City council lauded for aiding in uptown beautification efforts

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Bill Flower Monday talks to the Sunnyside City Council about the recent Uptown Sunnyside Association's efforts to beautify downtown Sunnyside.

The Sunnyside City Council in its regular meeting was provided a slide show by Bill Flower last night.

He wanted to show the council how its support has helped to beautify downtown Sunnyside. He also credited them for helping to pave the way for future projects to improve the downtown business corridor.

This past spring and summer Flower and the Uptown Sunnyside Association embarked on a plan to install planters throughout the downtown area.

The project, said Flower, was a community effort. He said Canam provided materials for the stands and students in the Fusion class at Sunnyside High School constructed the stands. The community's support of the project didn't stop there. Approximately 10 volunteers ventured out each morning, watering the flowers provided by Sunshine Nursery.

"There were 138 baskets," said Flower, stating each of the baskets cost $50.

The Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce has banners that will also be displayed on the stands. It is Flower's hope additional banners will be designed by students in the Sunnyside School District.

This past summer he and the volunteers watering the flowers downtown noticed a need for more flowers.

Flower said it is also his hope to have planters at ground level as a result of a future project.

"Sunnyside began as a holy city," said Flower, stating the idea of the downtown beautification project was the result of his knowledge of Sunnyside's past combined with his involvement in Sunnyside Transformation Lower Valley.

He said the city was the result of a Christian cooperative colony's belief in making the city a place of beauty. The city at the time was named Mayhew, but those original pioneers renamed it.

Taking a cue from those original settlers, Flower began beautifying downtown by trimming the trees planted in the business sector.

"I want to bring people downtown," he stated.

Flower said he has other ideas that would make use of the Centennial Square bandstand and the stage in Central Park.

He would like to bring tourists to the downtown area with Blue Grass groups and other entertainment, providing those visiting the community for wine tasting events something to enjoy in the evenings.

"We have the infrastructure," said Flower.

"The important thing is to involve various community members and help them by giving them an opportunity to be a part of the community improvement," he continued, stating the citizens of Sunnyside are generous in supporting efforts to improve the community.

He made several suggestions for events that could take place in Sunnyside. He also told council about the history and features of buildings like the Safari, Golden Pheasant and the second floor of the building that currently houses Audel's. The purpose was to highlight features of the community he believes are under-utilized, but could be points of interest if given the opportunity to shine.

Flower said drawing more people to downtown through beautification efforts and events will draw the interest of potential business owners to those buildings.

Deputy Mayor Nick Paulakis said, "We've been talking about coming up with ideas to bring visitors to Sunnyside. I have spoken with the city manager."

Paulakis said he and City Manager Mark Gervasi have been thinking a suggestion box for event ideas might be useful.

Flower welcomed the idea and said, "Well, I just want to thank you. Without your jumpstart to the (beautification) project, it wouldn't have been possible."



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