Port to update Freeland facilities

Freeland Park's restrooms are getting a facelift.

Renovation of the concrete block structure is long overdue. In fact, any sprucing up may require a total rebuild.

Port of South Whidbey commissioners began the process at their meeting Wednesday night by approving the expenditure of $4,500 for new restroom designs. The Freeland architectural firm of Rick Brown and Associates is charged with developing several schematic drawings of new or remodeled restroom structures for the park.

The restroom building shouldn't detract from the vista of Holmes Harbor as it does now, said Port commissioner Linae Slinden.

The bathroom project is the latest step in Freeland's Park's makeover, which began several years ago with the addition of a new ramp and dock. Last year, the South Whidbey Lions began a beautification of the park's grounds with landscaping and raised flower beds. All the work was done with volunteer labor.

Roy Benson, the coordinator of the Freeland Park Project for the Lions, presented an overview of the club's work to date and future plans to remove the Scotch broom from the east side of the park and build a berm with low profile plantings along Stewart Street.

"Our goal is to modernize the landscaping and make it more colorful," said Benson.

He said the club wants to add benches and more covered picnic tables.

Port commissioners acknowledged the 200 hours of volunteer labor done by members of the Lions Club and agreed they should be included in the process of selecting a new look for the restroom.

Other improvements planned at the park include a proposed walking path that will eventually be connected to a trail down Myrtle to Main Street.

There was discussion about completing the Myrtle section this year, however Port Commissioner Gene Sears suggested postponing it until next year, when Island County could schedule it as one of its projects.

"Let's build a nice walkway in the park to begin with and see what the usage is like," Sears said.

In other business the Port District of South Whidbey Island adopted a resolution commending Jan Smith for her dedicated service as a former commissioner of the board and service to the community. She credited for her support and leadership in starting the Dorothy Cleveland Trail Project at Possession Point, acting as Port liaison with the County Parks Department and Island County Sheriff's Office, spearheading efforts to update Port inter-local agreements and for getting Possession Beach Park rules adopted into Island County Code.

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