The idea was first proposed during budget talks, and finalized during Tuesday night’s Olympia City Council meeting.
Olympia’s city government will operate the Downtown Ambassador program itself and do away with the Downtown Welcome Center, the city council decided Tuesday night.
The change will cost the city more money — about $100,000.
Both the Olympia Downtown Association and the nonprofit Sidewalk had submitted proposals to operate the Downtown Ambassadors, the Downtown Welcome Center and the Clean Team after the city decided earlier this year to end its contract with the Capitol Recovery Center, which had been hired in 2012 to operate the fledgling program.
What will the program cost?
A city-run Downtown Ambassador program will cost $466,830 per year without a Welcome Center. The cost breakdown is as follows:
• Two ambassador program aides: $21 per hour, 40 hours a week, plus benefits, each costing the city $60,368 per year.
• One clean-team lead: $25 per hour, 40 hours a week, costing the city $73,381 per year.
• Three clean-team employees: $19 per hour, 35 hours per week, each costing the city $47,698 per year.
• One clean-team employee: $19 per hour, 30 hours per week, costing the city $40,884 per year.
• One clean-team employee: $19 per hour, 25 hours per week, costing the city $34,070 per year.
• Truck expenses: $3,665
• Supplies: $30,000
• Training and vaccinations: $14,000
• Job-training support: $7,000
Ultimately, the city was looking for an agency that will provide more administrative oversight, City Manager Steve Hall said.
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The change was first proposed during budget talks, and finalized during Tuesday night’s Olympia City Council meeting. Councilwoman Jessica Bateman made a motion to bring the program in-house, despite Mayor Cheryl Selby’s urging that they discuss the matter further.
Bateman said that having the city operate the Downtown Ambassadors would guarantee consistent service to the downtown community.
“I think the city can do it well,” Bateman said.
The city will do away with the Downtown Welcome Center, at least for now. Councilman Jim Cooper said that in the future, the city will discuss welcome-center opportunities with Olympia stakeholders. But the current facility on the corner of Fourth Avenue and Franklin Street isn’t working, he said.
“Personally, right now, I think…