Mayor's Message | Summer, and changes

By Dave Earling | Jul 25, 2016

Although at times early spring has been here way too long, at least we have made it to 70 degrees much of the last two weeks, so I think summer may have actually arrived. I would however, like to have a run of 80-degree days to remind me of my youth in Spokane.

While the city staff is always busy, the past couple of years have been especially intense. With the improved economy, and with some strategic decisions we have made and several grants received, we have made great progress on several fronts.

Summer is a time many city infrastructure projects become front and center. Streets are being resurfaced, the Fishing Pier is being renovated, and water lines –as well as storm water and sewer systems – are being repaired or replaced.

Our one very large project, the street improvement at 228th and Highway 99, was completed a few weeks ago.

While infrastructure improvements are very visible, other not so visible, but very important, work is also taking place. The purchase of Civic Field has set a community envisioning process in motion to create an important multigenerational piece of open space in the heart of the community.

We will have a sub-area plan completed by year’s end for our 2-mile stretch of Highway 99. That study will help better identify the mix of businesses and housing needed to enhance our anchors: the Swedish campus, the International District, and our car dealerships.

The area needs to develop a unified feel to achieve a sense of community.
The Alternative Analysis Task Force is looking at options to address the conflict of trains, ferries, automobiles and people, and should be finished with its work by September. The task force's recommendations will come to me, followed by the Council, and then meetings with the public for their input.

With all this work going on, it's important for the community to have fun, too.

The new spray pad at City Park is a great way to achieve this. It is a huge success with hundreds of kids, and a few adults, there every day, enjoying this new addition.

Besides the spray pad, we also have new playground equipment at Marina Beach, Sunday Concerts in the Park, A Taste of Edmonds, and Hazel Miller Plaza concerts to enjoy this summer.

So have fun enjoying the many summertime offerings, and strive to be patient with the many projects going on across the city. They can be an inconvenience, but they are all important and only temporary.

In closing, I am writing this column on Tuesday morning. I just went down the street to get a cup of coffee and, at 10:30 on a weekday morning, the town is abuzz with people on the streets, lots of kids around, and the restaurants and businesses are busy.

It reminds me we live in a fabulous community, and we need to cherish what we have.

Edmonds is a special place.

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