YBA proposal to restore Yelm’s water tower receives Washington Heritage Register consideration


Yelm water tower engineer’s original sketch
Courtesy: Steve Craig



* Yelm’s water tower up for nomination to the Washington Heritage Register.
* The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation considers if an official historic landmark.
* Review to be held June 27, Coulee Dam City Hall, Grant County, WA.



– The Yelm Water Tower Historic Preservation Project was initiated by the YBA Board
Yelm’s water tower now in first step towards Historic Landmark designation.
Yelm’s water tower will be eligible for state funding of renovations if approved to be added to the list of Washington’s Historic Landmarks.

The Yelm Water Tower Historic Preservation Project was initiated by the Board of the Yelm Business Assn. (YBA), who concluded a separate non-profit entity was necessary to move forward. YBA Vice President Steve Craig resigned from the organization to pursue and form an exploratory committee of local leaders to accomplish this task, which the YBA endorses and supports.

Craig began the process of obtaining 501(c)3 non-profit status to accept public donations and be in a position to utilize additional fundraising opportunities by forming an exploratory committee under the name “Save the Yelm Water Tower.” Members of this group have met twice, which is comprised of Craig, Barrie Wilcox, Margaret Clapp, Beverly Vines-Haines, EJ Curry, Tim Larsen and Steve Klein.

YBA President Cynthia Schmier said this, “Congratulations to Steve Craig and the Save the Yelm Water Tower Committee. The YBA Board acknowledges the committee for their efforts and achievement in the preservation of a Yelm treasure.”


– Update: June 22, 2017
“‘Tin Man’ Up for Historic Landmark Designation”
“Yelm Water Tower’s Nomination Goes Before State Advisory Council”
By Andrew Kollar, Nisqually Valley News.
Read more

– UPDATE: June 29, 2017
“The ‘Tin Man’ gets landmark status”
Yelm Business Assn. (YBA) referenced in story.
By Lisa Pemberton, The Olympian.
Read more

YBA member Pizzeria LaGitana joins Oly Fed in benefit – Last day of School June 21




Yelm Pizza Party
Wed Jun 21 2017 at 11:30 am
Pizzeria La Gitana Of Yelm, 309 Yelm Ave East, Yelm

Please join us and finish off the last day of school with pizza at La Gitana in Yelm.
For every pizza purchased, Oly Fed will donate $10 to Yelm Dollars for Scholars and Pizzeria LaGitana will donate $5 (via Gift Certs). Dine in or take out.
#PizzaSoNiceItGivesTwice #Here4YouHere4Good
Read more


– “Oly Fed and Pizzeria La Gitana Host Cash Splash to Support Yelm Dollars for Scholars”
By Heidi Smith, ThurstonTalk.
Read more

YBA-initiated Food Truck Regs. adopted by Yelm


Butt Naked Organics owner Aria Cissney brought her food truck to
the Yelm city council dovetailing with the YBA Food Truck proposal.
Photo credit: Butt Naked Organics.



* YBA President Cynthia Schmier commends everyone involved in seeing this proposal to fruition for Yelm.
“On behalf of the Yelm Business Assn. (YBA), I wish to recognize the hard work of Yelm’s Community Development Dept., the Yelm Planning Commission, Yelm City Administrator Graham, the Yelm Planning Commission, and the Yelm City Council in developing Yelm’s Food Truck regulations. Now, this city has consistent regulations offering Food Truck owner/operators a concise understanding of what is required of them to come and serve Yelm customers. Food Trucks have become a popular asset for communities to drawing visitors. The YBA also acknowledges the contributions of Washington Food Truck Assn. Executive Director Lori Johnson.”


– Yelm City Council adopts YBA-initiated Food Truck Regulations
The Yelm City Council adopted Ordinance 1022 updating the Unified Development Code (UDC) this evening, implementing new and updated policies of the Comprehensive Plan with the following amendment:
Section 16 shall be re-titled “A new section of the Unified Development Code shall be established at Chapter 18.71 YMC entitled Mobile Food Vending.”

Councilor DePinto commented to the Council this is, “making Yelm a little more business-friendly for the Food Trucks.”


– After a 9 month vetting process, Yelm finally has clear Food Truck Regs.
The YBA drafted Food Truck regulations and submitted for consideration as a proposal to the Yelm City Council on September 13, 2016 by then-Executive Director Dan Crowe. These regulations were designed to offer Food Truck vendors clear regulations on operating in Yelm. The city conducted the first city-issues Town Hall public forum in 12 years to include public comment on this proposal.
Read more

The YBA Food Truck proposal for Yelm was recognized and supported by the Washington Food Truck Assn. (WFTA).
Read more


– Yelm City Council passes YBA suggestion
Additionally, the Yelm City Council passed a regulation allowing new water and sewer hook-up fees to be paid on a stepped/graduated basis, rather than payment all at once. This is much, much easier for new businesses to open in Yelm. This was a suggestion proposed by the YBA, though not formally proposed.

Mayor’s Economic Summit June 15




– From the city’s release: “Mayor to convene Economic Summit”
“Mayor JW Foster today [May 24] announced that the City of Yelm will host a an economic summit with Yelm’s business community at the Yelm Community Center on Thursday, June 15th from 2 PM to 4 PM. The forum will focus on understanding the needs of new and existing businesses in order to review City processes and reduce barriers for continued economic growth.
In March, Mayor Foster launched an initiative to review all aspects of City government to position Yelm to offer a world class business environment.
The three goals of the initiative are to retain existing businesses, make sure small businesses can grow, and to attract new businesses to serve the needs of the greater Yelm community.
The effort will be lead by the Department of Community & Economic Development (formerly the Community Development Department) and will include:
* Create an Economic Development Strategy, of which the Town Hall Forum is an initial step.

* Develop a Downtown Corridor Plan to identify ways to balance the needs of commuters traveling to and through Yelm and the needs of a vibrant downtown business area.

* A lean review of the development permitting system to ensure a streamlined and efficient process, in partnership with the Thurston Economic Development Council.

* The creation of a business development team of stakeholders to serve as a resource to connect the business community with the City.
Partner with the Thurston Economic Development Council to provide small business training classes for new and existing business owners at the Yelm Community Center.

“It is exciting to be able to unleash the passion for community and creativity of our employees and hopefully show the world what can be done when the citizens, business owners, and the City work together” said Mayor Foster.
As the business initiatives move forward, updates on the pieces and parts can be found at the City’s website www.yelmwa.gov and on facebook @CityofYelmWA.”