December 2, 2002
We need to live here not just exist (Copy of a letter sent to the Duvall City Council)
My family and I support those Duvall City Council members who advocate saving the Thayer barn as a community and arts center for Duvall and its neighbors. This opportunity to establish a gathering place for meetings, celebrations, classes and presentations pleases so many. When we heard that the barn/arts center was in danger, I began to look into reasons behind such a decision.
If indeed, "preserving rural character" is a key element of the Comprehensive Plan, what better way to accomplish this than renovating a grand old barn along a major road? The people of Duvall agree. Consider the top-ranking concepts from Duvall's recent visioning process:
1. Thriving small town economy
2. Preserve the "Valley" "Downtown" characteristic
3. Encourage use of businesses, businesses off main street
4. Lively arts community
5. Community center
While Thayer barn certainly is old and run-down, these are among its hidden strengths. Two earlier structural re-engineering projects insure the barn's solid construction. In addition, its very age qualifies it for grants from a wide number of county, state and federal agencies. As you know, once the City of Duvall endorses the barn project, King County promises $70,000 to the City after completion of Phases I and II, and the Duvall Arts Foundation begins processing other grants.
On the subject of money, your (City Council) concerns about current and future costs to accommodate the needs of its citizens and taxpayers is laudable. We will always need sewers and roads. Ask yourself: Why did you move to Duvall? Did its friendly and creative nature attract you, or was it the roads and potential for sewers that drew you here?
We need to live here, not just exist here. Save us. Keep us from joining the common rank of housing with big and little malls nearby and schools full of boring children from families sedated by their bland environment. Duvall's reputation for creativity and artful living needs a boost.
A community and arts center in a grand old barn will bring beauty, joy and fun to the neighborhood. Let's see a proud moment in Duvall's history when we move forward as you, the City Council members, endorse Thayer barn as a community and arts center.
Debra Winter, Duvall