This is going to be a busy summer. Not only with events, but many of the long-term projects we have been working on over the past four years will be moving forward.
• Pacific Partnerships is well under way with the planning of the 2008 Pacific Days celebration. Now scheduled each year on the second weekend of July, this year’s event has added many new features, including the “Terry Home Show and Shine II” car show. Terry Home’s main car show, held last month at the Auburn Eagles, drew over 200 entries. For more information on Pacific days and other community events please go to www.pacificpartnerships.org.
• Members of Pacific Partnerships also have been working on plans for our city’s centennial. On Aug. 10, 1909 at 10:55 a.m., papers of incorporation were filed with the Washington State Secretary of State, officially creating the City of Pacific. This August, we will kick off a yearlong series of events that will culminate with a community party next summer. Anyone with ideas or interest in participating in this celebration, please contact my office or Pacific Partnerships.
• You might have noticed the replacement of some of the utility poles along 3rd Avenue. These poles are being replaced and/or relocated in preparation for the long-awaited construction of sidewalks and a bike lane from the interurban trail to Pacific City Park. This project, paid for by a combination of grants and other outside funding sources, will go to bid this summer for construction in the fall.
• Also funded by grants is the upgrading of the Pacific Gym and Community Center, as well as planning for the long-term replacement of those facilities. The City of Pacific recently was awarded over $500,000 from the often very competitive Community Development Block Grant program. Personally, I believe this is testament to the fact that our senior and youth programs are recognized by King County and the State of Washington for getting the most bang for the buck with the monies they receive.
• Something many residents of Pacific will appreciate is the clean up of two properties our city has been battling for years. In July of 2004, one of these properties was the site of a fire, burning in and around junk cars, scrap metal and brush located on County Line Road. Following this fire, the city, state patrol and other agencies conducted an inspection of this property and another property located on the corner of 3rd and West Valley Highway.
During this inspection, officials found many violations of state law and Pacific municipal codes. This resulted in criminal violations that were addressed in court and the city filing for abatement proceedings on both properties. In addition, taxes and other unpaid assessments were owed on the County Line Road property, and the city was forced to pursue foreclosure proceedings.
To make a long story short, after years of battles, the County Line Road property goes to sale on June 16; the West Valley property was foreclosed on by a legal firm; and both properties are being cleared of scrap metal and other debris.
I should say that it has never been the city’s intention to do more than pursue compliance of the law. We have tried to provide every opportunity for this property owner to work with the city to solve problems but have done so to no avail.
As these properties are cleaned up, we will turn our attention to other properties that are in need of attention. Although I strongly support an individual’s property rights, when those rights adversely affect your neighbors or violate the law, then the city must step in.
Big bang, big bucks
As you know, many communities have banned fireworks over these past few years due to injuries, fires and complaints caused by unsafe handling and use.
Last June, the City Council passed legislation placing limits of what types of fireworks may be used inside our city limits. Similar to Auburn, all aerial displays, including roman candles and mortars, as well as any type of explosive device, will no longer be legal in our city.
Pacific Police and VRFA Firefighters will be patrolling the streets to educate citizens of these new restrictions. Repeat violations or disregard for warnings may result in citations. Signage will be visible throughout the city as well as information provided in each water bill.
New toys appear
The playground equipment at Pacific City Park has been replaced – as a result of the hard work by current and past members of the Pacific Parks Board, city staff and the implementation of park impact fees on new construction.
These new pieces already have been proven popular with children and parents and complete a vision that began over six years ago. Fundraising dinners, auctions and impact fees all contributed to this project and everyone involved deserves our gratitude for all of their efforts.
Richard Hildreth, Pacific mayor,
can be reached at 253-929-1108