Aberdeen mayor wants to give the city a facelift

ABERDEEN, Wash. -- The mayor of Aberdeen is tired of the eyesores in his town, and he's now making it his mission to go after the dilapidated buildings and their owners.

Everyone is welcome in Aberdeen, as evidenced by the famous "Come as you are" sign posted at city limits. What's no longer welcome in the city are the rundown buildings that dot the landscape.

Mayor Bill Simpson's had enough with the ugliness, and said Aberdeen needs to shape up.

"It's just been a real eyesore," he said. "Its become a real chain around my neck."

Simpson's tired of hearing his town criticized and mocked because many of its buildings have seen better days. The yellow and purple Morck Hotel in downtown Aberdeen is at the center of it all.

The hotel was once a beautiful landmark, but has since become a rundown disaster. It's one of several buildings on Simpson's mailing list.

"We're going to send letters out to these property owners and encourage them to work with us," he said.

The letters will go out on Friday, and Simpson is hopeful property owners will get on board with the request. It doesn't hurt that Aberdeen has $200,000 in grant money to loan out for the repairs and upgrades.

Many in town are hopeful the plan will work, but others say they've heard it all before.

"We peaked out many generations ago. There's always rumors there going to fix it up, and it's just not happening," one resident said.

Simpson said his goal is to make Aberdeen look as welcoming as it feels.

"We don't want people to pass through," he said. "We want people to stop and see what a great community this is."

Simpson said if his letters don't work, the city will look to take additional actions against the properties.

The group that owns the Morck said it believes the hotel is an important piece of Aberdeen and the rebounding economy will allow them to restore it.