P.O.R.T. discusses plans for downtown marquee

The Port Orchard Revitalization Team (P.O.R.T.) met again last night, continuing its quest to decide what will become of the downtown marquee.

In its last meeting, the group voted 16-6 in favor of an eventual removal of some or all of the 1972-vintage structure.

To plan for its removal, however, the team must have the consent of the Port Orchard City Council. The matter was brought up for discussion at the council’s regular meeting Monday night.

“The council (discussed) Monday night whether they’re even willing to go there,” said Port Orchard Mayor Kim Abel on Friday.

Councilmember Bob Geiger, also on Friday, said he wants the marquee to stay right where it is.

“Any major effort to dismantle something or part of it is both complex in getting the agreement of the property owners and that it’s going to involve money — quite a bit of money,” Geiger said.

Although Geiger said he is willing to admit the marquee could be improved, he said the benefits it provides outweigh the cost of taking it down.

“It’s a unique thing and it affords a great deal of protection,” Geiger said. “Taking it down would entail some liability and some of the structural marquee would have to be replaced.”

Geiger also said he doubts the marquee is an issue that affects what the team is trying to accomplish — economic growth.

“It has absolutely nothing to do with the whole subject,” Geiger said. “If a store or the business has some service the people want, they’ll walk down an alley to get it.”

At last night’s meeting, P.O.R.T. members reviewed the council’s feelings, discussed individual assignments and reviewed funding mechanisms that will help the downtown revitalization to succeed.

“People are still excited about it and that’s really what I’m hoping will continue,” Abel said.

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