First Avenue Plaza could become permanent

By on Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021 in Columbia Basin News Columbia Basin Top Stories

WALLA WALLA – The Walla Walla City Council will consider approving a contract to convert the temporary First Avenue Plaza into a permanent public space at its regular meeting tonight at 6:30 p.m.

On the agenda, council will decide whether to approve a $166,450 consultant contract with PBS Engineering and Environmental Inc. for design of First Avenue Plaza.

The contract would be paid for by recovery funds from the American Rescue Plan Act. The professional services contract would cover architectural/visual elements to design a plaza, site and stormwater design, replacement of water main, assistance in bidding award, plus public engagement with key stockholders.

The proposed improvements also include reconfiguration of on-street parking on First Avenue south of the plaza area to maximize available parking including Americans with Disabilities Act compliant parking spaces and modification of the traffic signal at East Main Street and South First Avenue to improve accessibility for the visually impaired.

Other proposed improvements would be in the incorporation/addition of cost conscious, movable landscaping to provide shade during summer days, but allow for various uses/configurations of the plaza, possibly adding utility connections (gas/electric) to support community events taking place in the plaza, and repaving/resurfacing the southern half of the block on South First Avenue.

Council will also consider purchasing two new automated CPR machines for the two front line advanced life support ambulances in the amount of $39,541.13.

The Walla Walla Fire Department currently maintains and operates five advanced life support units with two of those units serving as front line apparatus. Currently, WWFD does not have any automated CPR machines within the fleet. However, Deputy Fire Chief Eric Wood said the science has shown that utilization of such devices increases the likelihood of victim survival and discharge from the hospital.

A live stream of the meeting may be viewed on the city’s website or via Zoom. The meeting ID number is 894 6098 4481.