Beautification efforts pick up steam

Published on Thu, Aug 30, 2001 by Christine Callan

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Beautification efforts pick up steam

By Christine Callan

People of Blaine are pulling together to make their city one to be proud of. Amanda Harger, 19, is one of those people. “I have lived here my whole life and I think what they’ve done so far is awesome,” Harger said. “The town has definitely become more appealing.”

Harger, a flight student in Moses Lake, has been working tirelessly painting a large boardwalk scene that will be hung in the window of the old Costa Azul building on Peace Portal Drive.

An artist throughout high school, Harger was approached by community and economic developer Terry Galvin about painting the mural. “We talked about what he wanted, I gave him some ideas and made a rough sketch,” Harger said. The mural brings to life city plans to develop a boardwalk on the harbor side of Peace Portal Drive. “It all kind of flows together,” Harger said.

Other steps have already been taken to make help the Costa Azul site less of an eyesore. Earlier this month the torn awning was removed, the building was pressure washed and it will be painted this Friday, weather permitting.

“Terry Galvin got a hold of me and said there was a volunteer group willing to clean up the building to comply more with the theme of the city and make it more attractive,” said Guenter Mannholt, owner of the building. Mannholt paid for the removal of the awning and the paint.

“There were some fees involved and I contributed because I’m all for the renovation.”

“We want to aesthetically make Blaine as beautiful and appealing as we possibly can,” said city clerk Shirley Thorsteinson. She is one of seven people on the Blaine beautification committee which is a sub-committee of the Blaine tourism advisory committee (BTAC). The committee oversees and spends the hotel/motel tax. The chair of the beautification committee is Jim Jorgensen and consists of city staff members and representatives from the parks board.

The Blaine beautification committee goes throughout the city and sees what needs cleaning up and promotes volunteerism Thorsteinson said. The Blaine beautification committee was created after the consulting firm of Chandler Brooks and Donahue did a study at the beginning of the year.
Members plan on seeing things done around Blaine to make downtown and neighborhoods clean and appealing. “I am very anxious to see different things done,” Thorsteinson said, adding she was excited about getting out there.

Board members and volunteers have formed a priority list of projects, the Costa Azul building being at the top of that list. As well, they would like to improve freeway exit signs into Blaine, parklets being cleaned up with flowers and benches, overgrown grass getting cut down and cleaning up neighborhoods.

“It is an effort between the city, property owners and volunteers,” said Laurie Hart of the Blaine parks and cemetery board. “Primarily volunteers,” she emphasized. She stressed that it is not money but community members’ time that will make Blaine beautiful.

“We want to give people a place they can take pride in,” Hart said. “Everybody is so excited because it is starting to come together.
Sandwich board signs will be put up throughout Blaine on work days stating ‘Blaine beautification volunteers in action,’” Hart said.

“We really would like to see neighbors getting out helping to make Blaine perk up and look pretty,” Thorsteinson said. “Blaine is truly one of the most exquisite towns I could imagine.” .
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