by Richard Uhlhorn
Tuesday’s City Council meeting was light on agenda items, but there were interesting public comments before the agenda was tackled.
John Zimmerman, a Lakeside resident, thanked the City for its efforts in stopping parking along Hwy 97A and said, “There were police vehicles there twice a day during the weekend. No one parked along the highway over the weekend.” A great solution to an ongoing problem.
Zimmerman’s other comments concerned the speed limits coming in and out of Lakeside along the highway. “Speed has increased coming in and out of Lakeside,” said Zimmerman. He added that the hill leading out of town by Lakeside Lodges & Suites has become a ski hill for vehicles. “Their afterburners are on. It’s irritating and dangerous.”
Coming into town at Lakeside the speed limit is 35 mph, but according to Zimmerman, the sign is too close to the residential area. “Is there anyone addressing this situation,” he asked? Mayor Goedde said the City should move the Speed Limit sign farther out and he would look into that. John Olson commented that cars are not slowing down.
Zimmerman remarked that he appreciates all the city has done. “I commend you for that.”
Paul Rodgers, a Chelan Hills resident, remarked about the July 12 flooding issues from the three storms that passed through. Councilman Servando Robledo asked what is being done about the flooding issue. He has been getting calls and asked, “What should I tell them? What has been done?”
City Administrator Wade Ferris replied that the flooding issue is complicated. Tim Hollingsworth remarked that council members shouldn’t get into a dialogue with residents over the issue and should refer them to staff.
Council approved a Supplemental Engineering Agreement with J-U-B Engineers, Inc. for the Lake Chelan Airport Runway and Taxiway Relocation Environmental Assessment.
Council also approved Steven Thornton’s Retirement Agreement with the City. Ferris told the Council that Steve would be transitioning out towards the end of the year. The city is seeking his replacement and Ferris will bring a contract to the next meeting to begin the search process for Thornton’s replacement.
Council authorized the Mayor to finalize and execute the Contract and Contract addendum with Mason Roofing and Construction for reparis to the roof over the Chelan County Sheriff’s section of City Hall. This contract is for $37,687.00.
Council authorized the Mayor to finalize and execute the Final Plat of Legacy Ridge Phase 3.
Council authorized the Mayor to execute Changer Order #2 for the Public Works Administration Building Project.
John Olson remarked that Council would be making a decision at the August 28 Council meeting regarding the Apple Blossom Center zoning change to residential. “I’m getting a ton of questions,” said Olson. “I would like to see maps of the changes made public if possible. There is not enough information getting out and I’m getting to a point where I’m uncomfortable.”
Chris Baker asked about the required Legacy Ridge intersection at Hwy 150. “I’m curious if there will be a cross walk for residents to get to the marina,” he said.
Tim Hollingsworth brought up the issue of kids jumping from the old bridge and, what he termed as lawlessness in town. “We used to have our own police department. The town has changed and I’m thinking about our relationship with law enforcement.”
He questioned the City’s priorities for the Sheriff’s Department including the Marine Patrol. “They say they can’t do this and they can’t do that.” He added that hotrods were muscling around town at will. “I hear comment after comment. There needs to be a presence. We need to stress what is important to us to the Sheriff.”
Hollingsworth also mentioned Chelan Hills and said he had been thinking about it being a development that was substandard and accepted by the City. “What is the City’s responsibility here,” he asked. “We need to come up with a solution.” (Editor’s note: In the 90s, residents in Chelan Hills were given an opportunity to have a Local Improvement District – LID – but turned that effort to upgrade the community down.)
Hollingsworth said he was glad that Steve Thornton was retiring to go on an enjoy life. Thornton, the City’s Finance Director, underwent heart surgery recently and is recovering well.
Mayor Goedde remarked that he has been a resident in Chelan for 70 some years and that Chelan is a lot less lawless now than it was in the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s. “Society changes and I have all the faith in the world about the Sheriff’s Department. They do a wonderful job,” stated Goedde who added, “The City of Chelan Police Department had more problems, especially in its last two year, than the Sheriff’s Department.”
Parks Director Paul Horne thanked Tim Hollingsworth’s surveying job at the Park Street street ending. “We now have a topographic map of the area.”
Lewis Gonzalez, the City’s interim community director, reported to the Council, the city’s efforts at licensing STRs. “In 2020 it took off,” said Gonzalez. “There were more than we thought. We have issued 433 licenses.” In 2020, 290 licenses were issued, another 84 in 2021 and another 59 so far this year.
“There are 368 active licenses out there. We are trying to be more proactive with this,” he said. “We are trying to keep a really good handle on the program,” Gonzalez added that the City has been receiving good feedback from the owners and tenants. “They are liking what we are doing so far.”
Peri Gallucci reported that the City was hoping to have its new website up by January, but it is looking at March or April now. “We are having in-house meetings and I’m asking for ideas on what you would like to see on the website,” she said.
Wade Ferris finished the meeting off thanking the staff for all their hard work during the busy summer months. “If you need to see me, step into my office.”
The Council went into an executive session to discuss matters of potential litigation with no action taken.
Council meets every 2nd and 4th Tuesdays at 6 p.m. The public is invited to attend.