By Debbie Klosowski, Mayor, University Place
Encouraging sustainable community events with limited City support was the focus of this week’s University Place City Council meeting.
Since incorporation, many community traditions and events have evolved with varying degrees of City support. Although many “Friends” groups and organizations have spearheaded various events, the City has had to reduce its support due to declining revenues and staff cutbacks.
During Monday’s Study Session, Public Works & Parks Director Gary Cooper presented Council with recommendations developed by representatives from various groups including the U.P. Volunteer Center, Homestead Park, Curran Orchard, Duck Parade/Duck Daze, SUNDogs, CORE, CHIPs and Holiday Tree Lighting committees.
Under the 2011-12 adopted budget, there is a $13,000 events budget identified for each year due to leftover donations from past U.P. Festivals. After examining various event needs, the group forwarded a recommendation to focus City funding on six areas:
- Health (Port-a-potties, hand-washing stations and garbage disposal)
- Traffic control (police and public works)
- City facility/park rental fee waiver
- City insurance coverage
- Advertising (City website, newsletter, UPTV and readerboard when available)
Each group would be responsible for all other costs such as additional equipment rental, set-up and take down. Although groups could request additional City assistance (if time and manpower allow), they would be billed the full cost of those services. Council did agree, however, to continue full sponsorship of the annual Christmas Tree Lighting event. Detailed cost information about individual events as well as a policy to determine future eligibility will be discussed at a future meeting.
City Partner Updates – Prior to the Study Session, several groups provide a brief synopsis of their activities:
Friends of Homestead Park – Located on Bridgeport Way next to City Hall, the park includes several botanically significant gardens featuring 12 of 21 species of native North American Rhododendrons and azaleas. Ferns, trilliums, fawn lilies, penstemons, tiger lilies, oxalis and much more are featured along meandering trails throughout the park. Events include: Spring Flower Show & Plant Sale, April 30 and May 1; and Treasures in the Parkduring Duck Daze on Saturday, June 4. (Lorna Smith 460.0910)
Friends of Colegate – A 12-acre forested park (3717 Grandview Drive) bounded by Crystal Springs Road, Curtis Junior High and Curtis Senior High (this park does NOT include Colegate Playground). Amenities include walking trails, nature areas and wildlife habitat. Group activities include garbage and weed removal, trail work, picnic table maintenance and orienteering and geocaching. (Sheri Clark – email@example.com)
Adriana Hess Wetland Park – Friends of AHWP partner with Tahoma Audubon to manage environmental education activities at the park located at 2917 Morrison Road between Bridgeport Way and 35th. Events include an Open House and Plant Sale on April 30 and a fall Native Plant Sale in October. Free classes and volunteer opportunities focus on photography, birding, native plants and landscaping along with guided walking tours. (Dixie Harris 565.9278)
CORE (Curran Orchard Resource Enthusiasts) – CORE helps maintain the 7.33 acre working apple orchard located at 3920 Grandview Drive. Activities include Adopt-A-Tree program, FREE pruning classes with Master Gardeners, insect education classes, school and senior citizen tours, summer concerts and the annual Cider Squeeze. (firstname.lastname@example.org or (www.curranappleorchard.com)
UP for Art – Showcasing local artists and raising funds to purchase several pieces of public art are among the accomplishments of this group, celebrating its 10 year anniversary on Tuesday, April 19, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers. Everyone is invited to attend. (www.upforartorg)
SUNDogs (Safe, Unleashed and Natural) – Dedicated to responsible pet ownership, SUNDogs raised more than $11,000 to create and fence the interim off leash dog park at the Chambers Creek Properties. Activities include the annual Pups in the Park and Santa Paws.
SUNDogs is partnering with WOOFd2 (Washington Owners of Flying Disc Dogs) to present a Disc Dog Clinic and Spring Fling on Saturday, April 16 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Cirque Bridgeport Park (7250 Cirque Drive) along with the Regional Disc Championships at Pups in the Park on August 20. SUNDogs, in conjunction with the City and Pierce County, is also working to develop the permanent 6-7 acre off leash dog area in the southern end of Chambers Creek Properties. www.updogpark.org
CHIPS (Curran House Investigating and Planning) – Dedicated to preserving the Curran house, the group is working to raise funds to replace the roof along with researching possible future uses as well as obtaining National Historic Register designation. (Cindy Bonaro 584.2758)
CHRISTMAS IN APRIL? – It’s never too soon to start planning the 2011 Tree Lighting Ceremony! Committee representative Donna Perry presented a proposal to relocate musical entertainment to a stage set up in Market Square in front of the new Civic Building. Community groups and/or individuals will also have an opportunity to adopt and decorate one of six Christmas trees for the festivities slated for Saturday, December 3.
Light UP – Thanks to the efforts of Mayor Pro Tem Ken Grassi, U.P. business owners along Bridgeport Way will have the opportunity to “light
up” this November and December. Business owners along Bridgeport Way between 27th and 44th Streets will receive information later this year regarding options for installing white lights along rooftops. The “Light UP” campaign is strictly voluntarily and is designed to promote a festive atmosphere along with attracting visitors to our downtown area.
Police Station Update – Bid proposals to construct the Police Department underneath the Civic Building came in at more than $1 million, well above the original estimate of $875,000 according to City Manager Steve Sugg. City engineers and police are now examining plans to evaluate future construction options.
Spring Clean UP – Get rid of unwanted items, recycle materials and dispose of yard waste for FREE during the annual Spring Clean UP, Recycling and Canned Food Drive sponsored by the City of University Place and U.P. Refuse.
- Residents north of 40th St. West – Saturday, April 16 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Residents south of 40th St. West – Saturday, April 23, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
UP Refuse and Recycling is located at 2815 Rochester St. W. (behind Cheers West). Limit of one load per household except yard waste. Please visit www.CityofUP.com or call U.P. Refuse at 564.3212 for information on allowed items.
Parks Appreciation Day – Support your parks on Parks Appreciation Day, this Saturday, April 16 from 9 a.m. to noon. Join work parties to spread wood chips and pick up limbs at the Curran Apple Orchard OR help clear brush at Cirque Bridgeport Park. For more information, contact 460.6493.
Parks Appreciation Day is also Arbor Day in University Place. Help celebrate the importance of planting trees in our community. Trees help reduce erosion, moderate temperatures, clean the air, provide wildlife habitat, increase property values, enhance economic vitality and beautify our community. We are proud to have received a Tree City Designation for 11 years in a row. All citizens are encouraged to help plant and preserve public and private trees, which are among our community’s greatest resources.
As always, I appreciate your comments and questions. Please feel free to contact me at dklosowski@CityofUP.com.