Concrete From the Ground Up

Aug 4, 2010

Concrete from the ground up

Skagit Valley Herald

By Trevor Pyle

Link to photo

CONCRETE — U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen got a glimpse Tuesday of what Concrete could be and how it’s trying to get there.

Larsen took a tour of the area and met with members of the Imagine Concrete Steering Committee, a group dedicated to helping the town become sustainable and more of a year-round destination.

 “Even though the economy is slow to recover, these folks in Concrete are not   waiting. They’re focused on trying to build up the town and promote it,” Larsen, DWash., said.

Wth help from its residents, the town has added a fence to Silo Park and started a community garden next to it. Imagine Concrete plans to undertake more projects, as well as build on those already started.

Cam Steigleder, who has been helping the group with grant writing, said Larsen’s visit was timely.

 “It was important to have him here,” she said. “This is a time when the federal government   is looking for shovel-ready projects, and we’re as shovel-ready as a project can be.”

Larsen stopped at the new community garden, which had a groundbreaking and first planting in May.

Committee Chairman Jason Miller said he hopes Larsen can be an ally for further projects, including more work on the community garden and the renovation of the Lone Star building.        “It’s always good to have a rep in your corner,” Miller said.

The Lone Star building was originally built in 1920 as a cement company office and laboratory, but has fallen into disuse. A community cleanup was held in June, and committee   members hope it’s one of the first steps toward getting the building back into use, possibly as the home of the Concrete library.

Later in the day, Larsen toured the town’s old Public Safety Building with Mayor Judd Wilson, as well as the new Baker Dam fish trap.

“I get to work with a lot of these smaller towns that have different needs. Part of my job is to help support them,” he said. 

Larsen of Everett is serving a fifth term. His 2nd Congressional District includes Skagit, Island, San Juan and Whatcom counties. He is running for re-election against opponents including Democrats Diana McGinness and Larry Kalb and Republicans John Koster and John Carmack.