For the first People’s Project!, a participatory budgeting process in the City of Sequim, residents and visitors opted for more water stations in city parks and large, automated garbage cans.
Sue Hagener, Sequim administrative services director, said 951 people voted on five potential projects May 3-4 and May 6-7 at the Sequim Civic Center and Sequim Irrigation Festival.
Hagener brought a “top secret” folder with the results to Mayor Dennis Smith during the City Council meeting on May 13.
Community members voted the most for nine water bottle refilling stations with a drinking fountain and pet water station going to Sequim parks with five in Carrie Blake Community Park and one each in Pioneer Memorial Park, Margaret Kirner Park, Seal Street Park and Gerhardt Park. City staff said the estimated cost is $62,800.
The second most popular project included installing Bigbelly trash recycling stations around the city that use solar power to compact trash and recyclables.
The initial cost was $130,000 to install 13 stations, but Hagener said that because The People’s Project! is anticipated to cost about $150,000 in the 2020 budget, city staff will reduce that total to fit budget parameters.
Three other projects were voted on, with seven new pet waste stations coming in third place, a new pathway through Pioneer Park in fourth and 50 new holiday bells at Christmas on light poles in fifth.
Votes were weighted with city residents receiving three votes, Olympic Peninsula residents two votes and visitors one vote.
Hagener plans to show statistics at the May 28 Sequim City Council meeting.
Smith said they had a good turn out for the event.
“People were interested,” he said. “Our staff even went into schools and had some students voting. On Saturday we had Family Fun Day and people were coming in one after the other.”
City staff said The People’s Project! is intended to be an annual program, and Sequim residents are encouraged to come to the Sequim Civic Center, 152 W. Cedar St., to fill out a “Dare to Dream” card throughout the summer with ideas and suggestions for future projects.
The People’s Project! began with community members brainstorming 100 projects at a neighborhood visioning meeting in September 2017 with some of the projects selected for the project, Hagener said.
For more information about the projects, visit sequimwa.gov or call 360-683-4139.
Reach Matthew Nash at firstname.lastname@example.org.