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Design consultant selected for paint-the-town project

The ongoing effort to revitalize downtown Port Orchard with a fresh coat of paint took several steps forward this week, with a mayoral meeting and the selection of a design consultant to develop the color scheme.

“Any local merchant who is not interested in getting their building painted does not have to participate,” said Port Orchard businesswoman Heather Cole, who is now selecting colors. “We will not exclude them from the process, and give them a choice of colors they like.”

With this in mind, Cole will develop three different “palettes” for a building, that coordinate wall, window and trim selections.

A business owner can select one of the three for their building, or develop something that suits their needs.

Cole said she will work out a compromise with any landlord who has their own design ideas, specifically building owner Ken Kalberg who has stated a preference for continuing his current black-and-white motif.

Like everyone else working on this project, Cole is volunteering her time.

Cole was part of a Wednesday meeting with Port Orchard Mayor Lary Coppola, project sponsor Delilah Rene and her business partner, Kraig Kitchin.

With a target date of Aug. 2, a little more than three weeks away, organizers are recruiting two levels of volunteers.

The area has been divided into quadrants, with a painting contractor needed for each section.

These contractors, of which two have already committed, will supervise the prep work and procure the supplies needed to complete that portion of the project.

Additionally, volunteer laborers for the painting itself are being recruited.

This will take place on a Web site, www.portorchardpaintthetown.com, which was expected to go live on Thursday.

Organizers hope to draw volunteers from all walks of life as well as local civic and membership groups.

The only requirement is the desire to contribute to the community and make it more attractive, according to Cole.

The project represents a private arrangement between a volunteer group and property owners and does not directly involve the city.

For this reason the city will not need to take out any insurance or assume any liability, according to Coppola.

The lack of official involvement has lent a random element to the effort.

It has also drawn criticism from property owners who heard about the project and Delilah’s involvement before any official request.

Delilah said on Wednesday that both Mansour Samadpour and the Mentor Corp. were on board, “which represents half the town.”

She has obtained a list of property owners and expects to approach each one with the proposal in the next several days.

Delilah is spearheading the paint effort out of support for her friend, author Debbie Macomber, who is the focus of the upcoming Cedar Cove Days.

The idea is to spiff up the downtown in preparation for several thousand visitors, and give them the motivation to return.

Supporters hope the results will sustain even after the event is over.

“This will make a lot of people happy,” Kitchin said, “since it increases the value of the property.”

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