Last week we had our quarterly Downtown Neighborhood Meeting. Hosted by The Leopold Crystal Ballroom, we had guest speakers from the Public Works Department as well as the Police Department give updates on projects, initiatives, and answer questions from the community. For those of you unable to attend, here is a summary of the meeting:
PUBLIC WORKS WITH CHAD SCHULHAUSER AND ERIC JOHNSON
If you have been downtown recently, you have noticed the construction on Champion Street. This construction on the watermain will be completed this October. They are now currently working on Sunset Avenue, with bids out to work on Holly Street that will most likely begin in November and continue until March 2017. Holly Street will also get another improvement, with an overlay beginning in the first quarter of 2017 and to be completed before the summer. Additional improvements to Holly Street include ADA curb ramps, additional seating, and landscaping updates. State Street underwent improvements, with the parallel parking on the east side of the street converted to angled parking to allow for more spaces and for potential placemaking. The Commercial Street Parking Garage has seen many improvements. New paint, wayfinding signage, windows in the stairwells, improved bike parking, spots for electric vehicles, and a green wall are all new to the garage. The garage is in a central point of downtown, so next time you visit, make sure to park there and see all of the updates.
BELLINGHAM POLICE DEPARTMENT WITH OFFICER ERIC OSTERKAMP
Officers now have cameras affixed to their uniforms in order to provide audio and video recordings as evidence. However, they must state that they are recording whoever they are communicating with, otherwise it is admissible. In light of the recent tragedy at the Cascade Mall in Skagit County, the BPD are soon meeting with Bellis Fair Mall to provide active shooter training to its security guard. And finally, there are two new beat patrol officers that are downtown between 7am and 10am every morning to help alleviate any issues that arose over the night, and to take care of those issues before most businesses open. These officers were placed here due to public outcry for more police presence downtown, to both the City Council and Mayor Kelli Linville. These are not permanent positions, so if you want to have the funding for these positions continue, Officer Eric encouraged everyone to contact their City Council representative and Mayor Linville to urge them to continue redistributing funds to these positions.
MAIN STREET TAX INCENTIVE PROGRAM
The DBP is a Main Street organization, giving us access to countless resources to better serve the community. One great incentive is that business owners can donate to the DBP through the Main Street Tax Incentive Program. If you or your employer might be interested, we would love to speak to you about this program to make sure you're able to tax advantage of this valuable tax credit and direct your money to our programs and events that improve the economic vitality and quality of life in Bellingham. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 360.527.8710 for more information.
We have a lot of exciting events coming up for the holidays, so make sure to grab your calendars and plug them in:
- October Art Walk--October 7
- Trick-or-Treat--October 31
- November Art Walk--November 4
- Shop Small Saturday--November 26
- December Art Walk--December 3
- Holiday Tree Lighting--December 4
- Commercial Street Night Market--December 9
- Jingle Bell Run--December 10