What is the purpose of a city?

June 19th, 2022 by Ken

What is is that makes living in Lacey unique and different?

Recently, “Livability”, a national web page, named Lacey as one of the top 100 cities in the United States in which to live.  Actually, it named Lacey 75th best in the entire country.

Those of us who have lived her for decades have our own ideas of why we love our community.

Every city exists for three reasons – – Security – Transportation- Quality of Life.  Lets take them one at a time.  Though recent events would say otherwise, Lacey is still a safe and secure community in which to live.  While adjacent cities have a significant homeless problem, Lacey has handled the situation fairly well.  Our police force is well-trained, professional and well-paid.  Members of Lacey’s police department are the highest paid city police force in the state, second only to Seattle.  In the near future, voters in Lacey are going to be asked to approve a bond issue to build a new police station.

Lacey has some of the newest and best streets in the county.  The increase in growth and the increase in traffic, has forced Lacey to come up with unique ways of accommodating the thousands of cars which fill city streets.  When new housing developments are built, the contractor pays for road and street improvements.  New traffic roundabouts have improved the flow of traffic and keeps it moving.  Traffic signals have been set to respond to increased traffic flows at peak hours.   And, in a unique arrangement decided several decades ago, the city sets aside money every year to renovate neighborhood streets.   In addition, the city works with national and state agencies to help improve access and egress to Interstate Five.

It’s in the area of Quality of Life where Lacey stands out.  Lacey is home to St. Martin’s University.  The city and the college have a great relationship and the city is currently working with St. Martins on a new baseball facility.  Sports and sports facilities are a major part of Lacey’s  past.  Creation of the Regional Athletic Facility (RAC) has put the city in the forefront of athletics and attracts teams and tournaments from around the state.  At the same time, the city has not forgotten the taxpayers who funded the operation.  Local teams and local residents have priority in all RAC usage.

Quality of Life also centers around supporting those who served in our armed forces.  The Lacey Veteran’s HUB is a well-known and well-respected facility that serves the needs of all veterans.  And, most of the staff are volunteers and many of them veterans themselves.

As a relatively new city, Lacey has done a great job of preserving its heritage.  The city hosts the only museum in Thurston County opened and staffed on a regular basis.  It has just completed a replica of the original train station and is in the process of building a new museum.  When completed, the museum will not only preserve and protect the Lacey community’s history, but will also serve as a cultural center to highlight the many people who have settled here and made Lacey the most diverse city in Thurston County.

And, lets not forget the many parks and open spaces in the city.  While the RAC and the museum are all part of the parks system, Lacey has more park land than any other city in our area.  It’s the city’s goal to have neighborhood parks in all areas of the city, in addition to regional parks which provide opportunity for larger venues and larger activities.

There are many other qualities of life in addition to the ones mentioned, but there is still work to be done.

Stay tuned for information on the future of Lacey.

Posted in History, Informational, Local Politics, The Real News

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