Friday, May 13, 2011/lk
GRANDVIEW - A number of dignitaries and community members attended yesterday's dedication ceremony for the Grandview Downtown Alive project.
The project, completed this year, was the product of partnerships and community spirit.
Mayor Norm Childress said, "We're celebrating a success."
He shared the history of how the project began, stating a group of community members began working on developing a vision for the revitalization of downtown Grandview in 2006.
The community leaders working on the vision weren't the only people interested in seeing a thriving downtown corridor.
Childress said there were numerous efforts preceding the Downtown Alive project going back decades.
The vision, however, was realized by the most recent group because of dedication and hard work.
Childress said at the dedication, "There's practical application...there must be a plan and funding to make (the vision) come to fruition."
A goal was set in place to create a pedestrian-friendly environment and the project was planned.
"We've obtained our goal and had success," said Childress.
He cited the many partnerships developed to ensure the project's success, including partnerships with Yakima County, legislators, the Washington State Department of Commerce, the Washington State Department of Transportation, downtown business owners and the community.
Childress recognized the many individuals and organizations that worked with members of the Grandview City Council and staff to secure funding for the project.
"Those of you who live here can be proud of city staff and officials...every council member was involved, traveling in teams to visit legislators and other officials," Childress said.
"We went everywhere we were directed to that we might squeeze a penny out of," he said.
Childress continued recognizing officials present for the dedication ceremony before saying, "Everything we do here is for our businesses and our community to do better...we have every opportunity you would ever want. We really support our quality of life...this project is a symbol of opportunity."
Other speakers at the dedication ceremony included David Reeploeg, the Central Washington Director of Sen. Maria Cantwell's office, Page Scot of the Yakima Valley Conference of Governments, Kaaren Roe of the Washington State Department of Commerce, Kathleen Davis of the Washington State Department of Transportation, Jeff Louman of Huibregtse, Louman Associates and GMC Training Institute CEO Gloria Mendoza.
Secretary of the Washington State Department of Agriculture Dan Newhouse spoke to those gathered, as well.
He said, "This is the first page in a new chapter for Grandview."
Newhouse met with city leaders in 2007 regarding plans for the Downtown Alive project.
"I kept thinking about it and remember thinking 'Wow, that's going to be a big task'," said Newhouse, a state representative at the time.
It wasn't much later that he was tapped to fill his current role in the governor's cabinet. "I was glad I no longer had to worry about the project," he admitted.
Newhouse said he is proud of all that has been accomplished by the city of Grandview.
"I commend the community that not only had a goal and a plan, but was enthusiastic about it," he said, recalling the city was named Patriotic City during the state's bicentennial year.
The efforts of the community that year did not last, but Newhouse said he believes the Downtown Alive project will.
"Future generations are going to stand on your shoulders," he said.
At the conclusion of the speeches given by all the dignitaries, those present gathered for a ribbon cutting under the Grandview Centennial arch and were entertained in the passageway between the city's parking lot and Division Street by the Sevigny sisters.
Oh! There was cake, too.