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Spring planter cleaning on the horizon downtown

Spring is known in the Yakima Valley as a time for spring barrel tasting.

In downtown Sunnyside it looks like it will also be a time for spring planter cleaning.

That was part of the discussion yesterday, Tuesday, during a tourism stakeholders' meeting, a group of volunteers that includes city staff, local businessmen and women, as well as staff from the Port of Sunnyside.

In discussing ideas to spruce up the town, the group decided to work together to remove neglected wooden planters that have been in front of downtown storefronts since the mid 1990s.

Businesswoman and city council member Theresa Hancock noted some of the businesses tend to their wooden planters, keeping them stocked with live plants.

She and others in the tourism group, though, noted several of the wooden planters have been neglected over time and have grown to be eyesores.

Another member of the volunteer tourism stakeholders group, Amber Hansen of the Port of Sunnyside, noted one problem for many building owners downtown is a lack of water hook-ups at the front of their buildings to keep the planters watered.

After further discussion, the group agreed to proceed with a volunteer effort to remove the planters downtown that are not being used.

Chamber of Commerce Director Pam Turner agreed to hand deliver notes door-to-door to downtown businesses letting them know the planters will be removed unless they request them to remain and maintain the planters.

Also in attendance during the group's meeting yesterday was Sunnyside Public Works Supervisor Shane Fisher, who indicated city employees could assist with the planter removal.

In other discussion items yesterday, the tourism stakeholders' group agreed to research prices for posting informational signs directing visitors to a kiosk at the city entrance on South First Street, just off of I-82, exit 67.

In addition there was discussion about developing a guide or map for hotel/motel visitors that would point them to local restaurants and other businesses.

The next tourism stakeholders' group meeting will be Tuesday, April 3, at 11 a.m. at the Port of Sunnyside board room.

The meeting is open to the public.

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