by Richard Uhlhorn
Update on Golf Course Concession
A special City Council ZOOM meeting was called for Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m. to discuss and approve or disapprove a motion to enter into a contract with Albatross LLC for the Chelan Municipal Golf Course concession.
According to City Clerk Peri Gallucci, the five council members who attended (two did not) approved the contract unanimously.
The Council unanimously approved a professional service agreement with Graham Baba to produce bid documents, guide the bidding process, and if bids are accepted by the Council, to perform the necessary construction administration associated with the upcoming Parks Operation and Maintenance Building project.
Chelan Fire & Rescue Interlocal Agreement with the City:
The Council approved and authorized the Mayor to finalize and execute the Interlocal Agreement between Chelan County Fire District #7 and the City of Chelan for fire protection services on City properties.
City Administrator Wade Ferris told the Council that the City would be responsible for fire investigations through its Fire Inspector in the Planning Department. Fire Chief Brandon Asher stated that he would like to be involved in any fire investigation.
The City will have the responsibility to maintain its fire hydrants and Public Works Director Jake Youngren told the Council that they have purchased precise flow measuring equipment.
Historic Downtown Chelan Association Revitalization Project:
The downtown revitalization project was brought forward for discussion and a vote on moving forward with a Memorandum of Understanding between the City and the Historic Downtown Chelan Association (HDCA).
The council originally approved a resolution to support the project on November 9, 2021. Citizen comments were taken on November 23, 2021 at the City Council meeting.
The revitalization project plan is to develop a roadmap for future downtown upgrades that will retain Chelan’s historic charm while enhancing features to ensure its future viability and relevance.
At the March 8 Council meeting, City Administrator Wade Ferris said that a lot of discussion on the issue has taken place and that a SWAT committee had been formed to go over the details of the proposed plan.
Eric Campbell presented the findings of the committee and said that they saw no need for additional crosswalks on the first block of Woodin Avenue, but felt that one could be put in place by the Chamber of Commerce on the second block. They determined that none were needed on Emerson Street.
Campbell added that parking remains a priority and that the committee would like to see new street lighting downtown along with some trees with small root balls.
Sidewalks remain one of the contentious issues on the plan. “We could not come to a consensus on sidewalks, but it is going to be an ongoing conversation.
McCardle asked if everyone on the committee was in agreement that downtown need improvements. Campbell replied, “Yes!” He added that garbage pickup, parking and restrooms were issues that need to be addressed.
Ferris said, “The MOU will guide the projects from the City’s viewpoint. The city owns the sidewalks. It will provide what kind of design moving forward with the exception of the sidewalks.” He added that more citizen input was needed.
Mayor Goedde said, “Let’s not rock the boat too much.”
The HDCA has grant funding to move forward with a conceptual plan. “We need a meaningful discussion based on experts. We need a definite direction of where we go.”
John Olson wasn’t entirely happy because he feels that there still isn’t a unified voice. “We need other points of view,” he said. Mayor Goedde added that he had attended one of the committee’s meetings and said he doesn’t want to see wider sidewalks.
The opposing point of view at the council meeting was Larry Hibbard, owner of the Ruby Theater. He stated that he didn’t even know who was on the committee. “I have no idea of what’s going on,” Hibbard told the council. He did admit that the downtown needs improving.
McCardle said she was happy to engage with people. “We are not coming in with an agenda. We are looking at objectively.” Ferris added that the MOU will allow the City to be a part of the process.
The Council voted unanimously to move forward with the MOU.