City Council considers a number of issues

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Stone Church wants to move in to the Library’s second floor space.

Chelan Valley Hope needs more space.

Woodin Avenue Bridge project starts in September.

Chelan School to share resource officer with Manson

by Richard Uhlhorn

Tuesday’s July 25 City Council meeting had several items of interest to the general public on the agenda, however, prior to the actual agenda, a number of Chelan residents signed up to talk during the Citizen Comment period.

Chelan Valley Hope and the Food Bank are apparently outgrowing their current space at the old library building and are looking for a larger, more permanent home that they can purchase.

Mayor Mike Cooney told the group that the City would be helping to look for a permanent solution. Jim (last name not noted) stated that they were looking hard for a solution to the space issue. Parking is just one of those space issues. “We have 30 to 40 cars on Saturday mornings.” Cooney replied that “You’ll find your own place.”

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John Olson has asked the City, the Parks Department and the PUD to help build mroe parking for the Chelan Senior Center.

John Olson remarked that a parking lot expansion at the Chelan Senior Center would help alleviate the issue. “Last Saturday, during the Chelanman the neighborhood filled up with cars,” said Olson. “If there was a ballgame scheduled it would have been tough.” He encouraged the Council to go back and review the proposal he put forth at the July 10 City Council meeting which asked the City of Chelan, the Parks Department and the PUD to work together to provide the Senior Center more parking.

Olson’s proposal estimated the cost of providing more parking at the Senior Center on PUD property across the street would cost an estimated $87,179.

The Senior Center has had 31 event with parking issues so far in 2018 including donated event space for Town Hall meetings and community fund raisers.

Scott Morris, with the Old Stone Church came before the Council and asked them to consider renting the Chelan Library’s second floor to the church until they can complete building their new church. “It’s going to take several years to build and currently we are over at the MOE gymnasium,” said Morris.

The Chelan School District had been leasing the space, but has abandoned it for another location.

Morris stated that the gymnasium situation has them setting up and tearing down after every service and that they would love to be in a space where they didn’t have to do that. “We would like to be considered..

Mayor Cooney told Morris that the City would be putting out a Request for Proposals and would let them know when that happened. “You will be considered,” said Cooney.

Agenda bills considered:

The City Council had an agenda bill in front of them for a one-half time School Resource Officer to be financially shared between Chelan and Manson School Districts.

Kelly Allen and Erin McCardle are uncomfortable with the proposal to cut a school resource officer to half days and want to hear from the school administration before approving that proposal. Chief of Special Operations, Sgt. Reinfeld answered questions regarding the proposal.

Last year, the City and Chelan School District shared costs to have a full time resource officer on board, but the School Districts and Sheriff’s Department have proposed a new arrangement where a resource officer would split his time between Manson and Chelan. This raised some questions amongst the Council.

Chief of Special Operations, Sgt. Reinfield was at the meeting and told the Council that the 2018/19 school year the resource officer would split his time.

Council woman Kelly Allen asked, “My only concern is whether or not this compromises Chelan schools.” Erin McCardle also raised a concern and said she would like to hear from both Chelan’s Principal and Superintendent. “It would help identify how successful the program has been… I don’t know.” She was concerned about the past relationship with students.

City Manager, Mike Jackson stated that the school resource officer is the primary responsibility of the school district. The new proposal will save the City $11,562 over last year.

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City Administrator Mike Jackson told the Council that he hadn’t discussed the school resource officer issue with the school administration.

Councilman Tim Hollingsworth asked if this was coming from the School District and Jackson replied that it was. “We haven’t had any conversations with them.”

McCardle reiterated that she would like to have a conversation with the District. “We used to have workshops with the School District,” she stated. “I wonder if they would like to have a school resource officer full time. What’s driving this.”

The Council decided to hold off on passing that agenda bill and Mayor Cooney said he would start a discussion with the school the next day.

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Mayor Mike Cooney said he would begin discussions with the school administration before the next council meeting.

The next agenda bill was a bid on sewer lift station improvements which the staff recommended the Council reject based on Gray and Osborne’s recommendation the staff that it be rejected.

The City budgeted $595,000 for the project. Gray & Osborne’s estimate was $627,587.05 and the bidder came in at $1,160,940.02. “It was really high,” said Public Works Director Jake Youngren.

The Council took the recommendation and decided to reject and rebid the project in late 2018 for possible construction in 2019 with, hopefully, a more reasonable bid.

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Public Works Director Jake Youngren told the Council that Public Works wanted to go live with its Woodin Avenue Bridge Project website so residents and visitors could be informed.

Public Works Director Jake Youngren told the Council that Public Works was going live with its website for the Woodin Avenue Bridge.”We would like to start communicating with the public,” said Youngren.

Selland Construction has proposed beginning the project on September 4 and working until November 28 on the bridge rehabilitation, water and stormwater utility installation and the landing park.

In 2019, Selland will work from March 4 to May 6 finishing with the one way improvements outside of the bridge footprint.

To check updates on this project, residents and visitors can go to: http://woodinavenuebridgeproject.org.

The next Council meeting is on August 14. The public is encouraged to attend.

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