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Council debates marquee again

The Port Orchard City Council on Monday took up the task of moving forward on hired consultant EDAW’s downtown revitalization proposal, which had been accepted by the council in December.

The council unanimously approved sending Projects 1-7 of the proposal to their respective committees, including signage and art projects, and the development of underground utilities.

“It’s going to be a bit of an ungodly task,” said Councilman Todd Cramer of the utility committee.

Meanwhile, heated discussion began in earnest as the council considered the merits of Project 7, the phased removal of the city’s downtown marquee.

“It’s a twisted tale of woe they have woven,” Geiger said of EDAW’s recommendation to remove the structure.

Geiger immediately suggested the wording of the project be changed from “phased removal of the marquee” to “improvement or repair of the marquee.”

“Everything around us suggests that covered sidewalks are not a bad thing,” Geiger said. “The idea is to come back with some ideas that would be agreeable and feasible. We have to use our own brains and ideas.”

Geiger’s wording was voted down 4-3, with Councilmembers Cramer, Ron Rider, Rita DiIenno and Rick Wyatt in dissent.

Clauson then added an amendment to the project, proposing that business owners as well as building owners be asked one more time whether they were for or against the marquee removal before any action on the removal was taken.

“You can only ask a question so many years in a row,” DiIenno said, speaking against the proposed poll, noting that EDAW and the PORT had already asked the appropriate questions.

Clauson’s amendment failed, with Cramer, Rider, DiIenno and Wyatt in dissent.

Adopting Project 7 for the phased removal of the marquee passed 4-3 with Carolyn Powers, Geiger and Clauson in dissent.

Local building owner Howard Minor, who stood when the marquee discussion began but was not recognized to speak by the council got in a parting shot:

“If you tear that marquee down, there’s two buildings downtown that I’m going to tear down,” Minor shouted.

Planning Commissioner Fred Chang said Minor’s threat didn’t concern him.

“Howard Minor would be doing the town a service by demolishing his two Bay Street buildings” due to the extensive water damage the buildings have suffered over the years, Chang said.

Minor owns the buildings next to Myhre’s and the old skating rink at the corner of Bay Street and Frederick.

In other council actions:

• The council unanimously approved the adoption of Ordinance 055-05 annexing two parcels known as the CARA Land Annexation located in the Port Orchard Industrial Park at 1436 SW Hook Road.

• The council unanimously approved the designation of the Port Orchard Independent as the city’s newspaper of record for the purpose of publishing legal notices.

• The council unanimously approved authorization for Mayor Kim Abel to sign a contract for an interim building inspector.

• The council unanimously approved Change Order 3 to Pease & Sons for the Port Orchard-Karcher Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility.

• The council unanimously approved authorization for Abel to sign an agreement with Panhallegon Associates Consulting Engineers for the Comprehensive Water System Plan.

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