Mural Project on MSPA Agenda

By Isiah REYES

Several topics were discussed at this month’s Montrose Shopping Park Association meeting, including a new utility box mural project and whether or not food trucks could park on Ocean View Boulevard during Friday night events.

The mural project, called Beyond the Box, was designed by the City of Glendale Arts and Culture Commission to enhance the community and neighborhoods of Glendale through the use of murals on utility boxes. Since there are still about $10,000 in funds left over to finance the painting of the utility boxes in Glendale, the project will now continue into Montrose.

“It’s a nice community program,” said Chuck Wike, community relations manager for the city’s library, arts and culture department. Wike is looking for students from local schools such as Crescenta Valley High School or St. Francis to participate in painting the murals.

A total of 26 utility boxes were painted by different artists in Glendale along Brand Boulevard and Central Avenue between Colorado Boulevard and the 134 Freeway. In Montrose, a total of 11 utility boxes have been chosen along Honolulu, Montrose and Pennsylvania avenues to receive the mural treatment. All artists have a $750 stipend to use for materials to paint their murals.

The majority of the shopping park board was in favor of the project, with the only concern being whether or not the art would cause resistance from the local community.

Another topic the board went over was whether or not food trucks could park on the western side of Ocean View Boulevard during Friday night events, which feature live bands and bring in a lot of people. The people associated with the food trucks were asked to file a permit to the board. They did submit one, asking for permission to be out on Fridays on Ocean View from August of this year to December of next year from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The main concern of the board was that if one door was opened to one food truck, then a door would be open to more food trucks to show up and that could bring in different groups of people who are not from Montrose who could potentially cause problems.

Vice president of the board Gigi Garcia said the time frame from August of this year to December of next year was too long and that she would be in favor of trying them out for three months. But other members of the board said it was not fair to the merchants in the Montrose shopping district for someone from outside to come in and raise money and perhaps take away revenue from the district.

The board eventually decided that food trucks could only show up if they were invited to special events, and that the board would determine what the special events were.

Lastly, the board said it would not sponsor Oktoberfest this year, stating that MSPA event coordinator Linda McMenamin will be leaving the board so they will be short on staff.