Spader Bay, Short Term Rentals and Campbell’s Resort development discussed

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by Richard Uhlhorn

A number of issues were given to the City Council to ponder during the Citizen Comment period at its Tuesday, January 14, meeting.

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Chelan Short Term Rental owner, Doug Allen addressed the Council on business license charges for STRs at the Grandview as being out of order.

First to the dais was Doug Allen (past councilmember Kelly Allen’s husband). His concern was the new Short Term Rental charges he and his wife were being assessed by the City for owning several rental units at the Grandview. The City is charging $250 per unit for a license to operate as a STR. Allen’s argument is that the units the Allen’s own are managed by a Professional Management Company who he feels should be covering those fees. Secondly, Allen stated that the Grandview should not be considered under the STR rules because it is a Resort Hotel.

“It gets very expensive,” said Allen. He remarked that one unit owner has 14 units at the Grandview, which equates to paying the City $3,500 for a business license to operate those units. John Walcker, on a telephone conversation on Thursday, January 16, said he owns three units and that owners should only have to pay for one business license to operate at the Grandview.

“These units all get rented out at the front office,” said Allen. In the last 10 years there has been negative effects on all of us who own over there. There were a lot of workshops on this. My wife was involved in those discussion, but we were blindsided by this.”

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Lisa Garbich requested that the City hire a full time consultant to oversee the Campbell Resort development above Riverwalk.

Lisa Garbich, a resident in the neighborhood where Campbell’s Resort has plans to build a 24-unit Apartment Complex above Riverwalk Park, requested that the Council and City consider hiring a full-time consultant to oversee the development. “It should be somebody with to oversee all aspects of the development.”

Garbich feels that the City’s Planning Department is too busy with all the construction going on to oversee the development. “Someone needs to be able to review and follow it through to correct any major issues.”

She remarked that the development has potential parking issues, traffic issues, erosion issues and will result in the loss of property values for residential owners. “I would like you to take this request seriously,” said Garbich.

Mayor Bob Goedde stated that the City would begin to use a reader board to keep the community updated on various City issues and that documentation would be available and updated on the City’s webpage.

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Vicki Carr updated the Council on the Housing Authority

Vicki Carr, who is on the board of the Chelan County Housing Authority congratulated the new council members and Mayor. She told the Council that she serves on the Housing Authority board and said that she knows the Council knows that there isn’t enough low income housing. She lauded the City’s effort in helping the Affordable Housing issue forward, but said, “There is a big difference between affordable housing and low income housing.”

The other major issue before the Council was the Spader Bay Property. The City has not been able to secure access to the property and the deadline for the 90-day due diligence is coming up in early February.

City Attorney Quentin Batjer told the Council that there was no new updates with the landowner (Larry Lehmbecker-Vin du Lac). “one easement is sufficient but we want that secondary easement,” stated Batjer. “Mr. Lehmbecker is not in favor of it. We need to either terminate the agreement or add an extension.”

Councilman Ty Witt asked who may want to champion the effort to secure that easement. “This will come before us at the next meeting,” he said. Quentin replied that having an attorney involved could slow things down. Lehmbecker is an attorney. It was suggested to have the seller approach the issue with Vin du Lac.

Interim City Administrator, Wade Ferris, said he would endeavor to get up to speed on the issues, make contact and hear Lehmbecker out.

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Councilman Ty Witt

Witt said he would be happy to stand by. Hollingsworth said he would like to participate also. “I see the benefit of acquiring this property.” Ferris replied that he would get with Batjer to see if there was a clear way forward. Witt replied that it would be a good idea to revisit the property to see it and feel it. Dobbs (who was on conference call) said, “I would love to see John (Olson) involved because of his real estate expertise.”

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Councilman Tim Hollingsworth

Mayor Bob Goedde stated that he has heard a lot about this purchase from the community and would like to hear more. Erin McCardle said, “I don’t think we want to go back an revisit something we’ve already voted on. We are past that point.”

Mayor Bob Goedde and Councilman Erin McCardle

During Mayor/Council comments, John Olson stated that his long delay in answering Ray Dobb’s request that he be involved in the Spader Bay Property is that fact that a part of his campaign was to stand out front of the Post Office and listen to the public. “A part of my campaign was access to the lake and there are only two pieces available (Three Fingers and Spader Bay). I was very much in favor of the purchase, so it is hard for me to come out.”

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Councilman John Olson

Olson continued by saying that almost no one he talked to at the Post Office was in favor of this project. He agreed to stand in and said, “I will try to set my feelings aside.”

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Sgt. Chris Foreman

Sgt. Chris Foreman officially requested that the City approve overtime for two additional reserve deputies for Winterfest’s Saturday night activities. He told the Council that he rearranged schedules for Friday night to reduce costs.

Foreman said that three years ago there was a major incident when a fight broke out and that when you have 1,000 to 2,000 people the chances are good there will be problems. “I asked Mr. Steele if the event could cover those costs and was told No,” said Foreman. “It puts a strain on our guys. We won’t have a problem every time, but need to be prepared.”

Council unanimously approved the overtime request for $1,202.56 which will be taken out of the City’s 2% Lodging Tax Fund which currently stands at $645,000.

The Council also approved the Lower Reach Trail Permit Agreement between the City and Chelan PUD and the Lower Reach Trail Agreement with the Lake Chelan Trails Alliance.

The Council nominated and approved Erin McCardle as the new Mayor Pro Tempore for 2020.

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Mayor/Council Comments:

 Ray Dobbs via telephone

Remarked that the new Link Transit DART service for $1 was attracting more and more people to use it.

Peter Jamtgaard

“I feel honored to sit up here,” said Jamtgaard. Chelan is one of the finest places to live.” He stated that he hopes to use some of his skills and looks forward to the next four years of serving.

Servando Robledo

Servando welcomed the new council members and the Mayor and said he is looking forward to working with them.

Tim Hollingsworth

Remarked that the Housing Trust bill in the Legislature went well and should bring back sales tax money for infrastructure. He also stated that the Council and City should battle any efforts to divide them. “We need to be careful to not let things divide us.”

Mayor Goedde

“We need to do a better job of communicating with our citizens.”

Public Works Director Jake Youngren

Youngren told the Council that Public Works has two water right applications into the Department of Ecology, but warned the Council that there are more rights requested then there is water rights available.

Interim Administrator Wade Ferris

“I want to thank the Council for their confidence,” said Ferris. “I loved the Chelan area for many years. My goal is to help you make it all better.”

CITY COUNCIL ADDRESSES OLD 2019 BUSINESS TO START NEW YEAR

New Horizons Updated Logo

By Richard Uhlhorn

City Council will begin 2020 under the direction of newly elected Mayor Bob Goedde, a new interim City Administrator and two new voices on the Council; John Olson and Peter Jamtgaard who replace outgoing councilmembers Kelly Allen and Wendy Isenhart.

Upcoming issues on the agenda for Tuesday, January 14, City Council meeting include two items of interest to the public.

At the December 17, 2019 meeting, Council was informed that there were difficulties negotiating an access easement through Vin du Lac property to the Spader Bay Property.

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The Spader Bay Property is back on the City’s agenda. The City’s 90 Day due diligence period is up in early February and the Seller is requesting an extension.

Larry Lehmbecker, owner of the Vin du Lac property has raised several concerns about the proposed configuration and is uncomfortable proceeding with access without addressing those issues.

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The Spader Bay Property currently has no legal access.

The City has until February 4, 2020 to secure access easements to the City’s satisfaction. If these easements are not acquired, the City has the unconditional right to terminate the Bargain and Sale Agreement under its 90 day due diligence period.

The seller would like to continue negotiating for access and is requesting a 90 day extension of the due diligence period.

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At the December 3, 2019 City Workshop, Guy Evans, Executive Director of the Lake Chelan Trails Alliance (LCTA), and the City Attorney, presented material regarding the proposed location of the trail below the Lake Chelan Dam in Reach 1.

This presentation included the legal matters regarding the contractual relationship between the PUD, the City and the LCTA.

At Tuesday’s meeting, there will be two agreements for the Council to consider:

  • A permit with Chelan County PUD, and a
  • Subpermit Agreement with the LCTA

Approval of both agreements is necessary in order for the LCTA to construct, operate and maintain a public trail below the Dam.

The Permit Agreement between the City and the PUD establishes certain terms and conditions required by the PUD to operate on its property. The Subpermit will be between the City and LCTA which outlines the terms and conditions of the master permit to the LCTA. This permit makes the LCTA the responsible party for construction, maintenance and repairs to the trail.

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The Sheriff’s Department is requesting monetary help from the City to cover Winterfest overtime pay. This funding would come from the City’s 2% Lodging Tax.

Council will also elect a new Mayor Pro Tempore and assigned Council Liaison positions for the Council members.

City Council meetings begin at 6 p.m. in the City’s Council Chambers and residents are encouraged to attend, voice concerns during the community comment period that is provided before each meeting and to weigh in on any agenda item during those discussions.

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Chelan Project introduces kids to outdoor recreation opportunities

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by Richard Uhlhorn

The locations are iconic, beautiful and rugged. Places like the Enchantments, Maple Pass, White Pass, Gardner Mountain. These are places revered by outdoor recreationists.

For April Slagle, a high school teacher at Chelan, these places offer an excellent opportunity to introduce high school students to the joys of outdoor recreation like backpacking, cross-country and alpine skiing, rock climbing, hiking and snowshoeing.

“I wanted to start an outdoor club,” said Slagle. For three years, April has been advising the members of the Chelan Project, an Associated Student Body leadership organization focused on promoting and enhancing outdoor recreation, service in the outdoors, sustainable design and school culture.

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Leo Rosas is this year’s Chelan Project President

Currently, Chelan Project is 110 members strong. The Club President is Leo Rosas who says he loves connecting with nature. “It gives us appreciation. It also relieves stress,” stated Rosas who is juggling his duties as President and the outdoor activities with his wrestling and academics.

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Six Chelan Project members and advisor April Slagle get ready to ski seven miles into the Methow Valley’s Rendezvous Hut for an overnight trip.

The Rendezvous Hut is seven miles into the North Cascade Mountains
from the Methow Valley Trail Head.

Rosas and a group of club members recently took an overnight cross-country ski trip to the Rendezvous Hut in the Methow Valley near Winthrop. The group skied seven miles into the hut, stayed overnight and skied back out the next day. “Apart from slipping and sliding it went terrific,” said Rosas. The group was rewarded with stunning star scapes and mountain views. In January, 2020, it is the girls turn for the same trip.

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Each year the entire club heads to the Methow Valley for an adventurous cross-country skiing and fat tire mountain biking experience.

The entire club heads to the Methow Valley to cross-country ski and ride fat bikes. Many of the trips are for smaller groups. The boys trip to Rendezvous Hut include six plus April. “The hut is really small, so it’s a tight fit for more than six.

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Backpacking into the North Cascades Wilderness areas like Cutthroat Pass and Maple Pass is a way to introduce Chelan Project members the joys of outdoor recreation. Something they will take away from high school and enjoy for the rest of their life.

Club members have also hiked the 7.8 mile long Maple Pass Trail Loop near Stehekin. This trail opens up tremendous mountain vistas and is a great hike. Other trips have included hikes into the Enchantments and overnight backpacking trips. They have also visited and hiked the Wolf Creek Trail near Port Angeles. “We try to take a trip every quarter and have weekend trips,” said Slagle.

Rosas said that trips have also included a backpacking trip to Cutthroat Pass which is accessed off Hwy 20 and offers stunning scenery in some of the most scenic land in Washington State.

“I like to be out with the kids,” said Slagle. The group is currently planning a trip to the San Juan Islands and the Olympics as a class environmental trip. “The kids do all of the planning,” explained Slagle. “It’s all hands on deck.”

While introducing the group to the beauty of Washington’s outdoors and teaching them new outdoor skills, the Chelan Project Club is also a service club. “One group of about 30 or 40 kids helped to build trail at Echo Ridge. It’s a way of giving back,” said Slagle.

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Chelan Project members have an opportunity to learn rock climbing at
Wenatchee’s Riverfront Rock Gym. 

In addition to outdoor trips, the group has been introduced to rock climbing at Wenatchee’s Riverfront Rock Gym. The only activity the group doesn’t engage in is mountaineering or water activities.

Chelan Project is a diverse club with an equal group of girls to boys with the diversity of Caucasian and Latinos (54/46). Fifty-five girls belong to the group.

Most of the kids pay a fee to belong and the club conducts fund raisers for trips and other activities. But skiing, biking, backpacking, hiking, rock climbing all comes at a price. Instrumental in helping fund this group is the Lake Chelan Multisport Foundation whose mission is to embrace healthy lifestyles through support of arts, literature, science, and wellness programs for the youth in the Lake Chelan Valley. The foundation is funded through proceeds from the annual Chelanman Multisport Weekend held in July.

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“They have supported us over the past three years,” said Slagle. “It helps kids that can’t afford to be involved and we want everyone who wants to be involved… involved.” The funds are also used to purchase outdoor equipment such as backpacks, sleeping bags and other miscellaneous gear.

The club’s primary goal is to teach kids to be passionate about the outdoors, recreation and service to the community.

Advisor: April Slagle: slaglea@chelanschools.org

Chelan Project Officers 2019-2020

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Left to Right: Jonathon Gonzalez, Leo Rosas, Ashlyn Sanderson, Ruby Weir, Ringo Renteria, Iava Duenas and Miguel Neri.

Club President: Leo Rosas

Coordinator of Coordinators: Ashlyn Sanderson

Field Trip Coordinators: Ruby Weir & Jonathan Gonzalez

Volunteer Coordinators: Odaliz Ordaz & Ivan Duenas

Communications Coordinators: Ivan Duenas, Jonathan Gonzalez &Laura Montoya

Finance Coordinators: Miguel Neri & Ringo Renteria

City begins 2020 with new mayor

by Richard Uhlhorn

Last week’s (December 17) Chelan City Council meeting was a series of introductions, salutations and farewells, along with end of the year business.

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Michael Gibb, president of Chelan Valley Hope urged the City to keep the organization’s request for $10,000 in the budget.

Michael Gibb, president of Chelan Valley Hope, was back at the dais urging the Council to approve CVH’s $10,000 request to meet Chelan’s emergency sheltering needs. “We are not providing a homeless camp,” said Gibb. He told the council that CVH’s emergency sheltering at Don Morse Park’s Lakeview RV Park would be for housing people needing shelter for one to two weeks maximum.

Later in the Council meeting, Councilman Ray Dobbs requested that the City not disburse the $10,000 to CVH, but to keep it in the budget. “I want to wait on CVH until legal reviews it and the Council and Parks Board looks at the (emergency housing) plan.”

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Councilman Ray Dobbs requested that the City not disburse $10,000 to Chelan Valley Hope, but to keep it in the budget until a review by the City Attorney can be accomplished and both the Council and Parks Board can go over CVH’s plan for Emergency Housing at Don Morse Park’s RV Park.

Councilwoman Erin McCardle added that she isn’t happy that things get through the budget and Council gets caught off guard.

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Paul Horne has been hired to take on the Chelan Park’s Directorship.

Outgoing City Administrator Michael Jackson introduced the City’s Paul Horne as the new Chelan Parks Director. “We are very excited,” said Jackson. “We have been searching for the perfect Parks Director.”

Horne hails from Pittsboro, North Carolina, a small community with a population estimated at 4,287. He has a masters degree and has worked and developed master plans in the past.

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Public Works Director Jake Youngren gave Randy Lloyd a send off at the Council meeting. Lloyd retires after 30 years of service to the City.

Public Works Director, Jake Youngren introduced Randy Lloyd as the latest public works employee to retire after serving the City for 30 years. “It’s pretty commendable. He’s held many different positions at Public Works and has been an asset to the City. He worked very closely with the downtown businesses,” said Youngren.

Youngren introduced Paul Saul at Lloyd’s replacement saying, “He has been driving the sanitation truck and takes really good car of equipment.” He added that Saul is very proud to work for the City.

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Mayor Cooney presented Jim and Linda Fankhauser with a plaque honoring their work in making their neighborhood safe from illegal activities.

Mayor Cooney recognized Jim and Linda Fankhauser for their efforts to make their neighborhood safe from drugs and illegal activities. Linda Frankauser said about the plaque that it should be given to Craig Gildroy and the code enforcement team. She also mentioned the hard work of the Sheriff’s Department and the court system. “Every neighbor were the eyes and ears for us,” she stated. Her husband Jim thanked both Mayor Cooney and incoming Mayor Bob Goedde for their efforts in helping to clean up the neighborhood.

A very surprised City Clerk, Peri Gallucci, received a Mayor’s Award for all the hard work she does to keep the City moving.

Mayor Cooney surprised City Clerk Peri Gallucci by presenting his Mayor’s Award for her work at the City. “Peri goes beyond in everything she does,” said Mayor Cooney. “This is a well deserved because Peri keeps the City working.” Afterwards a shocked and thankful, Gallucci said, “I don’t know how they kept this from me.”

During Council Comments, outgoing Council members Wendy Isenhart and Kelly Allen remarked that it was hard to leave their positions on the council. “After eight years it’s time have new people on the council,” said Isenhart.

Wendy Isenhart and Kelly Allen left their Council seats to newcomers,
Peter Jamtgaard and Jon Olson.

Allen stated that looking back on her tenure it is amazing what the City has accomplished. She lauded Mayor Cooney for his efforts in moving the City forward with affordable housing. “I hope we see a pump track and new skate park come together.” Allen also stated that the only way to really know what goes in inside the City is to serve it. “They (the staff) all work so hard. It’s been an honor.”

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Erin McCardle lauded both Isenhart and Allen for their work on Council.

Erin McCardle said, “It feels like I’m losing half of my family tonight.” She thanked both Wendy and Kelly for their steadfast service and told Mayor Cooney that he has taught her so much. “Your vision and open mind and ability to create partnerships is what a true leader looks like.”

Mayor Cooney stated that his 12 years on the Council and as Mayor has come to an end. “This is the greatest position and I’m proud to leave the City in good shape financially.” Cooney went on to say that the City doesn’t belong to us, “It belongs to everyone.”

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Mayor Cooney made an outgoing statement and said the City doesn’t belong to the few, but to the entire City.

Cooney went on and said, “I honor and respect all of those who came before me.” He then told the Council and those in attendance that he has accepted the position of Executive Director of the Chelan Valley Housing Trust and told everyone to come by and visit him in his new office in the North Cascades Bank building.

The Council adopted both the City budget Airport Budgets. They also approved the new 2020 Rate & Fee Resolution No. 2019-1360. The new Rates and Fees coming up in 2020 can be found on the City of Chelan Website here:

https://cityofchelan.civicweb.net/document/23600/2020%20Rate%20_%20Fee%20Resolution%20No.%202019-1360.pdf?handle=7C036CC6DB5F4B59BD886EE4517C1E7C

Scroll down to find the new rates.

The next City Council meeting will be on Tuesday, January 14, beginning at 6 p.m. with incoming Mayor Bob Goedde presiding and new elected Council members John Olson and Peter Jamtgaard replacing Kelly Allen and Wendy Isenhart.

Residents are encouraged to attend City Council meetings an air any grievances, opinions or ideas during the Council’s Citizen Comment Period at the beginning of each meeting.

Hospital receives $325,000 from Foundation for new 3D mammogram

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by Richard Uhlhorn

The Lake Chelan Community Hospital Commission welcomed their new CEO George Rohrich to the Valley at their meeting on Tuesday, December 17. Rohrich has been on the job since Wednesday, December 11, and is still getting his feet on the ground.

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George Rohrich took over the helm of the Hospital on Wednesday, December 11, and is busy getting his feet on the ground meeting staff, providers and board members.

“Since I’ve been here I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a lot of the staff and providers,” said Rohrich. “I have been really encouraged by the response to my arrival.” He has also met individually with each commissioner since his arrival.

Rohrich takes over the responsibilities Interim CEO Mike Ellis who served in the interim since Steve Patonia retired and Rohrich arrived.

Rohrich says the job will be a little challenging, but that he is looking forward to the task. He stated that he is looking at the good and the bad and thinks that is the place he will start. “I need to understand what we are trying to accomplish,” said Rohrich. He plans on going back and looking at the hospital historically.

Kim Dunbar, executive director of the Lake Chelan Health & Wellness Foundation presented a check to the Lake Chelan Community Hospital & Clinics for $325,000 to fund the new 3-D mammography machine.

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The Lake Chelan Health and Wellness Foundation presented the board with a $325,000 check to purchase a 3D mammogram machine.

She was joined in presenting the check by President Tom Anglin, Augustin Venegas and administrative assistant, Virginia Murphy. Dunbar thanked the community, Guild B and the Murdock Foundation for making the gift possible.

CFO Mike Ellis gave a construction update and told the Commission that the architects have been spending several days a week going over the design before they begin the construction drawings. “It’s all within the timeframe,” said Ellis. “The only concern was with the USDA but that has been resolved.”

Regarding signage on the outside of the new building, Ellis told the board that they will see all of the options. The interior signs are a part of the contract.

The Hospital property is being subdivided into two parcels to save on soil engineering etc. Asked what the intention was, Ellis replied that they will eventually develop tow different sections of the property.

Ellis also reported that the hospital is negotiating with its bank for a Line of Credit for $350,000. Initially, it was discussed that the hospital would seek a $500,000 and Board Chair Phyliss Gleasman asked why only $350,000. Ellis replied that it was just negotiation with the bank for fair interest rates.

Boardmember Mary Murphy brought up the issues at the Clinic. “It was originally on campus,” said Murphy. “A lot has changed.” Gleasman replied that the issues will be something the new CEO deals with. “We just need to put the facts on the table.” La Porte added that there are so many working pieces the board and hospital are not looking at.

“We need to get all parties on board,” stated Gleasman. Murphy said they need to start looking at it and outline a timeline and cost and what it will take to make it work.

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CFO Mike Ellis gave a dire financial report, stating that October was the worst month the hospital has ever had.

Financial status:

 Since the December meeting was scheduled earlier in the month than the normal commission meeting, CFO Mike Ellis said he only had October’s financials to share.

“The second half of this year is not meeting the budget and we are still struggling,” said Ellis. He told the board that surgeries are down and clinic visits are down. “The market is there,” said Ellis. He noted that Columbia Valley Health, with their new building is a factor. “They do it well,” he said. Ellis stated that the answer to clients is that the hospital does have providers to meet their medical needs.

Regarding gross revenue, Ellis stated that was where its at. “We have a lot out there that is billing,” said Ellis. “It has taken months to get it coded. Documentation has been a problem.” The hospital had a major problem with coding when its coder left and wasn’t able to bill anything for three months.

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Murphy said, “We can’t bill unless it is documented.” Ellis replied, “That’s right!” He went on to say that October has been the worst month the hospital has ever had and said, “We can’t get out of trouble by cost controls; it has to be by volume.”The hospital will not be giving any increases in employee wages and Ellis said that will help tremendously going into 2020.

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Paige Bartholomew gave the board a presentation on the North Central Washington’s overall Health Assessment based on six focus groups throughout the region. She showed the board that they:

  • Collected data for over 1,000 indicators
  • Conducted a 15 question survey that was filled out by 5,010 NCW residents
  • Six focus groups were used to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats affecting community health
  • The Community assessments concluded that:
    Access to Care and long wait times were an issue
    That the region needs more quality medical personnel
  • The Barriers are:
    Distance to Clinics and Hospitals
    High cost of health care
    Insufficient number of providers
    Insurance challenges
    Lack of awareness on how to access resources
  • Affordable Housing:
    Wages to low for the area
    Cost of Housing is too high
    And Regional weaknesses include lack of opportunities

“This process wouldn’t have been so successful as it was without the participation,” said Bartholomew.

The next Hospital Commission meeting will be on January 28, at 1:30 p.m. in the Boardroom.

Chelan Fire swears in Karyl Oules

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by Richard Uhlhorn

Chelan Fire & Rescue’s scheduled fire commission meeting had a number of issues to address before the new year including the passage of the 2020 budget, swearing in Karyl Oules as the commissioner to replace Jay Witherbee’s slot he abandoned several months ago.

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Administrative Assistant Carol Kibler swore in Karyl Oules as Chelan Fire & Rescue’s new commissioner replacing Jay Witherbee who left several months ago.

The first item of business after sitting Oules was to nominate Phil Moller as chairman of the board. He accepted this nomination and will take over the position in January.

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Administrative Assistant Carol Kibler was nominated again as the secretary of the board and she accepted the nomination.

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Commissioner Phil Moller was nominated and accepted the position of Chairman on the Chelan Fire District #7 board.

Chief Mark Donnell explained that he only had October’s financials and hopes to have both November and December financials ready for the January meeting.

Donnell also reported that all of the capital projects that had been budgeted for 2019 have been completed including getting water to Station 75.

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Chief Mark Donnell

Incident report:

 Donnell reported that the District responded to 62 calls in November including the House fire in Manson and a garage fire in Union Valley. He also remarked on the Beebe Bridge accident that ended with a child being airlifted to Wenatchee.

Commissioner Moller asked if he has heard what her condition is and Donnell replied he didn’t, but would check.

There were two accidents near Station 75, one of which knocked the power box off of its block. “The driver of the vehicle has taken car of the repairs,” said Donnell. The other accident was a driver who hit his accelerator instead of his brakes. “There was one individual seriously injured,” said Donnell.

Time Out times:

 Station 71 continues to get out of the fire station in record time. E71 is down to 1:39 and R71 is down to 1:33. The average out of the station time is 2:52 reported Donnell. T75 has a timeout time of 8:30, but Donnell explained that is because it is an all volunteer station which means the volunteers are coming from home or work. “The national average is 9 minutes for Volunteer Districts,” said Donnell.

Donnell said call volumes are typically slower this time of year. “Fortunately, we have had no significant fire losses this November.”

However, Donnell reported that the District has had some significant facility issues. The heat system at Station 75 is out and it is now being heated with space heaters until a new system can be installed. “We have had nothing but issue over the past five years,” said Donnell. It will cost $7,500’s to replace the heating elements and Donnell added, “We might have to replace the system and use a PUD rebate program.” The space heaters are keeping the station at a cool 58 degrees and down to 50 degrees on colder days/nights.

At Station 73, someone knocked off the electronic panel at the post. “It wasn’t from snowplowing,” said Donnell. “There was signs of people doing donuts. We’ve reported it to the Chelan County Sheriff’s office and filed with our insurance.”

Pateros has offered $500 for the 71 chassis and Donnell said the District should accept that offer because up until Pateros’ offer, there had been no offers forthcoming.

He stated that all of the vendors who attended this year’s fair have agreed to come back next year. The District is working on the development of a Public Information Team (PIO) including the use of social media.

The District has applied for a 2019 DNR Phase II grant for $12,000, but that is a matching grant, so the District would have to match the $12,000. If it is obtained it would be used to replace a wildland fire truck 6X6 chassis.

He has talked to Chiefs Oatey and Asher and hopes to get Chief Arnold Baker to come along for equipment replacement. “If it is a regional effort, it has a better chance,” said Donnell.

Assistant Chief Brandon Asher:

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Assistant Chief Brandon Asher

Asher reported that four new recruits have signed on including in Entiat and Orondo. He also reported that he is currently cleaning up staff roster. Five volunteers have been removed from the roster because they can’t commit. One is leaving for Everett Fire Department.

Asher has instigated a new program for those “Out-Of-Area” firefighters who have been coming to Chelan to work shifts. “I am requiring that that agree to work four shifts of 4/12s,” said Asher. These personnel come from Wenatchee and East Wenatchee.

Only one shift is covered for December and none for January, reported Asher. “We see that improving.”

The Chelan Fire Academy is becoming more regional in scope with five agencies participating. “We hopefully will get some help from these agencies with instruction,” said Asher.

Fire Fighter Association:

“Chelan Fire Association raised $41,000
at its recent Firelight Gala.”

 Dan Crandall, president, reported that the association had $9,608.00 in its checking account, but that the Firelight Gala raised $41,000 and the SUP Cup added $8,000.00 to the coffers for a total of $54,589.00.

“A lot of things happening over the last month,” said Crandall. The association has given $1,000 to Chelan Valley Thrive. They also give a $500 Walmart gift certificate for kids to go shopping with first responders. “The Sheriff’s Department was also involved.”

The Washington Association of Businesses of Olympia gave the Association $1,000 and toys to Chelan Fire & Rescue. “We gave that money and gifts to Chelan Valley Thrive,” said Crandall.

Commission comments:

 Moller said he would like to see the District build on its Recruit Academy.

Jones remarked that the Sheriff’s Department is pleased with the Chelan Fire & Rescue boat and its ability to respond to events on the water. Moller added that it is a perfect opportunity to work with the District’s partners. Jones ended the meeting with a remark that the District now has a resource that will be called upon.

Karyl Oules thanked everyone for their support in the recent election.

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Karyl Oules listens intently during her first commission meeting.

She also remarked that she had heard that Shawn Sherman did an incredible job at the bridge accident.

“I want to hear from people,” said Oules. People who want to reach out, can contact Karyl through the department and/or her Facebook page. “I’m meeting with a group of people to listen,” she said.

She will be on KOZI on the Thursday, December 19, at 8 a.m. with the Chief.

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NEW TRAIL COMING TO CHELAN
by Richard Uhlhorn

The Lake Chelan Trails Alliance was formed in 2016 with the plan to build and promote Trails in the Lake Chelan Valley. “Our mission is to get out in front like Wenatchee and the Methow have,” said Guy Evans who was present at the Chelan City Council meeting on November 26 to give an overview of the groups ambitions and its new upcoming trail in Reach 1 of the Chelan River Gorge.

According to Evans to permitting is complete, a required cultural survey is completed and the trail is ready for construction this coming Spring. “It will be 1.8 mile dirt trail,” said Evans. The lower loop will be constructed in the 100 year flood plain down to the riparian zone.

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The trail will access the river area of Reach One.

The Alliance has $10,000 budgeted for the construction. “We plan on bringing in a bobcat (trail machine),” Evans told the council. The trail will be maintained by the Alliance. “It is designed to be low maintenance like trails at Echo Ridge.”

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The new Reach 1 Trail will take off from the existing PUD Trail and take the hiker into Reach One by the river and around a loop.

Chelan County PUD requires that the City of Chelan be involved and ultimately responsible for the trail.  Current City Administrator Mike Jacksonsaid that the City’s liability is covered by State Recreational Law and the City’s insurer (WCIA). “The Alliance is also insured,” said Jackson.

City Attorney Quentin Batjer gave a broad overview of the PUD/City contract for the trail on PUD property. “The PUD doesn’t like contracts with private entities,” said Batjer. The agreement is for 10 years, but can be terminated by a one year notice. “It will have to be approved by the PUD before anything happens.

The trail construction will be accomplished with volunteer labor to escape the “Prevailing Wage” law. Volunteers will be required to sign waivers.

Two contracts will be in place; one between the City and PUD and the second between the City and Alliance.

Councilman Ray Dobbs asked what the financial impact will be for the City. Jackson replied that it will be minor. “This is a perfect relationship between local government and private enterprise. It doesn’t obligate the PUD or the City.”

The future plan is to extend the trail up on the plateau above the new trail.

Back Story:

The PUD Reach Trail System proposals were first outlined in the Lake Chelan Trails Association’s Comprehensive Trail Plan which was finalized in October, 1995 after five years and close to $10,000 to complete.

During the Relicensing process of the Chelan Dam, the team concerned with recreation requested that the PUD provide recreational trails in Chelan River’s Reach 1 and 2. It was also requested that Reach 3 be considerd as a potential adventure hike.

These requests were made at the same time American Whitewater was successfully arguing about opening the Chelan River and Gorge to whitewater rafting, an activity tht was finally approved and takes place every September on the river.

The trail requests were denied because of the PUD’s liability concerns. However, the PUD did provide a trail to the river that accessed the very upper section of Reach 1 and it is used by residents and visitors throughout the year.

The Lake Chelan Trails Alliance has taken on the development of trails in the Lake Chelan Valley, and the new Reach 1 trail will be a welcome addition to the valley.