Fall 2013 Newsletter

C OMMUNITY C ONNECTION Issue 76 City of Sumner Newsletter

Autumn 2013

CityTakes Major Step Forward to Sell Golf Course for $53 Million

A few issues ago, we asked people to lend their historic photos of Sum- ner for a history book that Arcadia Publishing was printing about Sumner. You responded, and as a result, a great book is coming out this September. Instead of repeating Amy Ryan’s excellent tale of Sumner’s settlement and founding in The Sumner Story , this book tells the next chapters in Sumner’s history, focusing more on the businesses, people and events of the 1900s. Do you remember Turner Ranch just south of town, where girls stayed in a camp while picking raspberries? Did you know there used to be an amusement park just west of the cemetery along Valley Avenue? Did you know that in the 1950s, Sumner’s working women met for BPA, the Business & Professional Association? Take a visit back to the time of soda fountains and sock hops. Books will be available for sale throughout Sumner and at City Hall. www.arcadiapublishing.com 9 781467 130639 IsBn-101-4671-3063-X IsBn-13978-1-4671-3063-9 52199 $21.99 S umner , W aS ington C ome on in to sumner, Washington, the “Rhubarb Pie Capital of the World.” settled in 1853 after a wagon train daringly crossed the Cascade mountains through naches Pass, sumner quickly grew to become an established town. Find out how sumner’s name was literally drawn out of a hat. learn about george Ryan’s unique method for getting the railroad to stop here. Take a tour down main street, and watch how it changed—or didn’t—through the decades. see Rya House when it actually was a farmhouse and the old Cannery when it was canning fruit. Join in celebrations over the years, from the daffodil Parade to football championships. meet schoolchildren, including Clara mcCarty Wilt, who became the first graduate of the university of Washington. Follow the work at local industries, from th lumberyards to the fields, where daffodils, berries, and of course, rhubarb were grown. to share these images with the entire sumner family. The Images of america series celebrates the history of neighborhoods, towns, and cities across the country. using archival photographs, each title presents the distinctive stories from the past that shape the character of the community today. arcadia is proud to play a part in the preservation of local heritage, making history available to all. 3063SUMNcvr.indd 1 The City of sumner has enjoyed leading the collection of these photographs from the sumner school district, local businesses, citizens, and people whose families used to live and work and shape sumner. authors Paul J. Rogerson and Carmen m. Palmer are honored On September 16, the Council voted 6-1 to sell the golf course to Principal In- vestments. According to the agreement, Principal will pay the City of Sumner $53 mil- lion for the land plus $9 mil- lion toward building a bridge at 24th Street so that their development’s traffic doesn’t further clog 8th Street. The golf course never worked as originally intend- ed. After 20 years of bor- rowing from other sources, refinancing twice, and state audit findings, the City continued to owe about $5.8 million on the course with debt payments reaching over $800,000 each year. If it was sold as a golf course, the City maybe could have received $1 million. As raw land,

the estimates came in at $30 million. Starting over a year ago, the City extensively studied what to do. The Council dis- cussed the issue at numerous meetings, and many of you completed a survey with 80% telling the City to sell the course. The Council voted last fall to move ahead with marketing the property for development. The City retained Colliers International to market the course. Offers came in from around the world. Mayor Enslow and staff worked to bring the best offer before the Council for consideration. The final agreement obvi- ously far exceeded original projections. What does this mean for

you? First, the City will pay off the remaining debt and then repay the sewer fund all the money that it’s paid into the course over the years. The Council could seri- ously consider lowering your utility rates in the future. It also means the City can help build the YMCA. The new 24th Street Bridge will add an east-west corridor that the City has long wanted to develop. Although the new bridge won’t yet connect all the way to the East Valley Highway, the bridge is a very expensive piece of this new corridor, and it is now being paid for privately instead of by the City. And, the sale does not include all the land that was originally pur- chased. The City still retains

approximately 138 acres of farm land and open space south of the golf course. The City will continue to own that space, now free of debt. Although the agreement is a huge step forward, there is still a process the City must go through before this is all done. A local developer has challenged the City’s abil- ity to sell the course, and the City is currently working to address their issues. Just like buying a house, Principal will spend the fall doing due diligence on the land as the agreement moves toward closing. In the meantime, Billy Casper Golf closed down operations after Sep- tember 30. With the proceeds far ex-

ceeding projections, the sale could fund things like more parks, open space, trails, or simply stay in the bank to keep the City finances in good shape well into the future without further tapping individuals’ pocketbooks. First, the City will move toward closing and then the Mayor and Council will work with citizens to figure out what is best to do with the funding. In the meantime, it’s perhaps time to pause and celebrate that while the course never worked as intended, no one ever projected 20 years ago--or even six months ago-- that it could earn over $53 million, plus a bridge, for the City of Sumner.

To Garage or Not to Garage?

History BookTells Sumner’s Collective Story

Appropri- ately, the City will

I m a g e s o f A m e r i c a

S umner Paul J. RogeRson and CaRmen m. PalmeR

use the pro- ceeds from the book for the ongoing maintenance and upkeep of Sumner’s historic Ryan House.

S umner

In 2008, the regional voters approved Sound Move 2 with $37.8 million to increase access to the Sumner station. What does increase access mean? Since 2008, Sound Tran- sit has been studying the options. After a series of public open houses, rider surveys and city council briefings, the study identifies a preliminary list of potential improvements including increased bicycle and pedestrian access, creation of pick-up/drop-off areas, facilities to support existing con- nector transit service and investments to support expanded parking options. In summer 2014, the Sound Transit Board will select a preferred set of alternatives. What happens between now and then? Sound Transit will hold two public meetings in the first half of 2014 to get your help in refining the alterna- tives. In other words, take a look at all the ideas in the study and help Sound Transit narrow those to a package that gets recommended to the Board as Sumner’s project. Lots of people have lots of ideas about what should and should not happen with this project. Please join in the discussion. Continue to watch City newsletters and infor- mation directly from Sound Transit on details of time and location for the meetings in 2014. There is also a project webpage at www.soundtransit.org/SumnerImprovements. If you have any questions or want to schedule a visit with your neighborhood group, contact Tralayne Myers, Community Outreach Specialist, at 206-398-5014 or tralayne.myers@ soundtransit.org.

Thank you to everyone who contributed their family photos, their stories and their memories of Sumner. Hope- fully, this book is just the beginning


Paul J. Rogerson and Carmen M. Palmer

3/22/13 10:33:42AM

stage for the future. Check the website at www.ci.sumner.wa.us for details about locations selling the book.

of Sumner remembering the hardships, the fun, and the connections that together make up our past and set the

Thank you to those who helped contribute to this new book: H. Carol Anderson • Robert Barnum • Marc Blau • Jane Brazda Dave Curry • Rosalee Divelbiss • Pat Duffy, Jr. • Hazel Freehe Sharon Guyette • Bruce and Martha Hallman Hammermaster Law Offices • Ed and Carolyn Hannus • Donna Hardtke GinnyWeick Henderson • Karl & Barbara Keck • J. Larson • Roger Neill Charles Ochsner • The Old Cannery FurnitureWarehouse • Stacey Ota Carolyn Pasquier • Puyallup/Sumner Chamber of Commerce Mary Sanford • Kareen Shanks • Beverly Shilling • Anne Sonner Martha Sonneville • Spartan Agency LLC • Randy Strozyk Sumner School District • Tacoma Public Library • Ernie Trujillo RyanWindish • Washington Rhubarb Growers Association

When FourTimes Is Not Enough The city now sends its email version of Community Connections each week. With shorter stories about the upcoming week, it’s a more time-sensitive version of City news. And it’s free. Sign up today at www.ci.sumner.wa.us. Click the but- ton at the top right for “Get E-News.” If your inbox gets too cluttered, you can also opt out at any time.

Fall Clean Up Returns November 11-15

Got leaves? DM Disposal will again pick up extra bags of yard waste, extra trash and/or one appliance the week of November 11-15. If you are a City resident and DM customer, watch your mail for coupons.

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