City Council agrees to purchase Spader Bay on a 5 to 2 vote

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by Richard Uhlhorn

At last night’s City Council meeting, Mayor Bob Goedde opened the discussion on the purchase of the Spader Bay property that was approved by the City Council in 2019 with this comment; “I have made a stand on this. I am not going to sign the contract. It would be up to the Mayor Pro Tem to sign the contract.”

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Mayor Bob Goedde announced prior to the decision to purchase the Spader Bay property that he would not be signing the purchase contract.

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Spader Bay property as seen from the Chelan Ranger District.

With that comment, City Administrator Wade Ferris gave the Council members a short update on getting access through an easement to the property that had been an issue. “We had trouble getting access,” said Ferris. “We have worked something out with three different property owners.”

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City Administrator Wade Ferris

Ferris also reported that Larry Lehmbecker, owner of Vin du Lac Winery is potentially willing to allow access through his property in the future. He then turned the discussion over the Guy Evans who is representing his family in the sale of the property.

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Guy Evans represents his family on the selling of Spader Bay

Evans told the Council that he wasn’t sure how much longer his seller is willing to work on this because of financial issues that are cropping up. He also told them this was a once in a lifetime opportunity for Chelan. He called the purchase a risk free deal because the City is paying only half of the assessed value and could over subsequent years recoup that investment by selling the property and/or a portion of it.

Council members all chimed to the discussion with Peter Jamtgaard saying he had talked with 20 or so people on the street about the purchase and that they were unanimous in support. “This was done before I was on Council,” he said. He also talked with Lehmbecker and said he feels the purchase is a good opportunity for the City.

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City Council member John Olson voted No on the
purchase of the Spader Bay property .

John Olson stated he has also had conversations with constituents, most of whom were against the purchase. This was done during his campaign to be elected to the Council. Olson has asked the Council to instigate Eminent Domain on the Three Fingers, but that the Council hadn’t listened to him. “Not all real estate actions are all positive,” stated Olson.

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Councilman Tim Hollingsworth has been a major voice in supporting the purchase.

Tim Hollingsworth stated that he has supported this acquisition from the beginning and continues to support it. “I would like to point out that I’m not necessarily supporting this for me, but as a last piece of shoreline (available). It is a backdrop for people crossing the old bridge,” said Hollingsworth. “Our children and children’s children will find ways to utilized this property.” He said he had talked with Lehmbecker and thinks that there is a win-win situation in the purchase.

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Councilman Ty Witt has also been a big supporter of the purchase.

Ty Witt is also on board with the purchase. He said that he had met with some principals at the Lookout and that a neighbor (Ken Friedman) is very interested in a collaboration to build a park on Lookout property above the property with ADA access. “It was just a conversation and was quite positive on the idea of something very positive. They are very interested in doing something on that bench.”

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Councilman Ray Dobbs voted No on the purchase because he feels that the City does not have a functional easement to the property.

Ray Dobbs asked Witt why the Lookout hasn’t stepped up before this. Witt said he thinks the Lookout is approaching the saturation point with development and are very interested in adding a new park. “I was excited by that.”

Dobbs said, “We are creating an amenity for the Lookout, They are going to be the closest neighbors.” He went on to remark that the Council is getting to the end of a legal document. “I don’t think we have a very functional easement.” Dobbs added that if the Lookout was resolved to build a park right now, he would be excited.

“All of our world’s have changed,” said Dobbs. “This is a purchase that would be nice to have,” said Dobbs. However he stated he was against the purchase based on the easement.

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Councilman Servando Robledo is another supporter of the purchase.

Servando Robledo told the Council that some people are very positive about the purchase and some are not. “It is not going to be usable right away,” he said. “It is an investment.” He finished by stating he was in favor of the purchase.

The Council voted 5 to 2 with both Dobbs and Olson voting no.

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Councilwoman Erin McCardle has the been given the opportunity to sign the sales agreement on the Spader Bay Property because Mayor Bob Goedde is against the purchase and said he would not sign the contract.

So once the contract is signed, sealed and delivered, the City will own the Spader Bay property.

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