highway 101 and Hemlock Street by repairing the road’s sub-grade and then applying new asphalt. Gray and Osbourn’s services will be used to produce plans and engineering for the three projects totaling $280,000. The total costs will leave the pavement rehabilitation budget with $6,680.


They claimed that land for Sequim

The council also approved the purchase of the vacant lot on the northeast corner of Sequim Avenue and Washington Street for $215,000 after a post-meeting executive session.


The property purchase, a significant development for the community, will give the city significant leverage in the area downtown, including regulating what kind of business would be allowed to move in if they decided to sell the property.


“This property has remained vacant for years,” said Mayor Ken Hays, “it is our goal to use it to effectively contribute to the success of downtown.”


There are many options for the property’s future, but until it is developed, the city will leave it open for public use events like the Open Aire Market, decorations and the Irrigation Festival and Lavender Weekend.


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