Polling slated in Winslow planning effort

How much is the community willing to spend on downtown? They’ll find out.

Winslow Tomorrow hopes to round up a crack team of designers and architects to bring downtown planning into a finer focus.

“We’re in the process of refining,” said architect Charlie Wenzlau, whose firm is on tap for proposed Winslow Tomorrow consulting services. “What we want to do now is take ideas about downtown and put them into a cohesive picture.”

Almost $66,000 worth of Winslow Tomorrow initiatives are slated for City Council approval today at City Hall. The money was already included in the city budget in June. Today’s action is aimed at approving the contracts for the experts who will help craft this phase of the project.

“This is not new money,” said Winslow Tomorrow project manager Sandy Fischer. “We’re now just selecting the people to do the work that’s already been approved.”

The biggest money item is a proposed $19,600 questionnaire and random survey project collecting community preferences for downtown development.

If approved, Elway Research would conduct a telephone survey of 400 island residents and develop a 35-50 item questionnaire that would take no longer than 20 minutes to complete.

The project cost would also include design services, result tabulation, a written interpretation of findings and oral presentations.

The questionnaire and survey will help the city “revisit the community values survey,” said Fishcer. “It will ask who we are and tell us people’s priorities for growth and land use. It will also tell us how much the community is willing to invest in downtown.”

Wenzlau’s island-based architectural firm would earn $18,000 for a variety of urban design services.

The firm is poised to produce a Winslow Tomorrow summary brochure, reports, a presentation, and plans for green-space projects and a parking garage concept.

“We may produce physical models of downtown or use computer models that show people what Winslow could look like,” Wenzlau said. “We’ve talked a lot about what could happen through charettes and meetings. Now it’s important to create pictures to support our ideas and help us, as designers, better understand what is proposed.”

About $16,000 for additional design work would go to the Seattle-based firm PRR. The firm recently helped the city of Bellingham craft a vision for the redevelopment of formerly industrial waterfront areas.

Seattle’s Berger Partnerships, a 34-year old landscape architecture firm, would be paid about $15,000 to develop street design and presentation services. Berger Partnerships helped redevelop a 154-acre portion of Warren G. Magnuson Park in Seattle on land that was once a military base.

One focus of the company’s involvement on Bainbridge would include a collaborative design for Winslow Way, from Ferncliff to Grow avenues. This particular project would include four work sessions involving a variety of artists, engineers, architects and landscape experts.

“All of these projects are to help show what different intensities of development might look like,” Fischer said. “It’s to articulate the values and consensus that’s emerging.”

Formal proposals for downtown should be presented to the City Council this fall.

* * * * *

Downtown news

Today: The City Council considers the approval of Winslow Tomorrow design and survey projects. The meeting begins at 2 p.m. at City Hall.

Next Tuesday: Transportation consultant Jim Charlier will present his recommendations for traffic circulation and parking improvements during a public meeting at City Hall, from 7-9 p.m.

Next Wednesday: Charlier will again present his transportation recommendations at the Winslow Tomorrow monthly update meeting with city staff to answer citizen questions from 8 a.m. at City Hall. For more information, call Winslow Tomorrow at 780-3718.

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