Lads and Lassies Park in South Kelso will soon be expanding, as the City of Kelso moves to purchase a neighboring piece of property that had been a public nuisance. Last night, the Kelso City Council moved to spend $100,000 to purchase 704 Elm Street, with plans to bring that property into the park boundary. City Manager Steve Taylor says that this was an offer that came up through the Red Thistle Historical Society. Taylor says that the Red Thistle Society had originally purchased the home next to the park, with the goal of developing the old house as a community center. Those plans apparently did not pan out, and the Society offered the home to the city. Taylor says that 703 Elm has been an issue for the city for some time, with at least 19 police calls to that location in the last year. He says that the city can now take ownership of the property, demolish the house, and expand the footprint of the park. Taylor says that the purchase can be covered through the city’s NICER program, which earmarks Community Development Block Grant money for abatement and city improvement projects.
In other action last night, the Kelso City Council adopted the Kelso Park Facility Plan and the Catlin Spray Park Master Plan, and they awarded the contract for design services on the Grade Street Improvement Project. Action on the FAA grant for runway rehabilitation at the Southwest Washington Regional Airport is being postponed, as numbers for that project are being updated.