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Downtown future sums up retreat

Dan Swatman -
Dan Swatman
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By Dennis Box-The Courier-Herald

Bonney Lake City Council members gathered Saturday and Sunday at the Public Safety Building for their annual retreat to slice, dice and chop the coming year.

After the marathon meeting, Deputy Mayor Dan Swatman called the event a “great success. It went very well because the council members are all thinking in the same direction.”

Among the topics discussed were the downtown plan, annexation of the south Plateau, water strategies and sewer services in the south Plateau region.

According to Swatman, economic development of the downtown will be one of the top issues of the year.

“Several developers are already looking into the (downtown) triangle, especially around the Dairy Queen,” Swatman said. “The city has to have a plan on how to develop the area.”

Council members intend to put the plan on each workshop agenda this year with the intention of coming up with an incentive package for developers.

Mayor Neil Johnson said the council wants to move things ahead of the 2026 completion date presented to the council Feb. 6 by the Seattle consulting firm Makers Architecture.

“They want to see things happening in the next couple of years,” Johnson said. “Everyone is concerned about our downtown. We do not want to be known as “South Hill Lite.”

Johnson said the city could help developers with infrastructure and impact fees as part of an incentive package.

“There is a lot we can do on the city side,” Johnson said. “We just have to be realistic and stay on top of it.”

Swatman said no decision was made on the water service area, but “we just took a closer at the real implications of the water service area.”

Dennis Box can be reached at dbox@courierherald.com.

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