Due to what the city called structural instabilities, Bothell workers on Aug. 28 removed the gazebo that had sat on Main Street for roughly 20 years.
Making her comments prior to the demolition, Bothell Assistant City Manager and Economic Development Manager Terrie Battuello referred to the structure as a hazard.
“It could fall and hurt somebody,” she said flatly.
Nevertheless, some local business leaders were not happy to the see the structure go.
Paul Desilet of Paul Richards Clothing on Main tried unsuccessfully to get a campaign in gear to save the structure. Desilet said he is well aware of plans to redo Bothell’s downtown, including Main.
“That’s probably not going to happen until… 2013, 2014?” he said, adding that with that in mind, it made no sense, in his opinion, to destroy the gazebo now. Desilet also feels that whatever is put up in the gazebo’s place will not have the “homey” feel of the gazebo. He described the structure as a fixture of downtown Bothell, part of the character of Main Street.
Battuello said city workers first discovered a problem with the gazebo’s supports on July 4.
“The timbers that support the roof are rotted,” she said.
City crews propped up the roof and ringed the structure with red police tape and construction barricades to keep pedestrians away.
According to Battuello, a local improvement district (LID) voted to tax themselves and carry the cost of constructing the gazebo. A few years ago, the city then spent $8,000 of its own money to fix the failing roof of the structure. Battuello said fixing the supports would cost Bothell an additional $6,000. She feels that’s money the city doesn’t have and that the gazebo location could be put to better use.
According to Desilet, someone at the city — he didn’t say who — suggested the responsibility for repairing the gazebo rests with the businesses who contributed to the LID that funded it in the first place. Desilet clearly didn’t accept that argument, saying the LID also paid for such items as street lighting. But the city, he said, would never expect the LID to replace a burned-out bulb in those lights.
Battuello talked a lot about the plans to redo downtown and Main Street, saying the city intends on spending upwards of $3.5 million to revamp the roadway. She doesn’t see the gazebo becoming part of the renovations, making repairs an unneeded expense, from her point of view.
“It’s a building that’s going to go away in about three years no matter what,” Battuello said.
Battuello added the city’s plans were to preserve the gazebo roof and store it for potential use elsewhere. For example, she the roof could be used to top off a new gazebo in the city’s Centennial Park.
Even prior to the demolition, crews previously had removed and stored the gazebo’s clock, which was added when the city rebuilt the roof.
As for the former gazebo space on Main, Batuello once again referred to the coming plans to redesign the street. She said one of the ideas is for kiosks or what she called “way-finding” stations throughout the downtown. Battuello would like to see a sort of demonstration model go up at the gazebo location.
“That would be my preference for that spot, something that represents the future,” she said.