Meetings kick off new year of civic efforts in Harrington
Last updated 1/22/2018 at 2:57pm
A chance drop-in December 18 at Senior Meals brought a pleasant surprise to this writer and all who partook of the noon meal in Harrington prepared by Susan Harding with a modest collection of attendees: Larry and Judy Fryer, Aileen Sweet, Tim Campou, Cherie MacClellan, Howard Schafner, Bill Livingstone and Bud McPeak. Quite likely only this writer was surprised with the presentation of “The Christmas Locket,” a play presented by Misty Vinci (cook at Davenport Senior Meals) and three younger ones, Karate Merrifield (author), Kayla Basking and James Vinci.
The first meeting of the New Year for Harrington’s organizations was Wednesday noon when the Chamber of Commerce met at city hall with the following attending: Heather Slack, Cade Clarke, Summer Shockley, Cherie MacClellan, Bunny Haugan, Cindy Haase, Paula Pike, Jay Gossett, Mark Stedman, Kathy Hoob and Tim Tipton, president. The group discussed the success of the Senior Gift Bags from December 18 and passed a motion that the Chamber will be the non-profit organization that the funds for the Tree of Sharing goes through for accounting purposes. Kelly Tanke and Summer Shockley plan to continue being the ones handling the organization of the process.
Signage by the Chamber was discussed, resulting in a motion approved to have two additional boards on the City Amenities signs at the Grange and by the cemetery. The boards will have “RV Park” and “Coffee Shop” added to the front side with “Thank you for visiting. Come again.” on the reverse to be read when leaving town. Regarding the PDA Signage Project on Hwy 28 to promote town festivals and events, the Chamber voted to allocate $1,000.
Chamber’s next mailer and newsletter is planned for January 17. Plans were made for getting volunteers to help put them together and to coordinate with other organizations for their contributions to be included.
The vacant lot project on Willis and Third has been mostly talk in the past year. Harrington City Council met Wednesday, March 8, 2017 for their regular session in which the subject of Opera House Square was on the agenda due to citizens’ interest in it. This site was the location of the Adams & Mitchum building (1901-1986). Completed in September of 1901 by Houle Bros. of Spokane at a cost of $8,100, the building appeared somewhat as a forerunner of the Bank Building which contains the Opera House. When completed, the building housed a drug store, bank, dress shop, law offices and an opera house. Many recognize the structure and location as that of Makey’s Garage and Service Station. The building was demolished in 1986 when Bill Floyd deemed the condition of the building had gone beyond the point of restoration. The lot is the N. 65 feet of Lots 4, 5 & 6 in Block 46 which was gifted to the city by Myron Floyd in October 2011. In the previous month, Tim Tipton of the Chamber of Commerce presented to the Council his desire to improve the appearance of the lot. Being within the Historic District, compliance with historic preservation criteria was noted. Topics included concern for insurance, weed control, soil quality, as well as knowledge of the property and what had been done regarding the basement at that location when the building was demolished.
April 12, 2017, the City Council made brief mention of the vacant lot and that a suggestion box should be placed during Cruizin’ Harrington for residents to suggest their preference as to the use and development of the property, some of the suggestions were a skate board park, a small park with benches and grass, and a city garden.
The Harrington Public Development Authority on August 15, 2017 discussed options for the vacant lot, which had previously been determined to be a small park for sitting in the downtown district. At that time it was stated that a tractor would be needed in there to take the area down about 8 to 12 inches before clean fill could be brought in. Also mentioned were the need for water lines and some form of sprinkling system. The PDA offered willingness to work with the Chamber and the city council.
On October 23, 2017, local interest in making use of the vacant lot on Willis and Third became evident at the Harrington Community Forum when concerned individuals were allowed to sign up for the project: Jerry Allen, Jay Gossett, Tim Tipton, Justin Bradford, Susan Larmer and Bonnee Clarke. This group will have had their first planning meeting on Monday, January 8.
Harrington Public Library has received a new shipment of tangible books from the following authors: Child, Grisham, Steel, Cussler, Patterson, Kirkpatrick and Baldacci. We have also begun an e-books program granting free access to card holders for downloading up to five books at a time. In addition, the library has been sending out its collection of loose papers for binding. To date, the 2008, 2009 and 2010 Davenport Times have recently been bound for preservation.