City moves towards 12 month moratorium on Cryptocurrency mining

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CITY OF CHELAN
SPECIAL MEETING NOTICE

Chelan City Council will meet in special session beginning at 9:00 a.m. on April 14, 2018 in Council Chambers at 135 E Johnson Avenue in Chelan, Washington.  The purpose of this retreat is to discuss strategic planning. No action will be taken.  Please note, the retreat is for Councilmembers and public input will only be taken up on Council’s approval.

by Richard Uhlhorn 

City Planner Craig Gildroy brought forth a Cryptocurrency Mining Interim Zoning Control to the City Council on Tuesday, April 10, while the planning department prepares an actual ordinance to continue the City’s moratorium for 12 months.

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Planning Director Craig Gildroy brought the Council a draft ordinance on the City’s Cryptocurrency Mining moratorium which generated an interesting discussion.

Cryptocurrency mining has become a major concern with many small communities in Chelan County and Mayor Cooney commented at the end of the public hearing that all five mayors have said their cities are imposing a moratorium against mining also.

Councilmember Kelly Allen proposed imposing a moratorium on February 13 so the City can develop a work plan for HDL (high density loads) and cryptocurrency mining issues. The plan is to develop this work plan later in the year during the Comprehensive Plan Amendment process.

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Erin McCardle was concerned that the draft ordinance didn’t have a
business model regarding the local economy

During the hearing, Councilmember Erin McCardle asked Craig why there wasn’t any mention of economic or lack of economic benefits to the City in the draft ordinance. “There is nothing about a business model that contributes back to the local economy,” she said. Gildroy said he would take a closer look at the language.

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Ray Dobbs is concerned that there isn’t enough notification to the community on this issue and wants to see more.

Councilman Ray Dobbs asked if anyone had signed up to speak at the hearing. “My concern is that I don’t think we have followed the processes. I’m uncomfortable with it. Who knows about this public hearing and how did people find out about it.”

Gildroy replied that it was on the City Council agenda. “I just like to follow state law on these matters,” said Gildroy. Dobbs asked about public notices processes on land use issues and Gildroy stated that those were under a different law and would require public notice.

Dobbs was not happy about the lack of public notification on this issue. “I want to be very open about this,” said Dobbs. McCardle stated that there has been a lot of talk about the moratorium on the street and Tim Hollingsworth said, “If people were concerned that we passed a moratorium, then they would presumably be looking for a public hearing.”

Dobbs reiterated his concern and said he wants to let people know the City is talking about the issue. “I just want to be very open about it.”

Gildroy said that cryptocurrency mining has to be listed as permitted us in the City Code and that it is not. The ordinance will continue on to the Planning Commission and a public hearing will be held before coming back to the City Council for adoption.

IN OTHER BUSINESS:

CONSENT AGENDA:

The City Council will entertain Chelan Fruit’s 60% annexation petition at its April 24 City Council meeting.

The Council approved the Mayor’s appointment of Jane Lloyd to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. Until the term expires on December 31, 2019. Mayor Cooney thanked the board members who were present the meeting. The Parks Board is currently made up with Garth Donald, Larry Bradley, Megan Ohms and Tara Lautiki.

Mayor Cooney appointed Guy Evans to the Planning Commission and this was approved unanimously by the Council.

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Mayor Cooney made a special presentation on Earth Day from the visitor’s lectern.

Mayor Cooney made a special presentation from the Visitor’s lectern proclaiming April 22, 2018 to be the 47th annual Earth Day in the City of Chelan. He recognized Randy and Anne Brooks contribution for their efforts in organizing this year’s 29th annual Earth Day celebration in River Walk Park on Saturday, April 21. “The City is using better fertilizer at the golf course, dealing with water runoff and starting an at home recycling operation,” said Cooney.

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Anne Brooks encouraged everyone to come out and enjoy Earth Day on April 21.

During Council Comments, Mayor Cooney invited Anne Brooks an opportunity to say something about the upcoming Earth Day celebration. Brooks said, “We have some awesome things happening this year.”

The Mayor and Council also proclaimed April 26 as Arbor Day in Chelan and told those in the chambers that Chelan is working tirelessly on clean air, clean water and endangered species.

MOTION CONSIDERATIONS:

The Council unanimously approved the revisions to the Chelan Municipal Code – Chapter 8.20 –Garbage/Refuse Ordinance No.218-1537.

Mayor Cooney stated after the vote that “We all feel the pain of throwing glass into the garbage.” He said discussions and remedies to the glass issue are ongoing. “We are not resting.” Assistant Public Works Director Jake Youngren told the Council that Public Works staff would be at Earth Day with the new recycle bins and information booth on what is recyclable.

The Council unanimously authorized the Mayor to sign and execute a PSA with Forte Architects to redesign the site layout and new shop building.

The Council unanimously agreed to authorize the Mayor to finalize and execute the Assignment of Copyright and License of the City’s Logo to the Washington State Apple Commission.

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City Attorney Quinn Batjer explained the Washington Apple Commission infringement and copyright issue with the City’s Logo and
how the issue could be resolved.

City Attorney Quinn Batjer told the Council that the Apple Commission is very protective of their logo and feels that the City’s logo infringes on their intellectual property. “They are very protective of their logo.” The Apple Commission has had similar issues with the City of Wenatchee and others.

The Apple Commission will grant the City exclusive and perpetual license for the use of the City’s logo on all media and other uses in association with the operation or promotion of the City.

Mayor Cooney reminded everyone that the second Town Hall has been moved to the Senior Center and will take place on Thursday, April 19 beginning at 6 p.m. The topic is Water Quality.

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Tim Hollingsworth wants the Chelan River free of rafting recreational boaters and more enforcement on the lake.

Councilman Tim Hollingsworth said he would like to see the buoy lines out from Spader Bay to calm that area down during the heavy boating season and to stop the wave action. He also would like to see some action taken on the activity in the Chelan River. “I see paddle boarder and kayakers using the river,” he said. He doesn’t feel boats need to anchor up in the river. “They have 5o some miles to boat in,” said Hollingsworth. He is also concerned about the short term boat rentals and said the agreement between the renter and recreational rental companies is cumbersome.

The next City Council meeting will be held on April 24 beginning at 6 p.m. The public is encouraged to attend.

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