Heritage Court Update

Colville Together has been pleased to be a part of the design and discussions for the redesign and updating of Heritage Court over the past several years. We have been working with the steering committee established by the City of Colville. The steering committee included Chamber of Commerce, downtown business owners, and other interested community members. It has been a labor of love for all of us.

We didn’t know when the project would be able to start construction, or if it would ever happen because funding the project was difficult for the City, and there were no grants available for this kind of project. Mayor Ralph Lane, came up with a very creative solution, that not only allowed for the updating of Heritage Court, but also solved an issue that many of the downtown buildings along the south end of Main Street.

Huckleberry Bear in Heritage Court

The water and sewer lines are undersized and do not allow for today’s requirement if any of the building owners want to remodel. So the Mayor proposed adding a new water and sewer line to the alley of Main Street in the large parking lot behind heritage Court. To do this a very large hole will be created in Heritage Court to get the lines deep enough and back to the alley from the existing main lines. After the new water and sewer lines at installed, Heritage Court will be put back together. The design includes new lighting, new seating areas and a great open space for people to gather.

Please see the link above for further information about the schedule for the project, and the affected areas of downtown and Main Street. This project will cause a bit of inconvenience for a short period of time, but the long term result will be worth it.

Colville Together Designated as a Main Street Community

Colville Together has just received formal notice from Washington State Main Street that we have earned our designation as a Main Street Community for 2020.  Colville Together has been a Main Street Affiliate since 2017 and has been working hard the past few years to become a Main Street Community.  According to preservewa.org, “Washington Main Street helps communities revitalize the economy, appearance, and image of their downtown districts using the successful Main Street Approach®, a comprehensive revitalization strategy built around a community’s unique heritage and attributes.”

Colville Together is so excited as this designation provides opportunities that were not available to us as an Affiliate.  We are now going to be able to keep monies working locally that would otherwise go directly to the state.  The Main Street Tax Credit Incentive Program allows local businesses to take advantage of a 75% tax credit for B&O Taxes.  For example, if a local business donates $1,000 to Colville Together, they will receive a $750 tax credit for the following year.   The donations to Colville Together will be used for our programs which include façade grants, a building improvement matching grant program and downtown murals.  These programs are focused on improving the look of downtown Colville, which will encourage visitors, as well as our community, to spend time shopping and enjoying downtown.

Colville Together would not be possible without the help of our partners; the City of Colville, Colville Chamber of Commerce, and Tri County Economic Development District. Thank you for your time, financial support and encouragement over the past few years. 

Downtown Colville Christmas Tree Lighting

The Colville Chamber of Commerce, the Parks & Recreation Department, and Colville Together are collaborating again this year to decorate the downtown Christmas Tree. 

The tree has been donated by Hancock Forest Management, from land that they manage.  It is a natural tree from the forest surrounding Colville.  The tree is being cut down and delivered to Astor Street by Trent Lang of Vaagen Brothers Lumber and other Vaagen Brothers employees. He has provided his services and time for numerous years to put up our Christmas Tree.

For the second year in a row, Josh Anderson of Vaagen Brothers Lumber, has donated over 400 cut rounds for the local school kids to decorate.  Over 15 teachers and their classes are participating this year to help decorate the tree.  The Chamber of Commerce has also donated new ornaments and additional lights to create a festive tree. 

The Christmas Tree was lit November 29th in Astor Court starting at 5pm.  Chamber of Commerce sponsored the event and has organized live music and warm beverages.   Panorama 4H 4 Paws will be selling cookies for a fund raiser.  Santa arrived at 6pm to light the tree and was available for pictures at Saundra’s.

It was great to see you all Downtown!  Merry Christmas!

Small Business Saturday 2019

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Small Business Saturday 2019 is coming up November 30th!  For the third year, Colville “Neighborhood Champions,” are joining forces with Colville Together to host an event encouraging our community to shop local!Website_Badge_V2019

We will be having several giveaways, a scavenger hunt, and a grand prize drawing (a collection of prizes donated by participating businesses)!  Stop by Heritage Court to collect your Small Business Saturday shopping bags and your “passport”.  Then visit the participating businesses to collect your stamps at the local area businesses. A full passport will enter you to win the grand prize.   

The scavenger hunt will be via Facebook.  Find a This Place Matters – Colville T-shirt at one of the participating businesses, take a pic and post to Facebook with the #heartColville. Five random entries will be selected to win a  Colville T-shirt

While your downtown, enjoy a horse and buggy ride curtsy of the Chamber of Commerce and Jeff Upton from Hoof & Boots.

Join us for Small Business Saturday 2019 and support our Colville local businesses.

Flower Dancing in the Wind

Flower Dancing in the Wind, a gorgeous sculpture by local artist, Jerry McKellar, will be officially unveiled Friday June 28, 2019 at noon at the southwest corner of Yep Kanum Park.  The sculpture was purchased by the Vinson Fund earlier this year upon approval by City Council. 

Colville Together has been coordinating the installation with the City of Colville, the City Parks and Recreation Department, Jerry McKellar, the City Streets Department, as well as local volunteers.  Together we decided on a location for the sculpture, and site preparations began. We temporarily relocated the plantings and the park sign and disassembled the existing retaining wall to get the location ready for the sculpture.  Once the site was ready, Jerry McKellar and Jeff Long at the City Street Department placed Flower Dancing in the Wind.  The volunteers then came back to rebuild the retaining wall and replaced the plantings.  Jillian Marshall, City Parks and Recreation Director, and her staff helped with much of the heavy lifting throughout the process. This project was only possible because of the generosity and enthusiasm of our community.

A Special Thank You to all the volunteers and local businesses that donated time and materials:

City of Colville

Colville Chamber of Commerce

Colville Together

WSU Extension Master Gardeners

Vinson Fund

Colville Tree Board

Rotary Club of Colville

Vaagen Brothers Lumber

Vaagen Timbers

Richart Corporation

Jerry McKellar

Craig and Sarah Newman

Annie Lawson

Dean Fisher

Colville and the Joy of Christmas

It is a lovely time of year in Colville.  The community comes together and makes the Holidays special.  Downtown becomes a festive, fun, and lively place to be.  Deocations are hung, the tree goes up, and music fills Main Street. 

Colville Together had the oppurtiunity to help with the festivities this year.  We reached out to the the local schools for help decorating the Downtown Christmas tree.  Fourteen classrooms participated and over 400 handmade ornaments were made for the tree.  The materials for the ornaments – log rounds, tounge depressors, and pine cones – were donated.  Josh Anderson and Phil Bradeen from Vaagen Timbers cut the birch trees, sawed the rounds and drilled the holes.  Missy Stalp, Providence Mt. Carmel, donated the tounge depressors, which the students transformed into snowflakes and stickmen.  The pine cones, collected by two woodland faires, were decorated with glitter, turned into raindeer, and painted. 

As it has for many years, the Parks & Rec Department, hung the lights (circling the tree this year thanks to a donation from the Colville Chamber of Commerce) and red bows, then we all went to work hanging the beatiful ornaments that the children made.  It was a long day, but full of fun and thankfully sunshine.  Jill Marshall and the entire Parks & Recreation crew did a fabulous job.  

The decorated tree was lit at the Chamber of Commerce’s anually Tree Lighting Event.  It was  wonderful. 

Thank you Colville!  Merry Christmas!

Downtown Trees Help Local Economy

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Street trees are an amazing Downtown Colville investment.   Not only do they add value to our community, they help the economic vitality of Downtown Colville.  Dr. Kathleen Wolf from the University of Washington had an article publish in the Main Street News regarding how healthy street trees encourage spending downtown.

“Central business districts are the heart and soul of communities.  There are places where people can enjoy an appealing atmosphere and have a memorable experience, which gives Main Street a definite edge over its online and strip mall competitors.  The design of a commercial district that uses landscaping and trees can enhance a customers’ experience and further strengthen its competitive edge.”

Shoppers once were looking to buy what they needed then continue with their day, but with on-line commerce, shopping has changed.  Shoppers can find easily find what they need on-line and have it delivered to their door.  Today’s downtown shopper is looking for an EXPERIENCE.  Street trees aid in that experience because they aid in the visual appeal, create a sense of place, and are regarded as an amenity.

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Dr. Wolf’s study not only determined that trees help in the creation of a positive experience, she also found that consumers claimed they were willing to pay almost 10% more for the same goods and services in business districts that have trees. Shoppers also claimed they were willing to travel farther and stay longer in a retail area with trees.  Trees “enhance a sense of place and identity for the business district while boosting foot traffic and sales revenue.”

Beautiful, mature street trees are an investment and amenity for Downtown Colville that few other towns in our area have.  Downtown Colville trees set us apart!

 

Downtown Trees

I think we can all agree that we have a beautiful downtown.  Especially this time of year when the trees are at their most dynamic.  The street trees are one of Downtown Colville’s greatest assets.

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The City recently received a generous Small Community Forestry Grant from the Washington Department of Resources for the evaluation, inventory, and mapping of street trees in our downtown corridor. Using data from that inventory, along with input from local businesses, this grant has allowed for the creation of a management plan for our downtown street trees.

Urban forester, Jim Flott, visited Colville this summer and cataloged the trees in our town.  He inventoried 240 trees throughout town and determined, through court validated pricing, that they are worth $399,000.  WOW!  Isn’t that amazing?  What an investment we have put into our town! If we take care of that investment it will continue to gain value.

 

 

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Unfortunately, the trees are severely neglected.  Luckily, the City of Colville is committed to rectifying this problem, and the Tree Board is focused on preserving our investment.  Money has been designated for care and maintenance of the trees and the Public Works Department as well as Streets has already begun implementing many of the recommendations of the urban forester.  Pruning is the top priority, removing the tree grates is needed, and providing mulch, to increase moisture, around all the trees is currently being done.

All the trees need to be pruned and sadly there are a few that have to be removed because they are too far gone.  Pruning will not only increase the life of the trees and continue our investment; it will reduce the amount of leaves that are falling onto the sidewalks, make signage for the businesses more visible, and improve safety for pedestrians at the cross walks by making the flashing beacons easier to see.

Colville Together’s goal of “…planning and preserving Historic Downtown Colville…” includes the street trees.  We will be assisting in any way that we can to help.  If you are interested in the street trees and ways you can help please contact the Colville Tree Board at (509) 684-5094 for information.

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Behind the Facade Tour

Yesterday was an awesome day in Downtown Colville!  Over 50 community members joined in on the “Behind the Facade Tour” that Colville Together Organized.

The tour started at RE Lee Shoes.  Karen and Simon Abide shared a bit of the history of the RE Lee building and took us throughout the building.  We traipsed through the back door into the hobbit hideaway of an office space and down into the depths of the basement. We saw the stock rooms, the old shelving from the hardware store and technological advancement of the time, a concrete foundation.

They also took us into the beautiful apartment space that they have on the second level of the building. It was a wonderful tour, full of great information, history and fun.

After the RE Lee building tour, Terry Timmering, took us to his building which currently houses Hometown Computer.  He shared that his building was an extension of the Lee Hotel, now House of Music. He then took us up to the second floor.  In the 1920’s the hotel rooms where left and almost nothing has been done to them.  There was original floors, beautiful baseboards, lathe and plaster walls, and each room had the original porcelain sink.

Terry calls the place a “ghost hotel” and it was a bit spooky with the lack of electricity and the dun going down. He also shared the lower portion of the building with the tour and then led us to the basement.  His foundation was made of stone and had original coal shoots and the old boiler was still in place.

It was a wonderful time downtown and so awesome to see community members show and interest in the buildings and our history.