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Group mulls name, options for marquee

Dozens of downtown merchants gathered in Myhre’s Terrace Room on Wednesday, overlooking Port Orchard’s waterfront, to discuss the newly reformed Downtown Merchant’s Association’s next steps — including the association’s current and future nonprofit status and the election of officers.

Mallory Jackson of Custom Picture Framing and Dennis Lei of the Puget Sound Wine Cellar were appointed president and vice president, respectively.

Sharon Pierce of the Comfort Inn was appointed secretary. The Association’s treasurer and nine-member board of directors, as well as the three appointed officers, will be confirmed at the association’s next meeting, on May 4, as will the group’s name, nonprofit status, bylaws and bank account.

Brenda Kruse of Brenda K’s Home Gallery updated merchants on a recent meeting of the Port Orchard City Council’s Public Property Committee and the future of the downtown marquee.

Several business owners, as well as the association’s leader Don Atkinson, attended a meeting between City Councilmembers Carolyn Powers, Bob Geiger and John Clauson last week. Geiger and Clauson were also present on Wednesday.

Kruse discussed the council’s decision in February to spend $24,983 to determine whether last fall’s repair estimates are indeed what the repairs would cost.

CTS Engineers of Bellevue, which told the council last fall that immediate repairs to the marquee would cost $41,000, has agreed to provide the city with plans for the repairs, plans the city can use to elicit contract bids, and estimates of what the bids might run.

Kruse said that if the bids were accepted this month, work to repair the marquee and remove its pickets could begin in June and, if so, would be complete in August.

Kruse also announced plans to supplement the city’s existing hanging baskets and provided merchants and building owners with a mockup of how signage might look once the pickets come down. Kruse discussed her meeting with a representative of Sherwin Williams, who offered a design group to help merchants determine a new color palette for the city.

“The driving force here is that if the pickets come off the marquee, the buildings will become more visible,” Atkinson said.

Port Orchard Mayor Kim Abel said the marquee is “one of the biggest projects happening downtown this year.”

She also said sidewalk repair on the North side of Bay Street may also commence this year.

Clauson mentioned to the merchants the possibility of downtown utilities going underground next year, along with a complete resurfacing of Bay Street.

Meanwhile, Van Vlist of Vlist Motors asked the merchants for their support of the proposed NASCAR track. Atkinson promised the issue would be discussed at the next meeting.

“It’s amazing the number of things that happen in this community, especially during the summer months,” Atkinson said, ending the meeting with numerous upcoming partnerships the association will be undertaking with the Chamber of Commerce and City of Port Orchard.

The Downtown Merchant’s Association will meet again on May 4 at 8 a.m. in the upstairs Terrace Room at Myhre’s in downtown Port Orchard.

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