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First Street improvements, such as new dining fixtures, are coming

When new downtown fixtures are built and installed, they will supplant the tents currently allowed on First Street.

SNOHOMISH — For downtown, the city plans to use federal funding for sidewalk repairs, semi-permanent outdoor dining fixtures, better trash management and replacing troublesome trees.
Not on the list, but on everyone’s mind: Rehabbing the Avenue A gazebo. Staff and volunteers will be mustered later this year to rebuild it, city officials say.
The city estimates it will be allocated $2.2 million for rebounding from coronavirus-related economic impacts under President Biden’s American Rescue Plan. The downtown improvements tally to near $400,000.
City economic development manager Wendy Poischbeg said she couldn’t make a case that the gazebo was affected by the coronavirus, unlike restaurants.
On outdoor dining, semi-permanent “parklets” could be coming to continue using parts of First Street parking for outdoor dining. The tents restaurants use today will go away.
The tents were a lifeline during the tightest state restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic that banned indoor dining. However, they also pose a line-of-sight problem for drivers, Poischbeg said.
Poischbeg is talking with Gagnon Welding to see if it can design outdoor platforms. The city would own these, and place them for restaurants from spring to October each year to add outdoor dining, Poischbeg indicated. One goal is to make the platforms flush with the curb to be ADA-accessible.
Today, restaurants own the tents standing on First Street. Until the pandemic dollars ran out, the city was renting barricades and later rentng tents to assist restaurants.

Trees, sidewalks and trash cans
A tree plan would remove and replace six tall ones at the street corners in front of The Repp, Time Out, Piccadilly Circus, Worthy home furnishings, Antique Warehouse, and the entrance of Kla Ha Ya Park.
“It hurts to remove these six trees,” but their roots are damaging  sewer lines and getting into power lines, Poischbeg said.
To lose them, though, would be a shame, resident Bonny Headley implored at the May 18 council meeting, who asked if an arborist’s touch could save them. “They are at this point statuesque and add to our downtown,” Headley said.
The sidewalk repairs are primarily to fix tripping hazards. Some bulges were caused by tree roots pushing up from underneath.
The garbage plan is to solve overflow from takeout containers. Sometimes trash slips between the can and the iron fascia. The Historic Downtown Snohomish Association wants to replace the existing cans with new ones, Poischbeg said.




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