Wild birds, along with one domestic goose hen, flock to Joanna Lanning, aviary caretaker, at meal time.
WALLA WALLA — The City Council tonight will vote on whether to spend $42,758 to design a new Pioneer Park Aviary.
Approval of the design phase would be the first major capital investment in the aviary since the 2008 wind and snow storms left the two main enclosures riddled with damage.
But the investment would not clear the aviary from any future closures due to budget concerns, Friends of the Pioneer Park Aviary treasurer Trina Judd said.
Friends of the Pioneer Park Aviary recently kicked of a new Friendship program, where sponsors are asked to donate $120 or $10 per month for a year.
Judd said city officials want to see 400 members in the program by December, but so the program has just over 40.
“Even though they are doing this with the design phase, they are still not voting to keep the aviary until they know they got the funding in place,” she said.
Funding for the study will come from previously designated repair work money.
In 2011, city officials reviewed preliminary plans for a $354,000 two-phase aviary renovation project.
The first phase of that project included a $240,000 rebuild of the main netting enclosure.
The second phase would involve renovating the rearing pen and greenhouse for $114,000, and would include adding a public viewing area in the rearing pen.
The aviary operates on a yearly budget of about $55,000.
The council will consider the design plan at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 15 N. Third Ave.
Alfred Diaz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 526-8325.