CHELAN TO CONSIDER IMPACT FEES FOR NEW DEVELOPMENT

by Richard Uhlhorn

The City of Chelan City Council and staff heard a presentation by Andy Wendell, PUD representative regarding its decision to add impact fees to defray costs. “We are seeing large developments,” Wendell said. “You have a fair amount of development going on,” he added.

PUD representative Andy Wendell presented the City Council with the PUD’s plans to build new substations to handle increased development and impact fees to cover that development.

Currently, the PUD has 35 existing substations in the County and another 13 in the planning stage. He mentioned development on the north shore and planned development at the airport. “Nineteen percent growth over the last year is significant.”

“When a substation reaches full capacity we start building new ones.” New substations cost between $5 and $8 million and the need for an additional 13 substations to take care of increased electricity needs means that the PUD needed to implement additional funding for capital improvements. Wendell said that development will share to new connections. “The fees assessed to new or growing customers is in support of the growth,” explained Wendell. “Growth pays for growth.”

Currently single phase 200-400 amp service to a new home is $1,295.

The PUD will be charging more for new hookups to help offset the expense of the new infrastructure.

Councilman John Olson asked what the City’s authority to impose impact fees on development is and City Administrator replied that the City has to be careful, however, he added that developers should pay for impact fees based on their impacts to the community.

Council member John Olson


Public Works Director, Jake Youngren added that the Utility Comprehensive Plan as increased its monthly rates. “We are charging the maximum allowable.” Olson replied that there are 100’s of things that Chelan pays for including aging infrastructure. “We are not planning far enough ahead and I would like to get something in place. The rate payers shouldn’t have to pay for new development.”

Public Works Director Jake Yongren

Youngren added that the City needs a rate structure that supports infrastructure.

Council woman Erin McCardle.

Erin McCardle suggested a meeting. “We have to sit down and develop a five year growth projection. It might benefit all of us to be on the same page.” Tim Hollingsworth asked if there was another rate study coming up in 2023. The answer was Yes.

Wendell finished his presentation by telling the council that the most pressing thing for the PUD was to meet peak electrical demands. New substations will serve approximately 1,500 new homes which means county wide there could be another 19,500 new homes built in the next several years.

Sevando Robledo asked about crypto currency mining and Wendell stated that since the PUD set new application rates that it tempered applications. “We get inquiries, but haven’t had any new applications.”

John Olson feels that Chelan needs to add impact fees to help take care of new development infrastructure needs that includes impacts on transportation, sewer treatment, and aging infrastructure. “A $1,000 fee on each new home would not impact the mortgage, but would add close to a million a year to help update our infrastructure.”

Next Tuesday, there will be a public hearing by the Hearing Examiner to consider the huge 702 apartment complex being planned for Apple Blossom Center. This would be constructed near the new hospital and Columbia Valley Clinic along with WalMart and would potentially 1400 cars to an already congested transportation issue.

The public hearing will begin at 2 p.m. in City Council Chambers.

Community forum draws an estimated 150 concerned citizens

by Richard Uhlhorn

On Tuesday evening, May 31, the Manson Community Council hosted a community forum in Manson with an estimated 150 concerned and interested residents of the Lake Chelan Valley attending.

About 150 individuals attended the Manson Community Forum.

The main topics of the evening was the proposed 66 Sundance Estates residential housing project just east of the intersection to the casino and the increasing traffic issues on SR150 between Chelan and Manson.

The Sundance Estates developer applied for 77 lots on 9.6 acres and Chelan County is currently reviewing all of the required criteria.

One of the big issues brought up by Dr. Brian Patterson, a retired environmental consultant and Manson resident was the SEPA report regarding the legacy orchard land this development would build on. The land is considered contaminated with lead/arsenic and Patterson wondered what the County was doing with that information.

Brian Patterson raised questions regarding contaminated soils and traffic on SR150.

Deanna Walters, Chelan County’s interim community development director, stated that the County was looking at the soil samples and will make a decision on whether to require a full Environmental Impact Study based on those soil samples. “I don’t want anyone to assume this will be a DNS (Determination of Non Significance). It is still under review.” The Department of Ecology (DOE) is reviewing the soil samples.

Deanna Walters is the interim Community Development Director at Chelan County.

In addition, Walters told the attendees that they can comment on the project all the way through the process until the County Hearings Examiner closes the public comment period.

Asked about a public hearing, Walters said that the County would notifiy those who have commented and left their email address two weeks before a public hearing. “We are a ways away from a hearing,” she said.

The county has received comments from the Fire Marshall and Fire District who also have concerns that need to be addressed. The Lake Chelan Reclamation District commented that they do have the capacity to provide sewer and water to the project.

Walters also answered a question regarding the potential of Short Term Rentals on the project and replied that the County has an STR Code with underlying conditions that must be met. “If they are within the Manson Urban Growth Area, they could apply for it, but we are a long way away from that. The STR Code is another layer on top of everything.”

She also stated that the density would require that the developer would have to sprinkle the houses. “That is very expensive,” she said. “Up to $25,000 per house.”

One of the issues raised about the increased development in the Manson area is added traffic to SR150 which is the only direct route into and out of Manson.

Walters remarked that it wasn’t only residential developments that are affecting traffic on the Manson/Chelan Highway, but that wineries also add to that issue. “We’ve got a tourism issue here,” she said. “It’s not just development that is creating traffic issues.”

She added that wineries under 1,500 sq. ft. did not required a permit. In a message, she wrote, “I pointed that out last night as a reality check for those that want no development. The wineries may require a business license through the state, but the county does not require one. It still requires a building permit, but not land use permit and that is typically where the impacts are analyzed.”

Traffic issues were also discussed and one complaint is that traffic surveys have typically been accomplished during February or January when traffic issues are low. The County Engineer, Brad Scott, remarked that the County had only received the traffic survey two weeks ago.

David Bierschbach DOT (left) and County Planner Brad Scott (Center) were on hand to answer questions relating to the evening’s topics.

the DOT representative, Dave Bierschbach, stated that the DOT is trying to get a better handle on seasonal traffic variations after one resident stated that during the summer months, the Manson highway was like July 4th traffic everyday.

Bierschbach said that the DOT would be conducting traffic counts at a number of intersections in Manson. “We will be doing multiple collection counts at major points,” he promised.

Walters encouraged everyone who had concerns to comment by email so it enters into the record.

In a follow-up call to Kari Sorenson, chair of the Manson Community Council, she said the Council is coming up with a series of follow-up questions for the County including issues with some of the wineries and other businesses that exist in Manson.

The Manson Community Council.

The Community Council meetings are held on the third Tuesday of each month at the Manson Park’s office beginning at 6 p.m. “We will share any new information that we have received by then,” said Sorenson.

Manson to hold community forum

by Richard Uhlhorn – Wednesday May 25, 2022

MANSON COMMUNITY FORUM
Hosted by The Manson Community Council
TUESDAY MAY 31, 2022 @ 6:00 pm
North Shore Sowers Hall
123 Wapato Point Parkway
MANSON, WA 98831

Next Tuesday evening, the Manson Community Council is hosting a Community Forum at the North Shores Church Sowers Hall, 123 Wapato Point Parkway in Manson at 6 p.m.

On the agenda are the increasing high density developments that the County has alleged to be of non-significance despite the development property being on legacy orchard land with potential lead/arsenic issues.

The primary target of this meeting is the Sundance Estates development just east of the intersection of Old Mill Bay and the Casino. It is a Planned Development that calls for 66 long term residential units on less than 10 acres. Its primary ingress/egress point is at Hwy. 150 and could impact traffic on the highway as much as 63 vehicles per hour during peak periods. The Developer is the same developer as the shut-down Apple Casita apartment project north of the intersection towards Manson.

Traffic issues have blossomed over the past several months with the proposed Bluewater Terrace development east of Rocky Point that will add to the stream of traffic between Manson and Chelan. The traffic issues are also added to with the influx of visitors to wineries in the Manson area.

The solution to this issue is hard to come by. Hwy. 150 is the primary road in and out of Manson. The Washington State Department of Transportation (DOT) has already indicated that the only solution they see is lowering the speed limit or adjust travel times.

The other issue is that the Manson Community Council has no power over what happens in Manson. They can only recommend their decisions to the County. The County, in particular the Planning Department and the County Commissioner, Tiffany Gearing, have not attended a Council meeting for a number of months despite being asked.

The Manson community at large is becoming very concerned with the direction the community is moving and are beginning to audibly raise their concerns to the Community Council who is helpless unless the Community as a whole steps up and complains loudly to those who represent them.

Admittedly, the County, who has lost a number of planning directors over the last few years, is up to its ears on issues including some major lawsuits concerning Short Term Rentals ($20 million has been bantered about).

The meeting will be attended by Deanne Walters, the interim director of the Chelan County Community Development along with a planner from the Planning Department. Gearing was invited but will be out of town apparently and unable to attend. Representatives from the DOT have been invited, but to this date, have not responded.

Ken Del Duca, project manager of the proposed Sundance Estates project will be on hand to answer questions regarding their project which instigated this meeting. The owner, Jorge Ochoa, will not be able to attend.

This meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 31, at 6 p.m. at North Shore Churches Sowers Hall.

Manson community members beginning to worry about impacts of developments

by Richard Uhlhorn

MaY 18, 2022

The Manson community is beginning to see the light. An estimated 40 people showed up in person at the Manson Community Council meeting on Tuesday evening, May 17, with most attending to hear about or complain about the proposed 66 lot Sundance Development just east of the Casino/Old Mill Bay intersection with Hwy. 150.

Many in the community are seriously concerned with the unmitigated taking place along the 150 corridor. Over the past couple of months, concerns have been raised with the Bluewater Terrace development and now the Sundance development which, according to Brian Patterson’s research will potentially add another 63 vehicles per hour during peak months to the highway.

Transportation issues is a huge concern with a community that has only one real egress out of the valley unless they want to drive up and over, eventually entering the highway off Boyd Road.

Brian Patterson explained some of the issues surrounding the proposed Sundance Estates proposed 66 residential lot project.

Transportation isn’t the only issue with the proposed “Planned Development” at Sundance. Patterson told the assembled crowd that the project lies on “Legacy Orchard Land” that has been farmed over the first half of the century which brings up the major issue of lead/arsenic levels in the ground.

Soil samples have been taken, according to Patterson, who has been at the forefront of getting the DOE to deal with lead/arsenic situations, but the County hasn’t provided the results and have apparently indicated that the project could be determined of non-significance. “They are required by law to provide the public with the soil sample resuts.”

Mr. Pittman, who has the pear and apple orchard adjacent to the development said he expects the developer to recognize that he has a right to farm. With the development bordering his property by only 30 feet, Pittman said, “They will be getting wet (with spray) and I spray a lot during the summer months.”

The planned development allows the developer an increased lot density from 40 lots to 66 smaller lots that many say will make it into another Lookout. However, as a planned development, only long term residential home sites are allowed with no Short Term Rentals.

The developer is also required to provide two ingress/egress avenues which include traffic through the Summer Breeze development and Hwy. 150.

Councilperson Kathy Blum

Council member Kathy Blum talked about the many different projects that had been proposed for that property but eventually failed until this developer applied for the Sundance Estates project. “Nobody at planning has ever shown up for a meeting. We need to get the (County) Planning Department here,” she said. “When I suggested that to a planner in Wenatchee, he looked like a deer caught in the headlights.”

Carl Blum, a past County Planning Commission member explained how the commissioners work.

Carl Blum, a past member of the Chelan County Planning Commission said, “They only take on what the Community Development department gives them.” He encouraged the community to write letters and include them to the County Commissioner. “She represents you, write to her.”

Public comments on the Sundance project are due by Thursday, May 19. They should be addressed to the planner on this project at alex.white@co.chelan.wa.us.  CC the County Commissioners: kevin.overbay@co.chelan.wa.us,

bob.bugert@co.chelan.wa.us, tiffany.gering@co.chelan.wa.us and the Chelan County Assessor who has taken on the job of Interim Communty Development Director at Chelan County. Assessor@co.chelan.wa.us

Kari Sorenson (left) and Cindy Smith

Chairwoman Kari Sorenson said, “We can’t do anything. We need you guys to write letters and to stop being apathetic.” She also mentioned that County Commissioner Tiffany Gering has not come to a meeting after being repeatedly invited despite the fact that she lives in Manson. “She promised to come to all meetings and after three, we’ve never seen her again.”

Sorenson is tentatively setting up a Community Forum at 6 p.m. on May 31 at the Manson Grange Hall which will include Interim Community Development Director Deanna Walter, Planner Alex White, Jorge Orchard, and developer Ken Del Duca.

In other business:

Sheriff Brian Burnett was on hand to explain the new County code enforcement program.

Sheriff Brian Burnett came to the Council meeting to explain the new Code Enforcement program under the department. The Sheriff’s Department has entered into a contract and is hiring three civil servants to enforce the Codes of Chelan County including STRs (Short Term Rentals). These individuals will have undergone background checks and will be either trained and/or already have extensive code enforcement backgrounds.

However, for disturbances like noise infractions, the public should still call RiverCom at 911 or 509-663-9111 if it is not an emergency.

He also said that STRs should be posted at the residence and that someone must be responsible for activities at these facilities. Burnett said, “It seems that when people go on vacation, their brains are turned off.”

Gildroy will be missed… memorial Friday

by Richard Uhlhorn

Last week’s City Council meeting was a solemn affair with the sudden passing of the City’s Community Development Director Craig Gildroy earlier in the month.

Lisa Garvich, a community member spoke about Craig during the public comment period, saying, “He was always willing to chat, worked by the code and while I didn’t always agree with him, he was a good guy.”

It was during the City/Mayor comments that the accolades for Craig’s service to the community over the years and his willingness to interact with anyone who had a question came out.

Peter Jamtgaard remarked that Craig was a good guy who worked hard. Servando Robledo echoed that thought and said, “It is a big loss for Chelan.” Tim Hollingsworth echoed the council’s comments. “He moved here years ago and worked his way up. He was an asset to the community. He will be missed.” Sheri Dietrich teared up and said she will miss Craig. She worked with him for a number of years when she was on the Planning Commission.

City Administrator Wade Ferris stated that the City is fortunate to have a quality staff in planning. “Craig Gildroy gave them the knowledge and ability to make decision,” said Ferris. “He worked with citizens at all levels. It is going to be hard to replace Craig. We are going to miss him going forward.”

Lewis Gonzalez has been named the interim community director and John Ajax will continue as a planner.

Lewis Gonzalez has been named Interim Planning Department Director.

Gonzalez said, “He was such a great guy. I learned so much from him. I’m really going to miss him.” He also stated that despite losing Craig, the planning department continued to answer the phones the next day and kept the department working.

In other business:

Annexation of Sundance Slope:

The Council unanimously accepted a petition submitted by Sundance Slope LLC, and modified by the staff as presented as a Special Use District. Tim Hollingsworth abstained from the vote due to potential conflict of interest.

John Olson remarked that the annexed property was contiguous with the Bluewater Terrace project and asked if that would allow them to join together. City Attorney Quentin Batjer said, “They would have to go through the entire process.” Shari Dietrich asked about the property’s water and sewer issue. Batjer replied that it would be very challenging topographically to acquire water and sewer service. Jamtgaard stated that was good because it gives the City more control.

RH2 Engineers Task Authorization:

Council authorized Mayor Goedde to finalize and execute a Task Authorization with RH2 Engineering for pre-design services for the Airport Transmission Main Project at a cost of $24,914.00.

The Public Works Department will not issue a notice to proceed until further notice. The transmission line, which will carry treated water to the airport for fire flow would not be able to be used as potable water unless analyzed for that purpose because the water in the pipe would be stagnant until needed and therefore not drinkable.

The City is receiving a $5.7 million dollar grant to extend water to the airport.

Fire District 7 presents draft strategic plan to commissioners

by Richard Uhlhorn

Chelan Fire and Rescue (Chelan County Fire District No. 7) held a Strategic Planning meeting on Wednesday, April 27, to present its planning process to the Fire Commissioners.

Administrative Assistant Carol Kibler went over budget items relevant to the strategic plan.

Carol Kibler, administrative assistant, updated the commission on the current and future budget and said the department would carry over $1.7 million if it did not have to pay the $433,690 in capital expenses including the ladder truck. “It will be a brand new truck after its refurbishing,” said Chief Brandon Asher. The truck was purchased for $175,000 and the department is spending another $250,000 on it.

Commissioner Phil Moller asked what the life expectancy of the ladder truck will be. Asher replied it would be 20 years at 2,500 mile per year. Mechanic John Goyne stated that maintenance would be less than $500 per year, but wasn’t sure about fuel costs.

The department is also purchasing two new high clearance trucks with All-Wheel-Drive to help access urban/wildland interface homes. “Homes are being built higher and higher into the hills.”

Chelan Fire and Rescue will be adding another clearance, go anywhere brush truck to its fleet to access off road areas.

On the south shore, there are switchbacks after switchbacks to residences which means some fires on those residential homes will have to be fought from the road with a 100 foot hose haul.

The Strategic Plan is an opportunity for the department to look into future. “It is a roadmap of where we want to be. We don’t want to go backwards.”

Currently Chelan Fire has 11 career firefighters and 30 volunteers. “During this process, some fire fighters asked about including a core value of Teamwork,” said Asher.

Chief Brandon Asher went over the key elements of the draft Strategic Plan with the fire commissioners.

The district is still trying to come up with accurate population numbers. Current data shows that Chelan has a population of 4,095 and the outlying areas of the district has 3,356 residents for a total of 7,485. “It’s not going to slow down,” said Asher.

The department responded to 1,053 calls in 2021 and expects that to increase this year.

Equipment:

Truck #7 would cost $779,000 to replace. Goyne stated that everything on the truck is obsolete except for the engine.

Truck #71 will be a brand new truck after its refurbishment.

Rescue 71 has been updated to a diesel engine.

Brush 7 is a department workhorse and has only 10,866 miles on it.

Brush 75 is the last of the Ford 550s, but is another workhorse for the department.

Brush 75 is stationed in Union Valley.

Brush 79 is a DNR loaner rig. “The plan for this to start sending it out on State Mob.”

Tender 71 is an AWD that carries 4,000 gallons of water. “It can spend a long time on a fire,” said. Goyne. “I’ve been on fires where 4,000 gallons have made a huge difference.”

Chief 71 is five years past replacing, but the department has put a new purchase on hold. Goyne said a replacement would cost  between $70,000 and $80,000.

Mechanic’s truck has 100,000 miles on it and used they are selling for $31,000.

The department’s Tahoe still runs good and is primarily used to transport volunteers to certification classes.

Hazmat II is 22 years old, but according to Asher, it is a good rig for what the department is trying to do.

Marine 71 is a great addition to the fleet. “We are exploring all fire fighting options for it. Commissioner Russ Jones stated that they don’t want to cut into the aluminum hull and will put a portable on the stern to find out if a portable is appropriate or not.

Jones said he would like to have a marine radio on the Marine 71. Asher asked if that was a special radio and Jones replied that marine radios are programmed differently.

Chief Asher said, “We are crossing our fingers that this will get us through another fire season.

Facilities:

The department is planning on replacing the flooring in both the dorm and common areas.

Security cameras have been purchased and they are waiting on the possibility of getting a Digital Reader Board from the DNR. Long term plans call for a hose tower and workout area.

Chelan Falls has only one volunteer. The building was built in 1984. There were 46 responses to Chelan Falls last year. “If we can’t get more volunteers, we will look at closing this station and possibly moving a truck over to Douglas County’s proposed new facility on the other side of the Beebe Bridge.” However it was noted that Chelan Falls is changing.

Station 73 has six volunteers with three of them combat certified. It had 11 calls last year.

Station 74 at the airport houses the department’s Search and Rescue equipment. “It’s pretty old, but a good station. “It will meet our need in the future if the proposed casino i built and water is out there.”

Fire District 7’s mechanic John Goyne plans to retire in the next two years and the District is seeking a replacement.
Commissioner Phil Moller
Commissioner Karyl Oules
Commissoner Russ Jones.

Station 75 has seven volunteers with four combat certified. It serves the south shore to 25 Mile Creek State Park.

Entiat/Chelan are beginning a joint effort to serve both Navarre Coulee and Downey Canyon.

Goals:

The department will continue its goal of having a highly trained staff and volunteers to work fires. It will also continue to seek grant opportunities.

“We have a lot of new people and it is important to get training behind them.” Asher also stated that the department’s equipment needs are being met. The department is also conducting Community Risk Assessments.

Keeping the Community aware of fire department activities and involved is of highest priority. Commissioner Karyl Oules stated that residents don’t know about all the laws the department has to comply with. Asher said, “We need engagement with the media.. getting the message out there about what we are doing. I think that is important.”

Fiscal management is also a top priority.  “We are doing what is appropriate and transparent.” This brought up the subject of a resident who has requested all emails. Kibler said, “He’s getting everything he asked for,” said Kibler. “We will never change his mind, no matter what we do. We are still doing the right thing.”

Moller brought up the need to seriously look at John Goyne’s replacement. Goyne will be retiring in two years and the District would like to have a competent replace on board before that happens.

Community Center presents update to City Council

by Richard Uhlhorn

Seven Acres Foundation Maribel Cruz, director of operations and Board President Ben Williams presented an update to the Chelan City Council on the construction of the Community Center. Cruz reported that the last three years have been difficult because of the pandemic and rising construction costs.

Director of Operations Maribel Cruz gave the City Council an update on the Community Center project and what it will offer to the community.

She stated that restated that the purpose of the Center was a physical space where people can meet in a centralized location. “It will also offer year-round recreational activities.

In 2021, the Foundation was able to level the building site and secure the critical permitting from the various agencies. Outside of construction difficulties, the Foundation has been able to develop relationships with a number of partners.

Board President Ben Williams talked about ongoing efforts to raise money and the possibility of working with the City on AAU Progarms

Williams told the Council that they have received financial support and that the facility will have three volleyball courts, six pickleball courts and a swimming pool. “Special Olympics is one of our partners,” said Williams. “Only 7 Seconds is another partner that has a mission to end loneliness.”

The project has received another million dollars but has/is facing a $9 million dollar

budget fall and Williams stated that they are looking for creative ways and options for support of the project.

Williams told the Council that the board has discussed ways the City could support the project through its AAU program which would be a benefit to both.

The other option that is being researched is a Muncipal Parks District within the City and County for funding. “This is the less desirable option,” said Williams. “We are looking for some support.” Williams asked the Council if they had any questions.

John Olson stated that the facility has to be accessible to everybody. Williams replied that it has been privately funded with the exception of State grants.

Chris Baker asked if there might be a market correction that might bring down costs? “I feel we are insulated from a recession.”

Peter Jamtgaard asked about membership fees to generate revenue. Williams replied that the Community Center has 11 partners who will be leasing space at the facility. “We are a couple of million in (long term) debt and would prefer to have no debt.”

The facility has grown from an original 26,000 sq. ft. to 40,000 sq. ft. Williams explained that the Roots School will be taking over the second floor. “We have a healthy demand for space,” said Williams. “Pickle Ball is in high demand.”

Williams also stated that there are 20 teams competing for time and space in two local gymnasiums.

Jamptgaard asked about the swimming pool. Williams said it will be an outdoor pool but the Foundation is developing plans to enclose the pool. “It is our intention to have a year-round facility.”

Tim Hollingsworth asked about the facility being closed airtight so interior work can begin. Williams replied that they are good to go to get the shell in place.

Chris Baker asked if the plans still include a church. Williams said Real Life would be occupying the facility for their church services and activities.

To help raise funds, individuals, families, organizations, companies and agencies can learn more about donating here: https://sevenacresfoundation.org/fundraising/

In other business:

The Lake Chelan Trails Alliance requested that the City release it from its required Liability Insurance clause that was put in place during the construction of the trail. Since construction is now complete, the Council approved the motion to release the Alliance from the liability insurance clause.

John Olson asked if the trail was on PUD property and how did liability play for users. City Attorney Quentin Batjer replied that the Washington’s recreational immunity statute protected owners in land opened to the public solely for recreational purposes. “I feel pretty good about it.”

Sundance Slope Annexation:

City Planner Craig Gildroy (who sadly passed away Thursday, April 28) said that he would like the Council to hold off on the Sundance Slope Annexation until the next meeting.

The property on Chelan’s North Shore is currently a working orchard with no future development plans except as an operating orchard. “We are trying to retain the right to farm within the city,” said Gildroy. He added that some property owners do not want to be annexed into the City. In addition property owners don’t want to lose their septic systems to a city sewer system.

“We would not take them off their well or septic system,” said Gildroy. Mayor Bob Goedde chimed in with the concern that he has real doubts about the annexation proposal and sees the possibility of the property becoming an 80 home development in the future. “It is just one more step in eliminating small town Chelan,” said Goedde.

Gildroy replied that there are no urban services in that area. Olson replied that the Manson Community Council is concerned with the proposed Bluewater Terrace and its access point to Hwy. 150. He asked if an alternative ingress/egress road could be built.

Jamptgaard stated he liked the idea of annexation because it gives the City control over the property like their control over Chelan Butte. “Preserving some of the orchards is important,” he said.

Batjer suggested that the issue be tabled until the next meeting. Council agreed.

Generator purchase:

The Public Works Department ordered a generator for Lift Station No. 5 in August of 2021. “We have yet to receive a deliver date,” said Jake Youngren. Currently the City is renting a generator for the Lift Station at $1,500 per month. Youngren requested the purchase of a used generator at a cost of $20,500. “It only has 5,000 hours on it and is in good condition.” The new generator would cost the City $50,000. Council approved the purchase of the used generator.

Mayor/Council comments:

Servando Robledo told the members that the Hispanic Community is planning a big Cinco de Mayo celebration and invited everyone to join in.

Mayor Goedde attended a PUD Stakeholders meeting and said that the PUD has revenues of $58 million dollars in Chelan County, but sells $259 million to outside sources. “We have an opportunity to work with the PUD.

Youngren reported that KCRI is having less issues on the 200 block of the Alley project. He also said Public Works would be re-striping on May 9. He also mentioned that the department is feeling the pinch of getting services. “We are making conservative projections concerning our budget inflation related issues.”

Parks Director Paul Horne commented that fertilizer has gone up 300%.

Gildroy said his department would be changing its hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. based on contractors needs.

City Administrator Wade Ferris said they have had a good discussion on a new skate park/pump track and dog park. “It was a good discussion regarding the priorities about areas.

City Council meets every second and fourth Tuesdays as 6 p.m. The public is encouraged to attend.

Wildfire Ready Neighbors ready to launch State wide

by Richard Uhlhorn

Regional fire districts joined the DNR and Union Valley neighbors at an event hosted by Johnny and Sara Synder at their Union Valley property.

Johnny and Sara Synder have been advocates for firewise mitigation efforts around residential properties for the last 20 years. When they moved to Union Valley, they were not really aware of the fire danger until a 4,600 acre human caused wildfire in the valley threatened them and other residents living in the rural wildland area.

Johnny and Sara Synder have been instrumental in bringing Union Valley neighbors together to protect their properties from wildfire. Johnny Synder is a recent retired Chelan Fire volunteer and now serves as a safety officer.

Since that fire caused by an illegal trash burn, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources has been working with Union Valley neighbors through cost sharing programs to create fire safe zones around individual properties.

Twenty years later, the DNR is still on the job in Union Valley and, along with the Synders, created a Community based Fire District and communications system to defend themselves and neighbors.

On Tuesday, April 19, the Synders hosted a new DNR program called “Wildfire Ready Neighbors” at their property in Union Valley. In attendance were a number of neighbors, fire districts and agencies.

A number of agency personnel and Union Valley neighbors attended the launch of the DNR’s Wildfire Ready Neighbors program at the Synder’s property in Union Valley.

Sara Synder said the program is funded by the DNR through a State legislated effort to educate and help residents who live in an urban/wildland interface to prepare their homes against wildfire. “Home owners can hire contractors or do the work themselves,” she said. If the homeowner hires a contractor, they pay for the services and then invoice the DNR for reimbursement. “If a homeowner decides to do the work themselves, they can also be reimbursed for their time.”

Guy Gifford, a DNR Landowner Assistance Forester, stated that program is focused on point protection. “We want people to get motivated to take action,” he said. “This is now a statewide program.” Interested homeowners or businesses can learn more at http://www.wildfireready.com.

Land Commissioner Hilary Franz was able to get the State Legislature to agree to $2 million dollars a year over the next five years for the wildfire readiness program. She was unable to attend due to a positive Covid test, so Allen Lebovitz, DNR’s Wildfire & Resiliency Liaison, stepped in to address the assembled crowd of approximately 75 people.

Allen Lebovitz stood in for Land Commissioner Hilary Franz who could not attend the Wildfire Ready Neighbors program due to contracting Covid.

“Wildfire is becoming more dangerous and severe every year,” said Lebovitz. “Last year April broke all records with over 200 fires.” He went on to say that the moisture level is around two percent. “This piece of paper I’m reading from has a five percent moisture content.”

Homeowners interested in what they can do to protect their property can visit the website and get a no cost site visit from a local fire agency. “We are all in this together.”

Chelan Fire Chief Brandon Asher thanked the DNR for recognizing Union Valley first. “We have a long history of fire in the Valley and a long history of homeowners being very progressive about protecting their property,” said Asher. “It makes our job much easier.”

Chelan Fire and Rescue Chief Brandon Asher was on hand to offer district assistance to homeowners wanting a home visit and survey done on their property.

Chelan Fire and Rescue will send out a team to conduct a home survey to help homeowners protect their homes from wildfire. The fire district can be reached at 509-682-4476.

Wildfires destroyed 58,985 acres of land and property in Washington State during the 2021 fire season.

Alma Chacon, CAFE (The Community for the Advancement of Family Education) thanked Hilary Franz for her passion and spoke about her organization’s ability to help educate homeowners about protecting their property whether it is in a rural forested area, a wildland/urban interface or within a township.

Ann Chacon, Community for the Advancement of Family Education will help educate homeowners and property owners in the Wenatchee area.

The illegal trash fire in 2001 involved 930 wildland firefighters at an estimated cost of $3.8 million dollars to suppress. Today, wildfires are even more severe.

The 2001 illegal trash burn consumed 4600 acres at a cost of $3.8 million dollars to suppress.

In 2015, the lightning caused Chelan Complex burned over 56,000 acres destroying more than 50 structures and forced an estimated 1,500 residents in the area to flee. South Chelan was in danger of being lost. Chelan Fruit lost a major warehouse structure when it’s roof caught on fire from burning embers from the wooden apple bins stored on the south side of the warehouse. Estimated damage was over $100 million plus to lost structures.

One of the biggest concerns of many residents is the possibility of a major wildfire being pushed by a down lake wind taking out communities and residential areas around the Lake.

Wildfire Ready Neighbors is a program to help homeowners determine how vulnerable their property is. A free Wildfire Ready Home Visit can help the property owner decide how to better protect his/her property from fire.

If your property is located on forested land, you can sign up for a Forest Health Consultation to assess your forest’s health and identify problems and solutions.

http://www.wildfireready.dnr.wa.gov/visit to sign up and schedule a home visit and/or website consultation.

Property owners can support their local fire districts by installing reflective address signs where your driveway meets the main road. Chelan Fire and Rescue continues to seek new volunteers who want to serve their community and have the time to dedicate.

Union Valley property owners are working hard to protect their properties from the potential of a wildfire. It’s time for the entire state to get behind the DNR’s Wildfire Ready Program.

Some Statistics:

  • Nationwide some 4.5 million homes are at high or extreme risk from wildfire
  • In 2021 there were 58,985 wildfires across the nation burning 7.1 million acres which is a 17 percent increase from 2019 and a 223 percent increase from 1983
  • Humans cause 90 percent of all fires
  • 2020 was the third costliest year on record at $16.5 billion.
  • In Washington State, 160,500 homes are at-risk.

Visit http://www.wildfireready.com or call 1-877-WA-Ready for more information.

Manson Community Council wants answers to communities issues

by Richard Uhlhorn

Manson Community Council had a number of issues on its agenda at its Tuesday night, April 19 meeting including the Manson Chamber of Commerce’s on-going issues; a disucssion of whether or not the council should request a moratorium on development until a secondary route out of Manson could be developed by Chelan County; and a Bluewater Terrace update.

An estimated 20+ Manson residents attended the Manson Community Council meeting discuss transportation issues on Hwy. 150 and the Bluewater Terrace development application.

Prior to opening the discussion portion of the meeting, Chairwoman Kari Sorenson swore in Kathy Blum as its newest board member who has served before for 12 years. Blum offered the position to anyone willing to take it and also said, “It’s time for people to get involved and give back. I would love to see a seven member council again.”

Jeff Conwell and his wife, Debbie, addressed the Chamber’s issues as a total lack of help from Chelan County.

Apparently, the community has complained about the decorative trees that drop fruit and make a total mess downtown, and Conwell has requested that the County remove them or at the very least, prune them. “The County gives us every objection (as to why they can’t help) and have refused to help,” said Conwell. “Maybe we need a midnight massacre.’

The other issue facing the Chamber and community is garbage pickup. “They don’t want to pick up the garbage,” said Conwell. “We’ve got problems and they are not giving back what they are getting. They have all kinds of arguments.”

It was suggested that the Community just cut them down and deal with the county afterwards, however one person in attendance said, “They are the owners… give them an ultimatum. They are putting the community at risk.”

Board member John Frolker asked how one gets the County to allocate more money. “I’m in agreement that they should be responsible for what they own.”

Manson Community Council has had issues with Chelan County for years because the council, while being elected officially, are unofficial according to Sorenson. Frolker said, “People bring issues to us and we send it on.”

It was suggested and agreed that the Council will request that County Commissioner Tiffany Gearing attend the next meeting and answer questions and/or take the council’s questions back to Wenatchee for answers, and then return with the County’s responses.

Mike O’Neal, pastor at Manson’s Methodist Church, spoke to the issue of Bluewater Terrace telling the Council that they have more power than they realize. “I want accuracy and transparency,” said O’Neal. “Most of us feel uninformed.”

Pastor Mike O’Neal went through a list of issues facing the Bluewater Terrace development.

O’Neal went on to say that most people had issues with the highway, development and short term rentals.

The biggest issue with Bluewater Terrace was the misinterpretation of the agri-tourism code which clearly states that this designation was meant for working farms to augment their incomes. The developer tried to use ag-tourism as a method of getting the CUP passed.

Brock Lindsay, owner at Succession Wines, asked what the beef was. O’Neal replied that the applicant tried to cut corners. Lindsay said he felt the council and attendees were against development. The council denied this.

Brock Lindsay, owner of Succession Wines, accused the Council and residents of being against development.

On one thread from the Manson Community Council, Bob Knauss remarked that development was not the only activity in the valley creating transportation woes on Hwy. 150. He reported that the wineries are adding to the transportation problem with tourists and wine visitors.

Knauss is the first to acknowledge that traffic is bad on 150, but asked if the Community wanted to limit the amount of visitors to Manson. It’s a question that hasn’t been answered.

At this point the Manson Community Council is deciding to call a Special Meeting prior to the May regularly scheduled meeting to ask Commissioner Gearing to answer question or to get answers to the Community’s questions and return with the County’s responses.

Hwy. 150 transportation issues raised at April 12 City Council meeting.

by Richard Uhlhorn

The Northlake Division 11 Plat and the Lookout’s new operations and maintenance building both lie adjacent to Hwy 150 and will add more traffic to an already congested highway.


Highway 150 transporation issues were raised, once again, by Erin McCardle. She asked that the issue be discussed at a City workshop if it was time appropriate. She stated that she would like a briefing on the proposed Bluewater Terrace project that is in front of the City’s Planning Department. “I’ve has a lot of questions and comments on that proposal,” said McCardle.

McCardle brought up the new Lookout Operations/Maintenance building adjacent to Hwy. 150 and the Northlake Division II Final Plat Phase 2 which council authorized the Mayor to finalize and execute. McCardle abstained from the vote. “I thinking about the additional traffic on Hwy. 150,” she said. John Olson added that Hwy 150 was a real challenge.

Planning Director Craig Gildroy said there was no formal agreement between the County and City regarding the current impacts. “They (the county) don’t send us anythng,” he said.

Mayor Bob Goedde stated that the City needs to interact with Chelan County.

During the discussion on the Northlake Division issue, it was noted that the development was for 40 residential units. Chris Baker asked what the City’s responsibility was concerning orchard land, which the development is on. Gildroy replied that it was up to Ecology to implement remediation of orchard lands.

Olson stated that the increasing development along Hwy. 150 should include left hand turn lanes, but there wasn’t enough room. Servando Robledo remarked that the new Lookout operations center was having ingress and egress issues at Hwy. 150.

Gildroy remarked that there were no plans to his knowledge to install ingress/egress improvements for the Northlake Division development and that no furthere mitigatino measures or conditions are required.

Manson Community Council will once again be addressing transportation issues on Hwy. 150 at its next council meeting on Tuesday, April 19, which is an in-person meeting only.

Agenda Motions:

Sidewalk/street pedestrian replacement project:

Rudnick and Sons Excavation who completed the pedestrian sidewalks project behind Safeway found the underlying soil unsuitable. They over excavated, place fabric for soil separation and then filled with crushed surfacing base before pouring the new sidewalk to street concrete. They also replaced unacceptable storm sewer frames and grates which added an additional $8,450.13 to the $170,928.88 contract. “We have adequate funds to cover this,” said Jake Youngren, public works director. Council approved the Change order unanimously.

Alley Project Change Order:

Under a change order approved by City Council, KRCI Contractors were able to begin work on the 200 block of the Columbia to Sanders Water and Sewer Main Project

KRCI, the contractor that is working on the 100 block alley sewer and water main project requested a contract time revision in a Change Order which was denied by the City. However, in discussions the contractor and city came to an agreement that makes the following changes to Section 1-08.5 of the Contract Special Provisions regarding Contract Time:

1) The original dates associated with substantial completion will be removed (Currently March 25, 2022 for Schedule A and April 29, 2022 for Schedule B). Contract time will be recreated by aggregating the original duration of the project stated in the contract into total calendar days based upon the first working day beginning on January 25, 2022 and ending on May 13, 2022. This change of contract time provides 109 calendar days to complete the work with no intermediate substantial completion dates. All calendar days are considered working days.

2) The starting point for the first charged working day will be adjusted from January 25, 2022, to February 7, 2022, which is the first day that KRCI was mobilized on site.

3) Contract time is extended by three days to account for work performed under the Contact bid item for unknown utility repair. This is for work billed on a time and materials basis (Force Account) work tabulated through March 25, 2022. Total contract time will be 112 calendar days. Substantial Completion of both Schedules A and B shall occur within 112 calendar days of February 7, 2022, for a Substantial Completion date of May 29, 2022. KRCI’s revised project schedule submitted on April 6, 2022 (attached) indicates a final paving date of June 6, 2022 or 120 calendar days since contract time began. The City will grant the eight additional days required for Substantial Completion in accordance with KRCI’s schedule.

4) The requirement for all of Schedule A work to be completed prior to beginning any Schedule B work is removed.

5) KRCI will be allowed to diligently pursue work on Schedule B immediately following execution of this change order, anticipated to occur on April 13, 2022. No cost adjustments to the contract are made for the changes described above. By Authorizing this change order, KRCI is in acceptance of the determination made by RH2 and the City regarding denial of KRCI’s claim to differing site conditions. KRCI hereby waives it right to pursue further action regarding this claim.

The stormwater realignment the contractor ran into increased the contract by $9,973 which Youngren reported adequate funds were available for.

Water Access Plan at Park Street:

The council authorized the Mayor to finalize and execute an agreement with GCH Professional Services for architectural design of the proposed water access park at the end of Park Street.

LakesidePark Initial Design Phase:

The council authorized the Mayor to finalize and execute an agreement with Berger Partnership for schematic design and federal permitting for the Lakeside Park Redevelopment Project.

Parks Director Paul Horne that the agreement with Berger would insure that the grant would be expedited if the City has all of its permitting ducks in a row when the grant is awarded. “That way we can hit the ground running,” said Horne.