Deadline extended for residents' input on Streetscape pavers

By: Gloria Young, Journal Staff Writer
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There’s still time for residents to have their say on who and what will be honored as part of the Downtown Auburn Streetscape project. The Streetscape History and Arts Advisory Committee has extended the deadline for nominations of notable persons, places and events until Thursday, March 25, at-large member Cynthia Haynes said Tuesday. The committee is seeing a lot of interest. “I must have had 25 calls from people,” Haynes said. That’s in addition to those who turned in applications at the city clerk’s office. “We’ll bring (the nominations) to the meeting and take a look at them, put them in categories and decide what we have,” Haynes said. Those that are chosen will be engraved in the approximately 140 sidewalk pavers in and around central square. “We might be able to include all the ones we receive, because so far we haven’t gotten to the total of (approximately 140),” she said. “But that doesn’t mean they all will be in there.” It is likely that some of the pavers will be saved for other nominations later in the Streetscape project, according to Keith Nesbitt, Auburn city councilman and Streetscape committee chairman. Decisions are still pending for a second part of the art and history elements — three interpretive plaques on brick stands. One will be devoted to the Gold Rush, another to central square and the third will focus on endurance, Nesbitt said. “Endurance is a theme through the centuries, even before Tevis and Western States,” he said. The three plaque overlays will depict narrative and historical texts. The committee is still working out the details, but the facts will be thoroughly researched before any final wording is approved, he said. Cost for engraving the pavers and creating the interpretive signs was factored into the $2.2 million bid for Streetscape’s phase 1, City Manager Bob Richardson said Tuesday. But the actual outlay of funds will depend on timing. “If they’re not done until much later, those would be charges that did not accrue during this (phase of the) project,” he said. “We’d roll them into a new contract at a later date.” The multi-phase Streetscape project is being paid for through community redevelopment funds. Not included in that budget is the funding for several sculptures to be placed in central square, Mayor Bridget Powers said. “We don’t have an idea on the cost,” she said. The community and the city will share the cost, with public funding coming from redevelopment money, Powers aid. “We have no percentage of what will be public and what will be private,” she said. “Some people have offered to donate work, but that’s all verbal.” That part of the artistic vision is still in the early planning stage. There have been some discussions with local artists, but nothing has been formalized. “These are all verbal costs that were given to us and not one single artist has given us a proposal that we can say ‘do this for that amount of money,’” Powers explained. The first step is determining the direction to take. “It depends on all the parties coming to a consensus on what’s the right artwork and the right piece and the right location,” Powers said. “That could take six months to six years depending on how everyone comes together in the process.” Gloria Young can be reached at ------------ The Streetscape committee welcomes residents’ nominations for people, places and events to be honored on the engraved pavers. Send the reason why you think the person, place or event was important in 50 words or less to or drop off the form, available at Auburn city’s Web site at City Hall, 1225 Lincoln Way; or provide input directly to committee member Cynthia Haynes at (530) 889-5133. Deadline is noon Thursday, March 25.