Kicking off 2018, all the mayors in Thurston County spoke at the State of the Community Address to present their goals and visions for their respective cities in the upcoming year. ThurstonTalk had the opportunity to continue this conversation with City of Tumwater Mayor Pete Kmet to hear from him on what he is most looking forward to and where he hopes to take the city this year.
Preservation of the Old Brewhouse Tower
One of the projects that is buzzing with excitement and momentum is the preservation of the Old Brewhouse Tower. A remnant of the Olympia Brewing Company, the city regards the tower as “a symbol of the crucial role the Olympia Brewing Company played in the history of our community, and the last reminder of the flourishing riverside industries that once formed the heart of this town.”
For the past few years, the City of Tumwater has been taking steps to preserve the architectural landmark. Previously, they provided emergency repairs and short-term protection to keep the space safe until more funds were secured. The city now has a $500,000 State Heritage Grant that will help with the next steps in the preservation project.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing this preservation of the Old Brewhouse Tower continue progressing after taking some steps in 2017,” said Mayor Kmet.
Trail and Street Development
City of Tumwater now has funding from federal grants awarded by the Thurston Regional Planning Council which will allow them to begin work on two exciting projects:
- The construction of a new multipurpose trail connecting the Tumwater Historic Park (near Tumwater Falls) to the Olympia Tumwater Foundation Park. This project will produce what Mayor Kmet described as “a long sought after connection.”
- The reconstruction of Desoto Street, an important east-west connection on lower Tumwater Hill.
Police and Fire Department Growth
Last year, the City of Tumwater grew their police and fire departments. Staff numbers were increased and the north-end fire station on Linwood Ave is now fully staffed and operational. In 2018, the city will purchase a new firetruck to serve the city and increase services related to emergency safety. Additionally, the Police Department is leading a new team to address nuisance properties.