by Richard Uhlhorn
Chelan City Council had a relatively short session on Tuesday, February 22. The following agenda items were addressed and passed unanimously by the Council.
City Clerk Peri Gallucci reported to the Council that the next step for approval by the Federal Aviation Administration to approve the final Airport Layout Plan was an Environmental Assessment (EA). “We have no choice,” said Gallucci. “It is a FAA requirement.”
This entails the City sending our consultant’s estimate to another independent and have them prepare a cost allocation so the FAA can compare them and determine if our consultants are correct in their estimated fees. The cost is estimated to be between $6,500 and $7,500.
John Olson asked if the Port of Chelan County would be sharing in that cost. City Administrator Wade Ferris replied that he would discuss that with the Port.
City Council was asked to authorize the Mayor to sign the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) “Aquatic Lands Right of Entry” for the installation of three no-wake navigational buoys off the Lake Chelan Hills Willow Point Park and the Crystal View Estates small marina. These were requested in 2019.
The request also includes permission for seven existing no-wake buoys that were installed on DNR lands without obtaining permission. The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office must determine that the navigation buoys are necessary for public safety.
Erin McCardle stated that the Lake Chelan Hills waterfront is private and not open to the general public. Planning Director Craig Gildroy explained that the water off the shore is open to the public, but added that both Lake Chelan Hills and Crystal View Estates are purchasing the buoys.
Tim Hollingsworth stated that the lake is a highway. “The City has an obligation just line we stripe the fog line on a highway.” Hollingsworth added that it is difficult to manage these buoys and the City should come up with a real plan to make sure they are permitted.
Columbia to Emerson Alley Project:
“As you have seen by now we are well into construction on the alley project,” said Public Works Director Jake Youngren. He informed the Council that the contractor has located five unlocated and undocumented underground storage tanks, one of which is in the way of installation of water and sewer mains. “This tank needs to be removed and properly decommissioned by a licensed contract capable of completing the work.
Public Works contacted several contractors and decided that Spokane Environmental Solutions was the contractor to use. “It will have a minimal impact on the project,” said Youngren. The one tank is full of liquid which will have to be removed before the tank can be removed from the ground. The anticipated cost is $12,000.
Chris Baker asked if the adjacent property owners would be sharing in the cost of removal since the tanks are not a part of City owned infrastructure. Youngren said they would be talking to legal council. “We have $100,000 in contingency funds, so we have the money.” Youngren went on to say he has really appreciated the patience of the business owners.
With regard to the other four tanks that are not impeding the project, Youngren told the Council he didn’t know how far the City wants to take it.
Chris Baker said he would be in favor of testing the tanks and said, “We should address this now that they are open.” Mayor Bob Goedde said the usual solution was to pump the liquid out and fill these tanks with sand so they wouldn’t collapse. John Olson added that they need to make sure they don’t have to go back after the construction is complete and dig them up. “Let’s minimize the risk.”
The Council unanimously approved giving City Administrator Wade Ferris 40 more hours of vacation in lieu of a pay raise. This gives Ferris five weeks of vacation.
McCardle brought up the idea of using the downtown core for housing by utilizing the upper floors of downtown buildings. “It’s an opportunity to think about,” she said. “We need to have a long conversation on housing downtown.”
Baker said he was pleased that the City and Fire Department have agreed on an interlocal agreement. “We still have some concerns; particularly the false alarms.”
Mayor Goedde said he attended a Mayor exchange where 40 mayors from around the state attended. He stated that everyone was concerned about the massive inflation, but that the State was looking pretty good. Goedde also stated that Washington State is the fourth most disaster prone state in the country.
Goedde is still expecting $5.7 million from the State’s capital budget for fire flow to the airport.
City Attorney Quentin Batjar remarked that the 2010 land use lawsuit against the City regarding development on the Three Fingers has been dismissed two days prior to the Council meeting.
Chelan will hold its monthly workshop on Tuesday, March 1 at 4 p.m.