City Council will consider approval of Community Centers in residential areas on August 13

by Richard Uhlhorn

Chelan City Council held a public hearing on a Zoning Code Text Amendment for Community Centers within residential areas.

Planning Director Craig Gildroy told the Council that he had received written comments on community centers in the multi-family zones. “The definition allows churches, “said Gildroy. “It could be allowed.” He also said the amendment has a set of minimum conditions. “We do have codes for dark skies and noise.”

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Chelan Planning Director Craig Gildroy

The text amendment would allow community centers to be built on 2.5 acres to a 40 foot height with setbacks of 25 feet on the front and back of the structure and 15 feet on the sides.

“The City Council can accept this or remand it back to the Planning Commission for more works,” said Gildroy.

Councilwoman Wendy Isenhart asked if a community center could be built in the downtown residential area. Gildroy replied that the amendment does not apply there.

Councilman Tim Hollingsworth said the amendment seemed to allow enough of a buffer in the Urban Growth Area. Councilman Ty Witt remarked that the amendment is about getting community centers on the list.

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Peter Fraley

Pete Fraley told the Council that he started his process for a community center and has met with the Planning Department in preparation for the October 31 deadline. “We are fine with the outcome and the Conditional Use Permit.” He did say there was a significant increase in setbacks.

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Evie Hirschberger

Resident Evie Hirschberger said her concerns were impacts to residential privacy, the 40 foot height of buildings that could result in lost view corridors for home owners and the long term impacts. “Single family residential areas should not be impacted by 40 foot high buildings,”

Resident and candidate for City Council in the upcoming election, John Olson stated that community centers should be site specific with a five acre minimum area and that community centers should be in the residential area, not on the outside. “Everyone knows that housing, especially affordable housing, is on everybody’s mind. We haven’t talked about capacity… 10 people, 100 people.”

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Ben Williams

Ben Williams, Chairman of the Seven Acres Foundation talked about the foundation’s efforts to construct a community center adjacent to Anderson Road. “One donor has pledged to build a pool,” Williams told the Council. “We hope to do a 27,000 square feet community center. It’s very challenging to raise the capital.”

Williams said the property on Anderson Road (west of and behind the warehouses off Hwy 150) is a perfect area for a community center. “It’s a huge benefit to make this happen.” He has one donor for $100,000. “Capital attracts capital. It’s going to cost a half million to run a sewer line to the site.”

Councilwoman Kelly Allen said, “I wish I had a crystal ball. I hate the idea of non intended consequences.” Hollingsworth said he’d rather see a community center like Seven Acres Foundation is promoting closer to town.

Chelan City Council will vote at its Tuesday, August 13 meeting to approve the Text Amendment that will allow Community Centers to be constructed in the City.

The Council also authorized the Mayor to finalize and execute the agreements with FreeDoc for the Records Management Program much to the delight of City Clerk Peri Gallucci. The project will take two years to complete, but is intended to scan and store all the City records on line for easy dispersal for public records requests.

Hollingsworth said, “People don’t know how important this is. We must have buy-in from all the departments.” Council voted unanimously to approve.

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Tim Hollingsworth

In 2006, the City Council adopted the SR150/No-See-Um Road Intersection Study and recommended establishment of a cost reimbursement benefit area for new development in the area. “This benefit area is for the City’s actual costs of building the roundabout,” said Gildroy. “There are a number of property owners affected like Campbell’s, the Lookout and Vin du Lac.”

With the construction of the No-See-Um Roundabout by the WSDOT, the actual cost borne by the City is much less than what was assumed in the original study and cost reimbursement methodology. This resolution, if approved, will establish a new reimbursement amount based on actual cost incurred by the City. Without the No-See-Um roundabout improvements, the identified benefited properties would not be able to develop because of traffic impacts to the intersection.

The Council approved the resolution unanimously.

Mayor/Council comments:

 Councilwoman Wendy Isenhart said she attended a meeting at the Vogue about making the community better. She would like to see the City ban plastic bags and plastic straws. “They are a nuisance. Costco has no bags.”

Councilman Ty Witt stated that Quentin Batjer, city attorney, did some “amazing work researching liability” on reimbursement of charges on abandoned properties. This issue was driven by the City Council’s effort to relieve John Jr. Fragnito of $16,000 in fines for not paying for water he has not used since the building on Sanders Street was demolished.

This issue is on the agenda of the August 13 City Council meeting.

Councilman Tim Hollingsworth said it was nice to see the new fire and rescue boat on the water. “I’m happy to see these things happening.”

City Administrator Mike Jackson remarked that a draft ordinance would be made to take care of the issues surrounding inactive properties. “We don’t have to rush. You can come back with an ordinance essentially addressing inactive properties,” said Jackson.

One idea is to add a forfeiture clause after 36 months wherein the property owner would lose his ERUs and have to reapply when ready to construct something new.

Mayor Cooney remarked that he didn’t appreciate a council member being attacked for inappropriate actions. “I will stand by Tim on this,” said Cooney. At the beginning of the meeting during Citizen Comments, Stan Morse said he had a huge problem with the Fragnito matter. He had requested information on the issue and came up with 177 real estate transactions by the Fragnito’s and in those transactions, Councilman Tim Hollingsworth was named three times.

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Stan Morse

Morse encouraged Hollingsworth to reverse his remarks regarding forgiveness of Fragnito’s fines. At some point Hollingsworth’s Pinacle Surveying did work for the Fragnitos.

City Council reconvenes on Tuesday evening, August 13 at 6 p.m. The community is invited to attend.

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Potential rollout of 5G technology in Chelan raises concerns

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by Richard Uhlhorn

Last Wednesday evening a meeting was held in the Performing Arts Center about the potential rollout of 5G Cell Service in Chelan.

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Brogan Kelly arranged to hold a meeting on 5G technology and concerns surrounding this technology last Wednesday.

Since the meeting was not well advertised, only 25 to 30 people who had heard of it through word of mouth attended. It was organized by Brogan Kelly who intends to hold more meetings on the issue of 5G.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has mandated communities to allow 5G development, and because of this mandate, the Chelan City Council, despite some health concerns, voted across the board to allow its development within the community.

The tipping point for concern came when T-Mobile had a 5G capable cell tower installed on top of the Chelan Museum. This event raised some major concerns, particularly by other renters in the museum building.

Two of them were on hand to speak their concerns about the development of 5G service right above their businesses.

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Jacqulynn Dalton is the owner of Chelan Dance Center and is extremely worried about the potential health risks associated with 5G technology.

Jacqulynn Dalton, owner of the Chelan Dance Center, spoke of her concerns about 5G development right above her studio that caters to 150 kids. “I don’t want to spread rumors,” she said. “But it is important the community knows about this.”

Dalton explained that 5G is 10 times more powerful than 4G and requires antennas every 500 feet to work. “This is a town issue,” she said. “The electromagnetic frequency is 10 times as strong as 4G.”

She said telecommunication companies are pushing hard to develop this new technology. “It’s all about the money,” said Dalton. According to her research, people would be forced to purchase cell phones and other electronics capable of using 5G technology at a price point around $1,000. “It is extremely expensive.”

However, the real concern is the health risks according to Dalton. She mentioned a cell tower installed on an elementary school in San Joaquin, California has potentially cause cancer in four elementary students and the company removed the tower from the school. https://prepforthat.com/5g-cell-tower-cancer-san-joaquin-county/.

Dalton is very concerned over the potential health risks of 5G on her dance students. “My concern are the kids in this community,” she said. “We need to work together and come up with a solution. There is not enough research. I expect the City to keep us informed.”

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Magnolia Polley is equally concerned about 5G technology and its affect on the human body. She also has a business right under the 5?G tower on the Museum’s roof.

Magnolia Polley, who also has a massage business right under the cell tower, is also concerned. “Bodies are really sensitive,” she said. “It’s important to me to speak to all of you.” She spoke to outside influences like electro magnetic frequencies on our environment. “Both weak and strong frequencies affect our bodies,” said Polley. “Can we learn from out past mistakes,” she asked.

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Polley asked if we can learn from out past mistakes. Moller had a slide that points out a past mistake regarding cigarettes.

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Museum director Ron McGaughey and board member Jane Loyd came to the 5G meeting to listen and learn. The museum rents the roof top space to telecommunication companies.

Museum director, Ron McGaughey and board member Jane Loyd, said they had come to listen and learn about the concerns. “We are open to listening to your concerns,” said Loyd. “I did not know about the towers.”  T-Mobile is a renter and according to McGaughey can use the top of the roof for whatever purpose they want. “We don’t have control over what they do,” said McGaughey.

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Dr. Nate Moller presented his research into the potential dangers of 5G technology.

Dr. Nate Mollar, a local chiropractor, has done a lot of research on 5G technology and presented a slide show to the attendees. “Faster is always right… NO,” he quipped.

“Kids are using their cell phones 24/7 and we won’t know the long term effects for 20 years,” said Moller. “They (telecommunications companies) are just pushing it forward and sacrificing our health. This is real,” he stated. “5G is like playing with fire.”

His research shows that 50% of our population will die of degenerative brain disease directly related to microwaves. The number of autistic children increases every five years.

Moller pointed out that there will be an antenna every block and with 5G, 90 billion electromagnetic waves will hit every person.

The military is using these frequencies as a biological weapon. The FCC is saying they are harmless. “Who’s lying,” asks Moller.

The human nervous system is most sensitive to EMF and exposure creates Anxiety, Depression, Autism and Alzhemiers, along with causing cancer and reproductive problems.

According to Moller’s research, 5G will provide great advancements in telecommunications, but at what cost. The telecommunications industry is more well funded than the Pharmaceutical industry, and is just as powerful politically.

While it is true that not enough research has been done on the potential affects of 5G technology, it should be noted that Japan, and other countries in Europe have stopped the development of 5G technology because of health concerns.

Brogan Kelly promised more meetings on this issue and also promised to get the word out to the community so they can attend.

If you are interested in 5G, Moller provided a number of unbiased research websites available here:

  • justproveit.net
  • biointiative.org
  • EMF-portal.org
  • Powerwatch.org.uk

Chelanman draws an estimated 1600

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by Richard Uhlhorn

An estimated 1600 athletes came to Chelan last weekend to swim, bike and run in the 12th annual Chelanman Multisport Weekend. “That is a perfect number for us,” said Julie Pittsinger, race director.

For a number of athletes, it was the first time they had competed in a triathlon. Sean and Lori Van Norman participated in their fourth Chelanman. Lori said, “This is absolutely the best run event I’ve ever participated in. Everyone is so friendly and it is so well organized.”

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Lori and Sean Van Norman (left) talked Stephanie Fife into trying the Try-a-Tri at this year’s Chelanman. They have competed for the past four years and say it is the best run event they have ever been involved in. Stephanie plans on coming back next year to have another go at a triathlon.

She talked Stephanie Fife into trying the Try-a-Tri which is a shortened version of a triathlon. The participants swim 400 meters, bike for 13.1 miles and run a 5K before finishing at Lakeside Park. Stephanie did the Try-a-Tri without training for it. She said the swim was the hardest part and was tired after the event. “I loved it. I’ll be back next year.”

Kurtis McFadden of Kennewick ( a Chelan HS graduate) finished third in his category. In the beginning, he just wanted to finish. In the end, the journey became much more for him. He posted the following on his Facebook page after he completed the race… “I began this journey about me and my health and a goal. My final race result blew me away: 3rd in my age group in 1:23:05 (more results in pics). The result of my journey in the multi sport world has only began and was so FUN today because of what I found to give others on the leg.”

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Kurtis McFadden finished third in his category and plans on continuing to compete in Triathlons.

The overall winners of this year’s Chelanman were Seattle’s Seth Barnes (1:02.58) and Amanda Miller (1:10.23).

Over 200 volunteers make Chelanman run smoothly and safely.

Chelanman is organized by a group of Chelan athletes, headed up by Julie Pittsinger. The event could not take place if it weren’t for the volunteers that make it possible. Over 200 volunteers step up each year covering all aspects of the event. They all deserve a huge clap on the back for coming out every year to make this incredible event happen.

All net proceeds after expenses goes into the Chelan Multisport Foundation to help fun youth activities in the Lake Chelan Valley. The list of groups receiving foundation help is extensive.

If you have never experience an event like this, try it out next year.

Have a great rest of the summer.

Primarys are here… who will your mayoral candidate be for the general

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by Richard Uhlhorn

The primary season is upon us and Chelan voters have a chance to select two of the three candidates who will end up facing each other in the general election this coming fall.

The candidates are:

Incumbent Mayor Mike Cooney
Past Mayor and Council Member Bob Goedde
Past Council Member and attorney Stan Morse

The City of Chelan has a number of issues of concern to its residents with Traffic Control and Traffic Safety being the primary concern.

Following are the results of conversations with the three candidates and why they are in the running to lead the City into the future.

Mayor Mike Cooney:

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Mayor Mike Cooney

“I like what I am doing,” said Mayor Cooney who had vowed to serve only one term. “I have the right to change my mind,” he said. He had planned on finding something else to move on to but said that the few job offers he has had did not offset the Mayor’s job.

Cooney is running for a second term because he wants to continue representing the residents of Chelan. “Some people don’t like change,” said Cooney. “I am proud of what we have accomplished as a team.”

If re-elected to a second term, Mayor Cooney will continue to work with staff to upgrade the City’s infrastructure, build attainable homes with the Chelan Valley Housing Trust which he helped to launch, continue the City’s plan to make Chelan a more pedestrian/bike friendly town and work towards increased public lake access for the residents.

Mayor Cooney is also interested in continuing the Community’s quest to purchase Butte property from Golden Gate for recreational purposes while preserving it in its natural state.

Cooney will also continue to work with the Planning Commission to do things that get desired results. “I want to see developments get developed the way we want it to.”

Mayor Cooney wants to see the Dan Gordon Bridge become the main route into and out of town. According to Cooney, the Woodin Avenue Bridge is no longer a State Highway, but a City street. “There are a whole lot more people walking and using the bridge now than before,” said Cooney.

He also wants to see more bike usage in and around town, particularly students going to and from school.

Cooney has a BA from Gonzaga in Business Administration, has been married to his wife Janice for 41 years and has two children and three grandchildren. He has coached 8th grade basketball for Chelan and volunteers time to teach “life skills” to both Chelan and Manson Schools.

“Service is at my core,” says Cooney.

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Challenger Bob Goedde:

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Challenger Bob Goedde

Bob Goedde is no stranger to the City of Chelan and its inner workings. He was a City Councilman for two terms (and serving as Mayor Pro-Tem for four years) before becoming a two-term mayor.

“I want to give Chelan’s registered voters a choice to return to a common sense and balanced approach to City Government,” says Goedde. “I feel that I can bring my experience in public service to work with the citizens while maintaining the most efficient and highest quality public services available. I would use my extensive governmental experience along with my public service contacts with other public officials to make Chelan a place where citizens are proud to call it home.”

Goedde’s biggest priority is the communities traffic corridor issues. He is also concerned with the efforts to purchase land on Chelan Butte for millions of dollars. “I don’t feel that is in the public’s best interest,” he stated.

The affordable housing crisis is also on his mind. “Almost every city in the County has a housing crisis.” He has noted that Chelan Fruit is working to alleviate its housing crisis for employees and that Weidner Apartments is seeking to build a 280 apartment complex on the Naumes property out by Walmart.

Goedde believes that the City needs to run its parks as a business and start charging visitors for access while giving back to the residents with free access. “Lakeside Park needs a fee. Also, there are other great park options on the Columbia River.”

Goedde’s other concern is City money being spent on consultants and lobbyists with no real return. “I went to all kinds of meetings as Mayor… you can’t do it with lobbyists.”

“If given the chance to serve this community again as its Mayor, I will do my best to represent the citizens of Chelan to the best of my ability.” He is willing to discuss any issues with residents at their convenience and asks that they call him at 683-2366 to make an appointment.

Goedde is a U.S. Army veteran of the Vietnam war where he served for 21 months in a combat zone. After the Army, Goedde worked for the City of Chelan as a Police Dispatcher and also was a self employed owner of a small auto repair shop. Bob is currently retired.

His public service includes: Chelan City Council – 8+ years; Mayor ProTem – 4 years; City of Chelan Mayor – 8 years.

As a Mayor and Council member, Goedde served on the following boards: Link Board Director – 10 years; Chelan County Veterans Assn. – 10 years; Resource, Conservation & Development Board; Economic Development District; Rural Transportation Planning Organization; Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce Board Liaison; Lions Club President; Past Zone Chairman, Eagles 2218; Past President Wenatchee Valley Street Rod Assn.; Member VFW, American Legion; Assn. of Washington Cities Board of Directors, District 3 – 10 years.

Goedde has a degree from Spokane Community College and also attended Wenatchee Valley College from 2000-01. He is certified with the AWC Certified Municipal Leadership Program.

Bob is divorced and has two children: Jay William Goedde and Dawn Michelle Loduha (both adults).

He does not have a website, but can be reached by Emails at bgoedde@nwi.net.

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Attorney Stan Morse:

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Challenger Stan Morse

Stan Morse is a local attorney who served on Chelan City Council for one term before turning his attention to the Hospital Commission, losing that race. Morse is seeking the Mayoral job to bring basic government back to Chelan.

He has done his research and is unhappy with the City spending $70,000 a year on a lobbying firm that has brought results back. “They were successful in obtaining $300,000 in the past for the bridge,” said Morse.

Morse is also concerned about the City’s worsening traffic issue. “Traffic is so much worse now than it was,” said Morse who feels the City didn’t consider the increased building in Manson and the wineries that is contributing to the traffic issue.

He also feels that the Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce does a lot to encourage tourism in the summer, but says, “Why are we not encouraging tourism in the fall, winter and spring months?” He feels that tourism is oriented towards drinking wine.

The effort to purchase Chelan Butte makes no sense to Morse. “Sixty plus percent of the community doesn’t want it in the city,” said Morse who feels that the City could de-annex the property which he feels would stop any future effort to develop. “The City has a poor track record of maintain what we already have. Just look at the bathrooms at Lakeside.”

He feels the City gave the Lookout development a nice entry with the round about. “They prettied up the round about with a water feature on the Chelan side giving the Lookout a grand entry,” said Morse.

He is concerned with all of the development going on and feels it is incumbent on the City to maintain a fine balance. “Forty seven percent of the people who buy homes here do not live here,” said Morse. He also feels that Chelan needs apartments to help alleviate the current housing crisis. “How many people can reasonably fit in the valley and still make it a nice place to live,” he asks.

His priority if elected would be to get back to basics. “We need to work on our water pressure issues,” stated Morse. He is also a huge advocate of a major Fire Wise program in the Valley.

“We need long term thinking and neither of the two mayors have impressed me with long term thinking,” said Morse.

Stan Morse was born in Chelan. He has a degree in Political Science and Psychology from Central Washington University and obtained his law degree from Southern Illinois University in 1979.

He continues to practice law and has never been married.

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Chelanman Multisport Weekend celebrates 11 years this weekend

by Richard Uhlhorn

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The 11th annual Chelanman Multisport Weekend begins at 7 a.m. on Saturday morning when the Long Course Triathlon swimming section begins on the west shore of Lakeside Park.

Triathletes hit the water early Saturday morning in wave after wave.

Upwards of 2000+ athletes will compete this weekend for glory of winning or just the fun of competing in what is Chelan’s largest event.

Over 200 volunteers make Chelanman successful every year.

Parking is an issue, so competitors and their families are encouraged to use the bus transport from the Chelan Ball Fields to Lakeside Park.

If you plan on traveling to Wenatchee or other places south of Chelan, consider using Hwy 97 on the east side of the Columbia River to alleviate any delays in your travel plans.

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Traffic is not conducive with Chelanman. If you must travel south, use Hwy. 97 on the east side of the Columbia River

If you are competing in the event… enjoy. The weather is supposed to heat up by Saturday and the water is around 70 degrees.

A lot of athletes competing in Chelanman are anchored with family and friends cheering them on throughout the event. 

Chelanman is a non-profit event with all proceeds, beyond the professional services hired to make the weekend smooth, going to the Lake Chelan Multisport Foundation. One hundred percent of the net proceeds are donated to the Foundation and over the years have helped fund arts, literature, science and wellness programs for youth since 2007 throughout the Lake Chelan Valley. For a full list of programs that have benefited from the event’s foundation, go here: http://chelanman.com/about_32.html.

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Saturday’s schedule is as follows:

  • 5:00 AM
    Buses begin transport of athletes and fans from Chelan Ball Fields to Lakeside Park at corner of Center Street and West Terrace. Parking is not available at the park or on the highway outside of the park. **Vehicles parked on the highway will be towed**
  • 5:30 AM – 8:00 AM
    Race Expo open
  • 6:30 AM
    Long Course Racers warm up at swim start
  • 6:50 AM
    Swimmers out of water
  • 7:00 AM
    ChelanMan Long Course Triathlon waves start
  • 7:15 AM
    10K and Half Marathon begin on East Center Street.
  • 7:30 AM
    Olympic Triathlon & Collegiate Triathlon 
     waves start 
  • 12:00 PM
    Awards for Olympic Racers begins
  • 3:00 PM
    Awards for Long Course Racers begins

Lakeside is a small community and parking is at a premium. Racers are encouraged to take advantage of the bus transport to get to and from their vehicles at the Chelan Ball Fields.

Sunday’s schedule

  • 6:00 AM – 8:00 AM
    Buses begin transport of athletes and fans from Chelan Ball Fields to Lakeside Park at corner of Center Street and West Terrace. Parking is not available at the park or on the highway outside of the park. **Vehicles parked on the highway will be towed**
  • 8:00 AM Sprint age group waves start
    8:30 AM Try-A-Tri age group waves start
  • Each wave is made up of 50-60 athletes and start every 5 minutes based upon age group
  • 08:45 AM Youth Triathlon Ages, 11-15.   400 m swim, 13.2 bike, 5 k run (30 athletes per wave)

  • 12:00 PM Splash n Dash
    50 meter swim/(wet run if needed), 1500 meter bike and 300 meter run. All in the park.

 

New hardship policy for sewer/water rates being developed… skate and pump track on Council’s agenda

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By Richard Uhlhorn

Shawn and D’Arcy Burke brought a proposal to the City Council to see if the City would be interested in leasing space for a 20-meter Ferris Wheel in the City Boat Launch parking lot.

“It would be a nice addition for the City,” stated Burke. “It is safe for all ages and the company has a great track record.” Burke’s flyer states it would be a total family attraction for all ages at an affordable price.  They were not looking for an immediate answer, just to have the idea considered.

Motion Considerations:

 The Council received recommendations from Andy Baker of the FCS Group regarding Water and Sewer Rate Structure for disconnected services.

The issue at hand was and is the disconnected service of John J Fragnito’s lot on Sanders Street. “We asked FCS to make a recommendation,” said City Administrator Mike Jackson. “The recommended we continue with our current policy.”

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John J Fragnito has incurred $35,000 plus $15,000 in penalites for City water he has not used since his building on Sanders was demolished.

Since the Fragnito building was demolished in December of 2016, John J has incurred a $35,000 water bill despite the fact that he hasn’t used one drop. He has also been charged a penalty of $16,000 for non-payment.

This is the second time Fragnito has appeared before Council on this issue and the first time was assured that the City would work with him behind the scenes. Councilwoman Erin McCardle remarked that the penalties are not Fragnito’s fault. “He asked us to look at this for a long time,” she said. “We need to look at our policy. Right now it just covers residential.” McCardle asked the City to waive the penalty fees for this specific situation.

Councilman Tim Hollingsworth added that the City needs to come up with a consistent policy. City Attorney Quentin Batjer stated that he would review the existing code to see what the City could legally do to mitigate the issue.

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Councilman Tim Hollingsworth stated that the City needs to come up with a consistent policy regarding hardships

Mayor Cooney said the Fragnitos have been good for the past three years. “I’m leaning towards clearing this whole mess up.” Hollingsworth added that if the City waives the charges, it would not have a significant impact on the other users.

Jackson said they would come back at the next meeting with a plan.

In a separate motion consideraton, the Council discussed a policy for disbursement of Water/Sewer Rate Subsidies for Affordable Housing.

Jackson stated that he wasn’t sure they were ready with a policy on this subject and Batjer added that there is a problem with gifting city funds.

At an earlier Council meeting the Council included $100,000 in the 2019 budget for the “Affordabel Housing Initiative.” This funding was approved but the City cannot spend any of the funds without a funding policy in place.

Batjer said that the policy needs to be grounded in fact in case it is challenged in court.

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City Administrator Mike Jackson

Jackson asked if apartments would qualify. “Would they be eligible.” They also talked about some sort of “Deed Restriction” tied to the affordable housing subsidy of up to 50 years.

Mayoral candidate Stan Morse remarked that subsidizing is problematic. “It’s a wonderful thing you are trying to do, but this doesn’t get you there,” said Morse. Councilwoman Kelly Allen wants to see subsidies kept to home ownership.

Jackson said they would bring the issue back in four weeks which will give Batjer the time to do his homework on the subject.

Parks Director vacancy:

 The City Council approved a motion to authorize the Mayor to finalize and execute an agreement with Prothman to handle advertising. recruitment and initial interviews with potential Park Director candidates. They will recommend the top candidates and the City staff will arrange and conduct interviews with the candiates.

Jackson stated that he has revamped the Park Director’s role for the City. The City will vet the initial recommended candidates through Skype interviews to hold costs down to $10,500.

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Councilman Ray Dobbs

Councilman Ray Dobbs asked if the position would have more of a business fiscal aspect to it and less on the operation component. “Someone who can focus more on the management of the parks,” said Dobbs. McCardle added that she would like to see a director who has the capability of looking at the future of the parks, not just keeping them the same. “For 15 years the parks have stayed the same,” said McCardle. “It doesn’t seem like we are focusing on our strategic vision.”

Records Assessment:

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City Clerk Peri Gallucci presented a proposal for Laserfiche electronic program for scanning and keeping documents

City Clerk Peri Gallucci reported that Leslie Turner, FreeDoc Public Records Administration Consultant, spent two days in the City evaluating the records processes with staff from each department. “What we would like to do is phase in the project,” said Gallucci.

Gallucci and Permit Technician Williams have held 10 meeting and numerous telephone conversations with FreeDoc evaluating Laserfiche. They also visited two cities currently using the Laserfiche program and recommended that the City implement the Laserfiche ECM program over the next two years.

  1. Year One Proposal – $18,292.
  2. Year Two Proposal – $24,615
  3. After Implementation is Complete – $15,215.24 Annually
  4. On Site Disposition Assistance – $7,038
  5. Conversion Budget Estimate – $75,205

They will come back with a motion for the Council to approve.

Skate Park/Pump Track:

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American Ramp Company proposed several locations for a new skate park and the potential addition of a pump track at Don Morse Park.

The City is moving towards a Skate Park/Pump Track and discussed the possibilities of the park location at Don Morse Park.

The City contracted with American Ramp Company (ARC) for design work and public input on concepts for a pumptrack and/or skatepark skatepark located in Don Morse Park.

A Public meeting was held at the Chelan Library with an estimated 35 people in attendance. Tim Babcock, a Bike Park Development Manager with Progressive Bike Ramps, was on hand for ARC to present a video and answer questions as a part of the City’s contract for conceptual design services.

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Councilwoman Erin McCardle suggested one more location for a new skate park.

McCardle told Babcock at the beginning of the public meeting that it was being held to find out what people want to have in the community. Administrator Jackson stated, “This can become whatever the community wants.”

Babcock had a site visit with staff and said ARC would be looking at a conceptual plan that will either expand or change the existing skate park or add a bike (pump track) element.

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Councilwoman Kelly Allen has been pushing for a pump track.

Kelly Allen stated that the plan was to provide outdoor activities for local youth, not to hold events.

At the July 9 Council meeting, Jackson and the Council were given three options from ARC. They included the following:

  1. We do a design for an asphalt pumptrack beside Lake Chelan Skatepark and then for a phase 2 we do a new design that would be a sweet expansion on the existing skatepark.
  2. We do a hybrid park with an asphalt pumptrack and a concrete skatepark at the location near LakeRider Sports location (Or a different location).
  3. We do option 1 and for $3,750 we also put together a custom site-specific concrete skatepark design for a different location for a future park.

McCardle brought up a different potential location down where the existing basketball court is. “We could move the basketball courts up to the existing skatepark,” she said. “We have been requesting an update for a long time, but doing a pump track without a skate park is not an option.”

Mayor Cooney stated that the Park Board agrees that a skate park is needed first. Hollingsworth is not totally convinced that Don Morse is the best location because of parking issues, but Allen said the downtown park is an area where kids can ride their bikes to it. “Parking is always going to be an issue.”

ARC will be providing more information going forward.

Chelan Fire & Rescue Response boat is on the lake and ready for emergencies

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by Richard Uhlhorn

Sunday morning was quiet on Lake Chelan and the perfect time for Chelan Fire & Rescue to conduct “Rescue Swimmer” training off Chelan Fire’s new Rescue Boat in front of the Chelan Ranger District. “We will double our volunteer base with this program,” said Deputy Chief Mark Donnell.

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Chelan Fire & Rescue’s 26-foot Defender Class Response Boat had a trial run early Sunday morning.

One resident saw the action and told me that she thought someone had drowned. “I quickly said a prayer for the family,” she said. What she saw was two trainees towing a dummy to the boat as a part of their training.

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The vessel was used to help train Chelan 7’s Rescue Swimmers on Sunday morning.

The 26-foot Defender Class Response Boat was purchased as surplus from the U.S. Coast Guard for $5,500 of which $3,000 came from the sale of the District’s old boat. It was outfitted with two used Honda 225 outboards, courtesy of the Chelan Fire Association and installed by Reed Marine.

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Chelan Fire Commission Chair Russ Jones pushed to obtain the vessel for the department. “We do live on a lake,” he once said. Jones has also received the OK from Commissioners Jay Witherbee and Phil Moller to help operate the boat without pay on the water. Jones is a certified pilot.

Chelan Fire Commission Chair Russ Jones pushed to have this response boat on the water by the summer boating season. The Fire District has requested moorage space at the Chelan Marina and City Administrator Mike Jackson will present the District’s proposal to City Council at its upcoming Council meeting on July 9.

Chelan Fire & Rescue swimmers received training on recovering a drowning victim from the lake bed on Sunday morning. Lt. Shawn Sherman is heading up the District’s Rescue Swimmer Program. When fully trained these swimmers will be able to dive to 30 feet to recover a victim.

It should be noted that the Chelan County Sheriff’s Department has jurisdiction on Lake Chelan, but has been accepting of the new response boat as another potential life saver.

It should also be noted that there is no funding available for the operation of the boat and grants and donations are being sought to keep it in operation throughout the summer. The District can also rent the vessel to the U.S. Forest Service during wildfire events on Lake Chelan.

Eventually it will also be outfitted with a water pump for firefighting along the shoreline.

Under Coast Guard rules concerning surplus sales to agencies, the agency must agree to keep the vessel for at least 18 months. After that, if it doesn’t work out, the agency can put the vessel up for sale. The Defender Class Response Boats are currently listed for sale between $100,000 and $200,000 depending on how they are outfitted.

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The District’s boat will hopefully be moored at the Chelan Marina where it can respond immediately to accidents on the lake.

The ability to respond to marine accidents quickly will hopefully save some lives this summer. There has already been one drowning and a head on collision between two personal watercraft this season.

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