Last week’s City Council meeting had several citizen comments that resonate with many in the community.
John Olson, a candidate for City Council, said he was surprised that the City was retaining JA Brennan and Associates to conduct research into street ends at the lake for potential lake access points for the public. “I do like their work,” said Olson. “They are well known.” JA Brennan and Associates apparently are working on another project that puts them in a direct conflict of interest with the City.
In addition, Olson continues to draw attention to the rapid growth in the Valley, stating that there are 8,500 units on the books. “There is a tremendous growth going on here,” said Olson. He then brought up the Court decision regarding the Three Fingers and said that any high density development on the fingers will also require a 300 boat marina.
Olson brought up the condemnation of property for the new Round-About on Hwy. 150. He said the City could condemn the Three Fingers property just like they did property for the Roundabout. “We are 60 years down the road and nothing has happened there. Chelan is going to become a whole lot bigger.” He remarked that the Three Fingers represents the very last place to really build more public access.
Ms. Carlson asked the City to join in the fight against the FCC mandated 5G rollout because of the potential health risks.
Next up to speak was Ms. Carlson who decried the City’s potential upgrade from 4G to 5G. “While I’m by no means and expert, 5G is significantly more radiation than 4G.” She went into the various potential medical issues surrounding 5G implementation. “I could go on and on about the health risks,” she said.
She asked the City Council to join in the fight against the Federal Mandate to install 5G systems. She mentioned Los Angeles, New York, Rome, San Jose and Portland, Oregon fighting the mandate. (San Francisco, Japan, Belgum, the Netherlands and other European countries have said no to futher development of 5G.)
With regards to John Olson’s public comment about potential access to the lake at the Three Fingers, the evening’s agenda included an Agenda Bill for Professional Services Agreement with J.A. Brennan Associates for a Chelan Waterfront Access Plan and a feasibility study on the 9.9 acre Spader Bay lakefront property that is for sale.
The City is interested in locations within the City limits where potential public access exists with in the City’s Right of Ways that lead out into the lake.
Chelan City Adminstrator Mike Jackson
City Administrator Mike Jackson told the Council that this issue was confusing and was hopeful that a contract with J.A. Brennan and Associates would help clear that up. “I’m not sure where the public wants to go with this,” said Jackson indicating that there are eight sites that will be looked at right away.
The contract is for $25,443 and not budgeted in the 2019 budget, so Jackson told the Council that it would need a budget amendment to go forward.
Councilman Ty Witt said the goal is to get a concept in front of the public. “Have the public tell us what they want,” said Witt.
Chelan Basin Conservancy’s Tammy Hauge stated that she was very happy to hear that the City was looking into potential public access to the lake.
Tammy Hauge, Chelan Basin Conservancy, said, “I’m so happy to hear this.” She then said there are 27 potential access points in Lakeside that have been identified. “Why have these easements been ignored. You are representing the public interests. These access points were deeded to the public in perpetuality.” Jackson replied that the City would inventory all of them and select eight for the conceptual plan.
Hauge said she has a map from 1929 which could be used as a good visual tool for street endings, which she stated are marked in orange on her map. Olson chimed in that there was so much information available. “We have 50,000 people on a big weekend. Keep all options on the table for our children and grandchildren.
The Council passed the agenda bill unanimously.
Also on the agenda, was a draft rate resolution to revise the No-See-Um Intersection reimbursement fees. A Utility Extension Agreement with Chelan Concrete to supply city water to the company.
Jackson brought up the $1,500 dollar a month lease with the Department of Licensing. The City’s contracted architect discussed with the City to potentially reconfigure the Planning department. This might include using the space where licensing is now situated for a conference room and meeting rooms. “If we lease we need a way to terminate that lease if we need that space.”
Toward the end of every City Council meeting, Councilmembers, Mayor and Administrator speak about issues not on the evening’s agenda.
Councilwoman Wendy Isenhart filled in for Councilman Ty Witt at a recent hazardous waste meeting with the County and stated that a decision was made to not allow Douglas County to use the facility for free.
The City paid $17,000 to the County to complete the facility and the public is allowed to dump hazardous waste for free. “I hope it will get some use.” She also said the City would continue to pay $17,000 per year which raised Jackson’s eyeballs. He said that wasn’t part of the deal and would look into it.
Councilman Ray Dobbs said that the final day of the free shuttle was coming up and he had a chance to talk about that service. “Nobody said to not do this again (next year),” said Dobbs.
Dobbs also took and opportunity to ride along with the Marine Patrol and said it was an interesting day. “We made 11 stops, mostly about no lifejackes,” said Dobbs who added there were a few citations given.
Councilman Ty Witt remarked that the Grand Opening of the Planet Walk was successful. He also stated that the wall adjacent to the Chelan Ranger District has been permitted and that the mural should be up by mid-October.
Mayor Mike Cooney said he attended a traffic meeting and is working to get traffic off Johnson and also modifying the light at Columbia and Johnson.
Cooney also lauded the new finance director for coming up with a way to have only four budget meetings this fall.
Jackson remarked that the $17,000 to the County for the Hazardous Waste Facility was a one time deal. “There is a potential for an annual contribution.”
Jackson said that the irrigation designer has been called back to check on Lakeshore RV Park’s new irrigation system. “We even had a diver check out the intake pump to make sure it wasn’t plugged.”
Dobbs replied that the Park is losing customers because the irrigation system is coming on while they are parked. “How to get them back is the question,” said Dobbs. “People who have been coming for years are unhappy.”
Jackson replied that it is now an automated system. “We can’t just turn off one sprinkler anymore.” Dobbs said he visited five RV sites and everyone of them had a problem with the sprinkler system.
Cooney said the idea of the Department of Transportation changing East Woodin to one lane traffic east and west is a non-starter. “It is not going to narrowed down to one lane.”
Any other traffic issues on the DOT’s list will be held off until the public gets a chance to chime in. “If there is not a strong need to do it, we are not going to do it,” said Cooney.
Public Works Director Jake Youngren reported that Public Works Surplus Sale was a huge success. “We grossed $83,000 and netted $73,000. It was a great value for the services provided (by the auctioneer),” remarked Youngren. “That money goes back into our equipment fund.”
City Council meets every second and fourth Tuesday at 6 p.m. and the public is encouraged to attend and become involved in the City’s business.