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What's Happening at City Hall- May 2019
Posted on Tuesday June 04, 2019
May certainly brought us a variety of weather including torrential rain and quarter-sized hail. However, we also got beautiful May flowers and some really nice weather. A variety of things have also transpired at City Hall.

Whats Happening at City Hall May 2019

By Mayor Linda Lehman


May certainly brought us a variety of weather including torrential rain and quarter-sized hail. However, we also got beautiful May flowers and some really nice weather. A variety of things have also transpired at City Hall.


Hanford Reach Solar System Project - Orbital Markers We are one step closer to obtaining the marker. Legal staff has drawn up a contract for Council approval on the June 4th meeting. Hopefully we wont run into any additional challenges at this point. Once this passes Council, we will purchase the marker and then work on partnering with the State Department of Fish and Wildlife to obtain a kiosk for the relevant information about the planet. This should help us draw "Scientific-minded" tourists and science classes, interested in locating the orbital markers and their scientific information. It’s also a good marketing opportunity.


Volunteer Appreciation after considerable debate back and forth on the legalities of holding a volunteer dinner, Sue Jetter proposed a solution. Funding the Chamber of Commerce to hold the dinner or other service to honor our city volunteers.


Chamber of Commerce Contract with Benton City Council approved a contract with the Chamber of Commerce for $18,000 to do a number of things, such as setting up a Visitor Information Center, (this requires a 7 day a week presence); providing financial assistance for the Benton City Daze events, and the Winterfest Parade, as well as a number of other functions. The Chamber has made huge strides in the few months that they have been under new leadership. Kudos to all the volunteers who are putting in many hours to support the "New Face of Benton City."


Community Center Drainage Project As many of you know, the Community Center is located at the base of a steep hill. While this hill is not large, the terrain focuses water flow down the hill and onto the pavement on the north-side of the Community Center. This is the covered area that is used for outdoor events and seating. The project is being completed in two phases. First underground drainage had to be put into place adjacent to the north side of the center and routed across the alley to discharge near the grassy swale just south and east of the US Bank building. This phase was completed about a week ago. The next phase will involve building a retaining wall to hold up the slope on the east side of the Community Center to prevent the slope from eroding and caving into the building. That portion of the project will begin shortly and we hope to have it completed by fall.


Waterfront Planning Process at Round-a-Bout Planning to beautify the entrance to the City on the south side of the bridge began in early May. The Architectural and Planning firm that has designed Vista Field for the Port of Kennewick was selected to complete the first phase of this project. There will be two other public meetings/workshops this week, Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 7 - 9 PM at the City Hall Council Chambers. We hope to see a summary of the design ideas that were collected at the first meeting and have several options to debate. Please attend to see our progress.


Park Acquisitions As many of you have heard, we received RCO grants to acquire land for two separate projects. The first is called the Waterfront Park, located just east of 7th and Dale and extending down to the Yakima River adjacent to the old abandoned railroad bridge. The second project is the Large Sports Complex located north and west of the KiBe Market on the former Smith Orchard property.

The smaller of the two projects is the Waterfront Park. The grant and match combined for this project is about $100 K and would involve fencing and maintaining the grass, with possible picnic tables and water access. The entry road is being negotiated as part of an access road to a newly proposed subdivision of 52 houses which would be adjacent to the park. It is hoped that we would eventually buy the railroad bridge and extend the bike path across it as part of the final park layout.

The Large sports Complex will depend on acquiring the 25 acres of former Smith property, as it has been sold for farming purposes. Development of the complex would be another 5 million, estimated in todays dollars.

Kudos once again to Ida Boyd for holding a car wash and spaghetti feed to help the family in need of assistance for medical treatments. Thank you, Ida and the Friendship Kitchen for your good deeds.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at (612)-867-9725.

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Benton City
PO Box 70, 1009 Dale Avenue, Suite A. Benton City, WA 99320
Phone: (509) 588-3322  |   Fax: (509) 588-3323
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