City and Consultant seeking funding for City designated projects

by Richard Uhlhorn

Annalisa Noble, T-O Engineering, walked Chelan City Council members and staff through the City’s 2023 Legislative priorities, a 2023 Funding opportunity schedule, a Funding matrix and a list of 2023 CIP Proposed priorities.

Consultant Annalisa Noble is working with the City to find funding sources through grants and loans for a number of City designated projects on its CIP and Community projects.

“By the end of this workshop I want the council to let me know what to focus on,” Noble said.

 She brought forth the 2023 Legislative Priorities for Chelan which included:

  1. Traffic and Pedestrian Safety – this issue includes well marked cross-walks on Woodin and Saunders between the bridge and Woodin, as well as in front of Chelan’s schools.
    Constructing roundabouts at busy intersections at Saunders & Johnson, Woodin & Saunders to improve traffic flow.
    Upgrading sidewalks and crossings to meet ADA requirements
  2. Support Chelan’s Youth – search for funding that supports opportunities for young people to engage in outdoor activities; skate park, pump track, basketball courts, ice rink, support for community center under construction.
  3. Affordable Housing – funding is needed for more flexible control over housing needs:
    Broaden eligibility requirements; legislation which gives local jurisdictions more control including land donations and use of local tax revenues;
    Use a housing affordability index instead of median income for funding eligibility;
    More local control of building and panning codes to make it easier to construct dormitories and short term rentals for additional worker housing availability.
  4. Lake Chelan – Funding to support Lake Chelan projects:
    Increased and improved waterfront access;
    Enhanced safety on the lake including more marine patrol and buoys.
    Water quality monitoring.

Councilwoman Erin McCardle would like to see actionable projects put together. “We want to get together and hoping at some point we will have actionable projects in 2023.”

Chelan has an opportunity to apply for a number of grants over the next year for a variety of projects in all categories. The federal government is funding state agencies at high levels.

Water/Wastewater Projects:

Noble told the Council that water/wastewater projects have a lot of potential for grants and loans. “A lot is available right now. That’s where the money is.”

Councilman Tim Hollingsworth brought up the need for stormwater and flood control assistance. City Administrator Wade Ferris mentioned the flood situation in Chelan Hills. “We need to see if there are grants available for stormwater.” Noble stated that she would give the Council an extra overview of stormwater grant availability. Hollingsworth said the issue needs to be added to the CIP (Capital Improvements Projects) and that a proposal needs to be put together.

Transportation Projects:

In August, the Transportation Improvement Board will be considering grant applications for small cities. Noble recommended that the City apply annually for transportation projects. The City is interested in pedestrian safety projects that could include several roundabouts in town.

Another project high on the list for grant funding will be the Lakeside Trail from downtown to Lakeside Park. “A lot of our parks and recreation could be considered in economic development,” said Hollingsworth. “We need eyes on the Lakeside Trail.” Public Works Director Jake Youngren said that the trail should be on CIP list to get funded.

The completion of the trail could be funded through a combination of grants from the Recreation & Conservation Office, the Transportation Improvement Board and Washington State Department of Transportation.

Chelan Youth:

Projects like a new Skate Park and Pump Track are on the horizon for funding through the Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) and Chelan is eligible for grant funds.

There is differing views on the eventual skate park location. A public meeting of parents and skaters prefer Don Morse Park as the location, but several council members would like to see it constructed in South Chelan.

Other projects serving Chelan’s youth could be basketball and pickleball courts and City support of the Community Center which is currently under construction.

The skate park/pump track is estimated to cost $1.5 million and could be constructed in 2025.

Affordable Housing:

Noble told the Council that there are not a lot of vehicles for funding affordable housing currently, but that there is apparently $4 billion for Affordable Housing in the federal budget. “I don’t know what that means right now,” said Noble.

Lake Chelan:
One of the largest demands by residents and the public at large is better access to the lake. There are a number of street end locations designated, but the cost to preparing them is high and the time to turn the wish list into reality takes time.

Another issue on the lake is more safety measures such as better marine patrol and buoy placements to keep personal watercraft away from the shoreline.

Funding is also needed for the Lake Chelan Research Institute to continue lake quality research and to find solutions to the emerging near shore issues including the removal of milfoil and pond weed infestation.

Over the next months, Annalisa Noble will be working closely with the Chelan City Council and City staff to develop a funding strategy for 2023.

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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