by Richard Uhlhorn
Parks Maintenance Building:
Park’s Director Paul Horne reported that he had reduced the price of the Parks Maintenance Building by $600,000. “It will still be nice,” said Horne. “We went through a perfect storm when it went out to bid.”
After going through the design and evaluation with the contract, it was decided to use Halme Construction who are building the new Public Works Building. “This is not an extravagant building,” said Horne. The bid was reduced to $2.3 million from $2.8 million and Horne said, “You could re-bid this project, but I don’t think you would get a better result.”
It was noted that the Public Works Building was being constructed for $2.3 million minus the State Sales tax and other soft costs. The reduction in price of the Parks Maintenance Building was the removal of the parking lot addition.
“We desperately need more bathrooms in our park,” said McCardle. “We need to give Paul a pat on the back and think about restrooms separately.” She said she appreciated the work it took to bring the price down.
John Olson stated that the old Parks Maintenance building has been there for 60 years and that the new building would last for the next 100 years. He mentioned how embarrassing it was to have porta potties in the park to handle bathroom needs.
Public Works Director Jake Youngren stated that they have had no issues with the work on their new building with Halme Builders, Inc.
Baker stated he would like to see the Parks Maintenance Building re-bid. “The costs are out of control. It needs to be scaled down and go back to bid.”
The Council voted to have Horne prepare, for council consideration, a Professional Services Agreement with Design West Architects and Halme Builders, Inc. for the construction of the Don Morse Park Public Restrooms and Parks Maintenance Building.
Once again, both Baker and Jamtgaard voted no on the motion allowing it to pass 3 to 2. Mayor Goedde once again derided the vote and remarked that consultants push these projects to maximize their profits. “I’m not talking about you,” he said referring to Design West. He still referred to pole buildings and how the architects stated they would fall down in 20 years.
Lisa Garvich extended her gratitude for allowing a presentation and considering the CBC’s efforts to purchase the 900 acres of land owned by Golden State Ventures.
She also remarked that Chelan Fire and Rescue is putting together a five year wildfire prevention grant, but stated, that like most grant offers, there is short notice of October 6. “We would like a partnership with the City by forming a wildfire prevention steering committee that would include the DNR and Forest Service. She also would like to promote the efforts CF&R is putting forward.
In addition, Garvich asked the City once again to consider some sort of markings for the City’s fire hydrants for snowplowing.
Paul Rodgers, a Chelan Highlands resident told the City Council that the flooding issues need City action. “We have collected 100 signatures now and discussed what the city response will be. He asked how long it would be for the city to make a resolution concerning the loss of thousands of dollars in private property from the 100 year storms that hit the area in June and July.
He stated that in 2014, 15 and 16 areas contributing to the flooding included concentrated flows and impermeable surfaces. “We want to know the next steps to be taken by the City.
Arbor Day Proclamation:
Mayor Goedde read a proclamation into the record that Friday, September 23 is Arbor Day in Chelan and urged all citizens to celebrate the day and support efforts to protect trees and woodlands.
Executive Session to discuss personnel moves:
City Council came back from its executive session and named John Ajax the new Community Development Director and Jackie Tupling the new Finance Director.
Current Finance Director Steve Thornton brought forth a motion to approve a Professional Services Agreement with Kroll Associates, Inc. for Third Party Software Services.
The City had a computer breach which forced a shutdown of the system. By entering into an agreement with Kroll, the City will find out what went wrong and at a cost of $20,000 over three years, the contractor would constantly monitor the City’s computer firewall. Approved unanimously.
The Council discussed and considered authorization to hire DA Davidson for Bond Services. There are a number of projects on the City’s books that need funding and the Council considered selling a bond in the amount of $2.5 million dollars over a 15 year period to help pay for these projects.
The priority projects included in the CIP Planning Projections for 2022-2023 are:
- The Parks Maintenance Building – $1 Million
- Airport Waterline – $868,250 (up 15% over last year’s projection of $755,000).
- Lakeside Bike Path – $833,750 (up 15% from $711,250)
- Chelan Butte acquisition – $500,000 (this was added for council consideration, but comes with further criteria like City ownership and maintenance before other funding agencies will consider funding the buyout from Golden State Ventures.).
- Skateboard Park – $1.5 million
Thornton stated that the $2.5 million dollar bond the City would be seeking wasn’t just for the Parks Maintenance Building but, “more of a fund for projects.”
“With a loan of $2.5 million we are $65,000 short,” said Thornton. Councilman Chris Baker said, “I’m not in favor of moving forward with this. It seems like a little bit of a hurry up.” Thornton replied, “We’ve been moving forward on this track for two years. This will be a beginning of a process.” Baker asked if it was started if it could be stopped and was told Yes.
John Olson agreed with Thornton. “We’ve been kicking the can down the pike. Things never get cheaper. It’s time to quit pushing it down the road. Erin McCardle agreed. “We need to take advantage of Steve’s in depth analysis. I’m comfortable with moving forward.”
Mayor Goedde, who as been an opponent of the cost of the Parks building and asked the Council to re-evaluate that building. “We do not need to build a Taj Mahal.” Goedde mentioned the $1 million dollar Lookout Maintenance Building as a perfect example of what could be built at less expense.
McCardle replied that the listed CIP projects are not “necessarily” approved. “Some won’t even make that list.” Peter Jamtgaard said, “I would not accept all of these projects.. “We need to look at this number more and spend a little more time.” Councilwoman Sheri Dietrich stated that the Council can adjust the list down the road. “How important are they in regards to our debt service.”
McCardle said that the Council needs to have a financial strategy discussion for the next critical step. “Personally we’ve gone round and round on the Parks building,” She made the motion to move forward so DA Davidson could begin the process of developing a bond issue for the City.
Both Chris Baker and Peter Jamtgaard voted No on the issue.
In other motion action the council approved a new and required agreement for Emergency Management Services with Chelan County at a cost of $13,643.75 for 2023 and $13,345.60 for 2024. The vote was unanimous.
Public Works Director told the Council that he had been approached by T-Mobile to put a Cell Tower on the City’s reservoir which is located east of Henderson. He said the installation would bring in approximately $20,000 each year.
Baker asked if that was the fair market value of an installation like this. Youngren replied revenue from Verizon is less then that. Asked if there were any health concerns, Shari Dietrich replied that there were issues with 5G Cell towers causing depression, anxiety and other issues with life.
A T-Mobile representative on Zoom stated that the dangers were at a level of standard. “A few hundred feet out it is comparable to holding a phone to your ear.”
McCardle asked if the homeowners in the area had any issues with its installation. It was decided to check with the area neighbors before approving the proposed project.
Public restroom at the Columbia Street location:
Paul Horne said the restrooms at the old Chamber building has been vandalized several times, but that they wanted to upgrade the facility and put more eyes on it. In addition, the upgrades would include a pedestrian walkway. “We don’t want to spend a lot of money in design work.”
Horne stated that the HDCA should be involved in any improvements to the courtyard and that funding is available for design and or development through the downtown program.
John Olson remarked that he was impressed with the track record of grant writer Annalisa Noble of T-O Engineering who has procurred $68 million over the last six years for clients.
He also mentioned the work being done by the Wenatchee group working on the Foothills trail system and that the Council would be advised to explore how they were able to fund and build the system so they could consider next steps on the Butte acquisition. He also remarked that the City needs to look at increased lake access for the growth that is coming to Chelan.
He also mentioned the new project by Rocky Pond for a 115,000 sq. ft. resort on the Columbia River in Douglas County and how that will probably impact Chelan since the city is the closest community to the project.
Erin McCardle said the City needs to be a part of the Regional conversation on growth issues. She asked about the Chelan Hills storm situation and wanted to be updated. City Administrator Wade Ferris said the Council needs to be very careful with what they say. McCardle replied that some background would be nice from a historic viewpoint.
City Clerk Peri Gallucci stated that applications for Robledo’s vacant council seat is required soon.
Peter Jamtgaard stated that the City has a lot of fires to put out on its agenda. “What is happening in the Valley will continue to accelerate.”
Mayor Goedde stated he was not willing to sell out the Butte. If acquired he is concerned with maintenance issues. He stated that the water line to the Airport was critical at this time. “We need to make it happen.”
John Ajax and Jackie Tupling both thanked the Council for their support and opportunity to move into their new positions.
Jake Youngren stated that the City has still not received the new generator for the lift station out on the south shore. “It is probably a good thing we purchased the rental generator now in service.
Paul Horne reported that registrations for the youth soccer program were complete and he thanked Mike Haerling for his work for putting it all together. “We are back in (AAU) business,” said Horne.