North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

'Community Tool Chest' opens in Arlington

 

Christopher Andersson

Pressurized air, right, and other tools that have been bought for Arlington's "Community Tool Chest."

Arlington locals who can't afford the tools to beautify the area around their business or house may soon have an opportunity to access a "Community Tool Chest."

The "Tool Chest" will loan out many different tools to community members for free.

The idea for the program originated with the Downtown Arlington Business Association (DABA) and funding was provided by the Arlington/Darrington America's Best Communities (ABC) team.

Tools available include ladders, pesticide sprayers, electric pressure washers, paint sprayer, Shop Vac, a leaf blower, a cordless drill and many others.

"This is to beautify the community and help people out who can't afford to rent this stuff," said Rich Senff, owner of Action Sports in Arlington.

Senff said he hopes that the initiative will beautify not just the business district downtown, but all parts of the Arlington community.

"If it's a matter of money that's making someone not get anything done because they can't afford to rent something. We want to help Johnny-down-the-block clean up their storefront," he said.

He added that he hopes only people that truly need the tools will come to check them out.

"We want to keep the rental guys in business too. People like Rex's Rentals and whoever else are part of our community too," Senff said.

The idea started with DABA's own supplies.

"We started the concept of putting together a few items that businesses could borrow," said Senff. "We had very little to start with, more of a concept."

As Arlington and Darrington advanced in the national ABC competition, one of the ideas proposed to improve the community would be the "Community Tool Chest."

Now that Arlington and Darrington are semi-finalists, they've been provided funding to implement some of those programs.

"It originally started with DABA, but the more tools we bought the more it's become more community related," said Senff.

The program was expanded to include any members of the Arlington community, not just business owners.

"If you need to power wash your windows or something like that, that sort of tool is available," said Senff.

The initiative was started as a way to encourage community members to take an active effort in improving the look of the community.

"We need to be able to work together as the community and the city," said Senff. "It's our sidewalk as a community. It's not my sidewalk, I just have a building attached to it," he said.

"This doesn't just encompass the business district, it's the whole community."

The "Community Tool Chest" is almost ready to launch, said Senff. The tools have already been bought and all that remains is putting together liability forms.

Although most of the tools "aren't really dangerous," Senff still advises only running tools you're familiar with.

"If you can't run it, maybe find someone who can," he said.

In the future, DABA officials hope to incorporate more tools into the tool chest and potentially provide a shop space for do-it-yourself projects.

More information about the program is available at arlingtonwa.org under the "Community Tool Chest" tab or by contacting Rich Senff at Action Sports at 360-435-9505.

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