City Council wraps up 2021 business

by Richard Uhlhorn

The City of Chelan City Council tied up and finished its 2021 business at last week’s year ending Council meeting. The meeting ended on a note of thanks to outgoing Dr. Ty Witt who has served one term, but chose not to run for two because he is getting married and moving out of Chelan to Manson.

Dr. Ty Witt chose not to run for a second term and turns over his seat to Planning Commissioner Sheri Dietrich in January.

Planning Commissioner Sheri Dietrich will be taking over Witt’s seat on the Council.

All council members thanked him for his service. Erin McCardle said, “A big thank you to Ty. I very much appreciated working with you. You will be missed.”

Servando Robledo seconded McCardle’s praise saying it has been great working with him. Mayor Bob Goedde stated he appreciated Witt’s insight in city issues.

When all were through wishing Witt well, he stated that the Council and Staff were all great to work with. He explained that he came to the council with no experience and no specific agenda but water quality, preservation of open spaces, trails, housing, and the glass pulverizer. “I would like to say a special thanks to Ray Dobbs who taught me alot about bridge building.”

City Administrator Wade Ferris told Witt in closing that he has made a difference.

2021 ending business:

The Council unanimously approved both the 2022 Chelan Airport budget and the City’s $23,488,389 2022 budget. The only comment after several months of work putting it together came from Councilman John Olson who objected to the $700,000 requested by the Chamber of Commerce for marketing to promote Chelan. “This is when we can’t even accommodate the tourists we have,” he stated. However, he also stated that he appreciates the work the Chamber does and the work State Representative Mike Steele does for the region.

Tony Mears, an irrigation designer with Mears Design Group gave an update presentation of his Lake Chelan Golf Course Irrigation Study. His conclusion was that the course’s current irrigation system is “pretty deficient.” He stated that there were a number of factors leading to his conclusion including including pipe size, sprinkler heads, and irrigation phasing that is not consistent. “You need to keep (irrigation) consistent, especially on large turf areas. The goal is efficiency whether it is water or power.”

The golf course irrigation system was initially installed in 1968 with upgrades in the early 90s. “You are well past your life expectancy on the system,” he said. There are leaks in the main line and the ponds resulting in lost water which needs to be taken care of.

John Olson stated that funding was set-up in 2023. Parks Director Paul Horne said that was correct and that it will cost $25,000 for a design of a new system. It will cost $250,000 in 2023 to begin the upgrades and in 2025 it will be completed for a total cost of $2.6 to $2.8 million dollars. “It (golf course) is a great asset,” said Horne.

This is the recommendations in order of priority:

            1. Replace irrigation mainline and lateral piping.

            2. Incorporate new efficient irrigation sprinkler heads with single head control.   

            3. Incorporate isolation valves throughout the course system.    

            4. Incorporate new pump stations with wet wells.         

            5. Incorporate a central control communication to pump systems.

Erin McCabe, Golf Course Superintendent answered council questions and remarked that his job is made easier because of his dedicated staff.

ChelanBay (Three Fingers development):

The Council approved the final plat for the Chelan Bay development on the Three Fingers. They also approved the Chelan Bay Final Plat Maintenance Agreement which give the City an easement for pedestrian ingress and egress to Lake Chelan, a walking and biking trail along the frontage of the plat, a park, public parking areas and for other recreational purposes. This easement is for the benefit of the public.

Councilman Tim Hollingsworth said the City needs to make sure “we are not approving this stuff when issues remain.”

Planning Director Craig Gildroy said there were a number of conditions set down including the construction of the Lakeside Trail on the easement and a swim area on the west side of the property that is open to the public.

Downtown Alley Project:

The council approved a MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with Resource Environmental LLC (RELLC) which is under contract with Chevron to address and remediate petroleum product contamination from the “Chelan Chevron Site.”

Public Works Director Jake Youngren said that the MOU is advantageous to the City and that RELLC will cooperate on the execution of the downtown alley project if petroleum contamination is encountered. “We are embarking on a project that has risk. If we do encounter petroleum contamination, it will be the responsibility of Chevron and won’t burden the City.”

Youngren said, “We will mostly be excavating in the same trench line that currently exists, only six inches deeper.” City Attorney Quentin Batjer added that typically the polluter pays for cleanup efforts.

The Council also authorized the Mayor to finalize and execute all applicable Temporary Construction Easements for the Downtown Water and Sewer Utility Project.

This project will require entering some private property to complete and staff felt it prudent to develop a general Temporary Construction Easement which would be used to execute with each property owner that may be affected by the project.

Other motion considerations approved by council:

1. – Davis Arneil Law Firm 2022 City Attorney Services Agreement.

2. – Kottkamp, Yedinak and Esworth, PLLC Legal Services Agreement for Indigent Criminal Defendents. Batjer explained that the State Constitution requires that the City have a public defender. Councilman Ty Witt said it was interesting that the taxpayers pay to prosecute and defend these people.

3. – Chelan Public Library Elevator Maintenance Agreement with Inland Elevator.

4. – RH2 Engineering General Services Agreement Renewal.

5. – Chelan Traffic Improvements Project Change Order. Because of a worldwide supply chain issue with pavement markings, Specialized Pavement Marking, Inc. (SPM) has not been able to secure the material for the pavement marking project at Johnson and Sanders. The decision was made by staff, contractor and SCJ Alliance to wait until Spring 2022 to complete the project.

6. – Council authorized the Mayor to finalize and execute the Legacy Ridge Stormwater Maintenance Agreement.

The next meeting of the City Council will be a workshop on Tuesday, January 4 beginning at 4 p.m.

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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