Mayor Cooney removes Food Truck idea from consideration

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by Richard Uhlhorn
Trucks off of the Agenda. “We are pulling it… there are a number of reasons,” said Cooney. “We will talk.”

The big reason for removing this idea to provide new food sources in the community at Don Morse Park was that many of the restaurants had a tough winter along with a slow summer last year because of the smoke in August that kept tourists away from visiting Chelan.


Russ Jones told the Council that it was a good idea to pull the Food Truck idea off because as a banker, he has seen other food services barely making it.

Both John Olsen and Russ Jones were on hand to speak against the Food Truck idea. Olsen said he had talked to some of the restaurants and they were not excited about the idea. Jones said, “I’m glad you are pulling it off the agenda. Speaking as a banker who provides financing to some restaurants, I can tell you they are just getting by, but that’s about it.” He went on to say he didn’t think it was in the City’s best interest considering that there was a limited property available for recreational purposes.

Mayor Cooney read both an Earth Day and Arbor Day proclamation into the record. The 30th annual  Earth Day celebration is this coming weekend at Riverwalk Park and the Arbor Day celebration will take place at Don Morse Park at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 18. Students will be planting a birch tree and each student will be given a Spruce tree to take home for planting. The High School Band will play and a BBQ lunch will be provided.



Nicole Campbell and Jeff Wilkins were on hand to present a preliminary presentation for a Lake Chelan Valley Bike Plan to the City Council.

Nicole Campbell and Jeff Wilkins from the Chelan-Douglas Transportation Council gave a presentation to the City on a current effort to provide a Lake Chelan Valley Bike Plan. Campbell told the Council that they were pulling together a series of different projects and were developing specific biking interests.

Wilkins stated they were developing a complete vision and applying for grants. For the most part, the plan circumnavigates the lake from Manson to 25 Mile Creek State Park. However, the planning process with public input will take place through June.

Councilwoman Erin McCardle wanted to make sure the plan doesn’t interfere with the upcoming DOT paving project. Councilman Ray Dobbs asked if the plan was bike exclusive. Wilkins said it would be a multi-use trail. “We’ve had similar questions between Wenatchee and Leavenworth.”

Councilman Ty Witt asked where this plan was coming from. Wilkins replied that the Chelan-Douglas Transportation Council is a public agency that is funded by the Federal and State Governments along with grants.

They are planning on holding four stakeholder meetings. They have also created a project website to share information and meeting documents. It can be visited at




Chris Shell, Washington Department of Transportation.

Chris Shell and Jeff Deal, WSDOT, were on hand at the Council meeting to go over some safety issues for the upcoming paving project from Lakeside to Walmart. Shell said that there would be an Open House on May 15.

The first item discussed was a proposed crosswalk at Millard Street across Hwy 97A at Lakeside. Shell stated that is wasn’t a good spot for a crosswalk and would probably not be installed.

The second item was a bicycle transition point at the Woodin Avenue intersection. The current design is to transition from a shared use path to a cycle track where the sidewalk starts and keep the bicyclists on the northern side of the road until after the Dan Gordon Bridge.

The DOT is looking at ways to detour traffic during construction activity on the Dan Gordon Bridge. They proposed a clockwise detour, but believe it would create turning conflict at the end of the detour route.

Councilman Ray Dobbs said he was worried about the Woodin Avenue Bridge’s load capacity for big trucks. Mayor Cooney is concerned about traffic backups and asked about a traffic circle. “A year from now will people have trouble getting into town… we don’t know.”

Farnham Street is probably the most concerning intersection for the DOT and City. Councilman Ray Dobbs and his grandson made a presentation about the difficulties of this intersection several council meetings ago.

Farnham is currently the only exit from South Chelan and is a major crossing point for Chelan Middle/High School students. Shell said the DOT is considering installing a $40,000 Flashing Beacon at that crosswalk. “That may be a pedestrian solution,” said Dobbs. He suggested the possibility of constructing a roundabout at that intersection to alleviate traffic congestion.

The Woodin Avenue/Saunders Street intersection is also a concern. The current bulb-outs are difficult to design around and the DOT estimates it will cost $90,000 to fix those bulb-outs. “A standard semi would not make the right turn,” said Shell.

Downtown improvements were also discussed including the shared use pathway at a cost of an estimated $550,000. This pathway would extend to Walmart and will require widening of the highway on the north side to avoid the SR150 interchange at Les Schwab. This portion would need to be widened 9 feet to incorporate a shared pathway.

two months to complete which will create a number of traffic nightmares for the community.

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Northshore Pathway Design Project.

Craig Gildroy, City Planning Director, stated that the desired outcome would be designed for a multi-use paved trail from Don Morse Park to Rocky Point for safe non-motorized travel and recreational opportunities between Chelan and Manson.


City Planning Director Craig Gildroy

“We need to figure out where it should be located,” said Gildroy. He stated that the desired outcome would be receiving a non-matching grant for the construction. Residents want to see a trail built between the Roundabout and Willow Point. This trail would include a Public/Private partnership with the trail meandering through the Lookout Development. The Council unanimously agreed to the PSA with SCJ Alliance.

The Council also approved a draft ordinance to make Council Workshops into regular meetings so the City would not have to announce them as Special meetings.


Lakerider Sports owner Teague Block

Lakerider Sports, owned by Teague Block, requested a modification in his arrangements from the City for his operation. He feels that the smoke inundating the Valley over the past several years has negatively impacted his business. He would also like to set up a fenced area at his location so citizens can safely store their boards and kayaks. In addition, Teague wanted to expand his board rentals to Lakeside Park, but since Lakeside is a passive park there will be no commercial operations allowed there.

He asked for a fee based on a percentage of his business and requested a change from the $7632.00 from last year’s operation be changed to $5500.00. City Administrator Mike Jackson said the amounts were similar to the Rally Alley Concession.

With respect to changing to a fee percentage, the City would rather not because of the time involved in monitoring the business. “It becomes troublesome,” said Jackson.

McCardle was concerned about the City showing favoritism and felt that a concrete reason for changing the structure of the arrangement.

Block addressed the Council and said he struggled to survive in 2018, especially after losing a month of receipts from the lack of business because visitors were not coming to Chelan. “I’m willing to take the risk of good years versus bad years,” said Block.

Hollingsworth said that Block’s business was a perfect fit for the park because it is water related.

image descriptionPlanning Director Craig Gildroy brought forward an Affordable Housing Initiative Draft for discussion with the Council. “The purpose is to tie the City’s funds to our Comprehensive Plan,” said Gildroy, who added that he wanted to know the Council’s feeling as soon as possible.

With GFCs at $17,000 per ERU, the question was how much should the City subsidize affordable house construction. The City has put $200,000 aside to help subsidize the construction of affordable homes. How that money is used is up for discussion. Mayor Cooney said he felt $4,000 to $5,000 per house with the expectation that 20 houses would eventually be built.  “I think we are headed in the right direction.”

A Draft Ordinance for Small Cell Code Revisions was also brought forward, but Gildroy stated that “this is not your only opportunity to review this code.”

Verizon is moving towards 5G, but needs to have small cell towers or locations within the community to make it work.

The next Council meeting will be held on April 23, beginning at 6 p.m. in City Hall Council Chambers. The community is encouraged to attend.

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Author: allthingslakechelan

I have been a journalist, photojournalist and reporter in the Lake Chelan Valley since 1988; first with the Wenatchee World, then 15 years at the Lake Chelan Mirror and another 12 years at GoLakeChelan. Currently, I am semi-retired but can't give up the media gig which is why I started All Things Lake Chelan blog. I also have two social media platforms; allthingslakechelan/facebook and lakechelansportsandrecration/facebook. I am also a professional photographer with many credits with major outlets around the world.

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