Downtown park

The city is in the process of taking suggestions on naming the downtown park on Fourth and Pearl streets, home of the bull statue.

Even though the downtown park at Fourth and Pearl streets isn’t expected to be complete until the fall of 2021, plans are in the works on how to best use the property that’s been the centerpiece in downtown Ellensburg for decades.

The city is in the process of naming one of its newest and certainly most unique parks through its website and social media pages. Citizens with name ideas have until March 4 to make a suggestion. The process bounces back and forth between the Parks and Recreation Commission and City Council, but suggestions are being taken now.

The city started the process after purchasing the 24,500-square foot lot where the former Wells Fargo Bank drive-through and the Rotary Pavilion currently stand at 110 E. Fourth Ave., Parks and Recreation director Brad Case said.

“We have a council retreat scheduled and a lot of that retreat is going to hinge around the development of Rotary Pavilion. The council will look at some of the enticements that have been discussed and formulate what they feel should be done there,” Case said. “There is a grant opportunity this spring and summer that we will apply for to help.

“The earliest time frame for construction is fall of 2021 after Jazz in the Valley and the rodeo. We do not want to disrupt any of the different summer events. But it will leave us with plenty of time before the seasons change.”

During a community meet and greet where citizens had the opportunity to throw in some ideas, a water feature, more grass, shade-covered areas, either trees or awnings, some sort of recreational area, blended in with the historic decor of downtown were discussed.

The key is balance, Case said, creating something new for the seasonal events, as well as, a place for friends and families to gather.

“As a planner, anytime you can get people together in a pleasant environment is very important. We certainly will enhance the events already scheduled and add something new and special,” he said at that time.

Councilman David Miller’s office is downtown and reiterated that line of thought during the meet and greet.

“The idea in this early stage is to get people excited about the project and what the possibilities can be,” Miller said. “My office is downtown and I walk through the area almost every day. In a two-block radius there are probably six or eight restaurants in the area, so I think anytime we can get more people downtown, benefits everyone.”

The city has been looking into ways to maximize the space for community use and to expand tourism programming opportunities and decided to purchase the property owned by Red Mountain Holding Co., securing $400,000 dedicated from the Lodging Tax Capital Grant Program and the remaining $399,000 from cash balance in the City’s Park Acquisition Fund.

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