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City workshop to discuss Streetscape theme direction

By: Michelle Miller-Carl, Journal News Editor
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A workshop today will help formulate a direction for the placement of tiles in the first phase of the city’s Streetscape project. City Manager Bob Richardson will present the City Council, meeting as the Auburn Urban Development Authority, with three alternatives for the tiles at Tuesday’s workshop: • Take no action and decide on tiles at a later date • Accept the current proposal for an “endurance walk of fame” • Establish a committee to develop a broader history walk with public art along the Streetscape route “If the council chooses to move forward (with the history walk), we will develop a committee of all interested parties so they will be able to provide input and research on a comprehensive plan,” Richardson said. Developing the history walk and public art may take the committee until July, according to a proposed timeline. Richardson said construction on the first phase would move forward and tiles would have to be etched on site at a later date. The first phase of Streetscape is currently under way at the intersection of Lincoln Way and High Street. It will turn the area into an outdoor plaza with public artwork, planter boxes, benches, commemorative tiles, a fire pit, living Christmas tree and more. The entire project includes 10 phases with a price tag of around $20 million. A proposal to have the tiles be a “walk of fame” to honor endurance athletes and events in Auburn was made to the City Council in a meeting Aug. 24. At the meeting, members of the public spoke both for and against the proposal, with some citing a lack of public input on the plan. After deciding not to vote on endurance tiles, the council directed staff to organize a workshop to further discuss the issue. No vote will be taken at Tuesday’s workshop, but Richardson expects council members to provide direction to staff for a new proposal that would be voted on at a future meeting. The public can attend the workshop, which will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 8, at the City Council chambers at City Hall, 1225 Lincoln Way in Auburn. ~ Michelle Miller-Carl