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2017 State of the City: First skate park, new dog park, tributes to vets all on tap

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Mayor Krisanna Clark delivers her annual State of the City address at Sherwood Center for the Arts on Feb. 23

GAZETTE PHOTO: RAY PITZ - Sherwood Mayor Krisanna Clark delivered her 2017 State of the City address on Feb. 23 at the Sherwood Center for the Arts.A second dog park, the city's first skate park, restrooms at Cannery Square Plaza and three physical tributes to war veterans are among projects Sherwood residents can look forward to see kicked off Sherwood Mayor Krisanna Clark told a packed room at the Sherwood Center for the Arts Thursday night.

The comments came as Clark gave her annual 2017 State of the City address in front of supporters, numerous local mayors, county commissioners and other dignitaries.

While her first two State of the City addresses were made during regular Sherwood City Council meetings, Clark said she wanted to follow in the footsteps of other local mayors who host separate events.

Clark said among the highlights of the past year, Sherwood voters passed a bond measure to build a new high school.

"City staff has already been an active, engaged partner since the bond passed a few months ago and we are committed to providing the assistance needed to meet the districts schedule to open the doors to the new Sherwood High School in September 2020," she said. "With so many moving pieces like a large complex puzzle, it will certainly be a challenge but I am confident that we can get it done together."

Clark pointed out that the city continues to grow with 76 new single-family permits pulled in 2016, an amount that while higher than when the city was in the depths of the recession, isn't anywhere near 15 years ago when Sherwood was one of the fastest growing cities in the state.

Meanwhile, she said that the city will soon update its comprehensive plan, which focuses heavily on land use issues.

At the same time, Clark said the city enjoys low unemployment, which at 3 percent is the lowest in Washington County.

Clark praised the fact that Washington County's long-planned 124th Avenue extension project (which will connect the street between Tualatin-Sherwood Road and Tonquin Road) is moving forward with a completion date of 2018. She also said the Tonquin Employment Area, which will run along 124th Avenue, will create local jobs for a better diversified tax base, a base that currently relies on residential properties.

In addition, both the widening of Tualatin Sherwood Road, currently delayed by litigation, will be a huge help to the community as will planned improvements made to Elwert Road and Highway 99W.

Clark also noted that the city will soon complete the long-awaited renovations to Woodhaven Park — including permanent restrooms, a new picnic shelter, basketball court and off-street parking is coming as well.

Other future projects Sherwood residents can look forward to include:

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  • A second dog park that will be flat and contain wood chips for year-round use. The current dog park at Synder Park has been plagued in the past with water and mud during the rainy season.

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  • A planned skate park on city-owned property next to the YMCA. Hopes are to seek permission from the Sherwood Planning Commission in the fall so that an application to Oregon State Parks and Recreation for a grant can move forward. Ideally, construction could take place in the summer of 2018.

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  • Veterans projects. Clark said the city will mirror a program in Beaverton where local veterans are honored for their service through personal banners on light poles along Murray Boulevard.

    The mayor said in addition to the World War II veterans honored on a memorial at Veterans Park, she would like to see veterans from other wars honored as well. Finally, Clark said she would like to see an Oregon Veterans Home — residential, rehabilitation and skilled care facilities available to veterans — be built in Sherwood, which would make such a venture the first of its kind in the Portland-metro area.

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  • Preparations for Sherwood's 125th anniversary, or quasquicentennial, marking the city's incorporation in 1893.

    "In other words, it's a significant birthday for Sherwood," said Clark.  "And just like we did for our centennial year back in 1993, I believe we should come together as a community and develop a variety of ways of celebrating this key milestone."

    She praised longtime resident Alice Thornton, who has been heavily involved in the Robin Hood Festival for years, for bringing the birthday to her attention.

    The evening ended with video of people, events and projects happening around Sherwood.

    "It is my hope that here, in the city of Sherwood, you feel welcome, valued, appreciated and encouraged," she said. "It is my great honor, and privilege, to serve as your mayor and I thank you for the opportunity to 'shout out' Sherwood wherever I go."