It takes a village! Lake Chelan water quality at risk

by Richard Uhlhorn

Lake Chelan’s near shore ecology is changing, and not in a good way. The bottom is turning green with invasive plants and algae. To find out more about this environmental change, an estimated 35 residents attended a public forum on Wednesday, December 14, at the Chelan Fire Hall. The forum was hosted by the “Keep it Blue” program with an emphasis on Invasive Species.

An estimated 35 residents and concerned citizens attended a forum on Invasive species in Lake Chelan and potential solutions to eradicate them.

The final message of the meeting was that it takes a big village to protect Lake Chelan. This forum outlined the emerging issues in near shore lake quality with the increase in Eurasian Milfoil, pond weed and algae growth.

According to a recent study of the near shore environment, invasive plants have covered 520 acres of the bottom in Wapato Basin with some showing up in the Lucerne Basin.

Phil Long, executive director of the Lake Chelan Research Institute explained the survey and issues surrounding the increasing problem with invasive species in Lake Chelan.

In comparison, Phil Long, executive director of the Lake Chelan Research Institute, reported that in 2014 there was only 12.1 acres of milfoil and Curlyleaf Pondweed in lower basin.

“A long, skinny lake creates a lot of challenges,” said Long. During the summer months, the Institute hired Lake Defense Force for a 3.5 day test run of DASH (diver assisted suction harvesting) off Key Bay and Minneapolis Beach to remove milfoil and pondweed. The test was paid for by private money.

The dive crew removed 900 pounds of invasive weeds, but it was estimated to cost close to a $9,9 million to eradicate the invasive plants from the lower basin using the DASH system.

A diver using an airlift removes Eurasian Milfoil and Curly Leaf Pondweed from an area off Key Bay on the North Shore of Lake Chelan.

How did the Wapato Basin go from only 12.1 acres of invasive plants to 520 acres in seven years?

Milfoil collected during the AIS Survey of the entire Lake Chelan shoreline.
The DASH crew working off Key Bay.

There are many contributing factors, but the primary factor could be recreational boats from other areas bringing in the plants. Long noted that invasive plant growth on the bottom was heavier underneath off shore boat tie-ups.

Another factor is waterfowl poop from geese and ducks. It was learned that Wapato Point has a waterfowl management program including hunting. That, unfortunately, would be a problem off Indian land. Years ago it was tried at Lakeside, but the public outcry was enough to stop the practice.

Fishing Guide Joe Heinlen (an ex-employee of Washington State Fish & Wildlife) has alleged that fish hatchery plants in Lake Chelan could be adding invasive plant life to the lake. “They are the only agency I know of putting non-Lake Chelan water into the lake.”

The solution to the invasive plant issue is selective harvesting using the DASH program or, as suggested to the Research Institute, have a community beach clean-up (weeding) of the plants when the lake is down.

Chelan City Councilman Peter Jamtgaard suggested using bulldozers on the beach to remove the plants when the lake is down, but that could be another expensive exercise, one the Department of Ecology might not approve of.

In the past, cold winter weather has helped the problem by freezing the invasive plants out. With this season’s unusually cold weather, that might be natures solution to the issue.

The algae issue is gaining concern amongst lake residents. “The public is highly concerned,” said Long. “We are hearing it more and more.”

The contributing factors of the algae growth on the shoreline, pilings and docks can definitely be attributed to waterfowl. Goose leavings has become such a big problem that Campbell’s Resort, Lakeside Lodges & Resort, The Lookout and Wapato Point have put up funding to find a solution to the waterfowl poop that covers their swimming docks.

The other factor contributing to the algae issue is lakeside home owners over fertilizing their lawns which helps to keep their lawns green but also contributes to the greening of the underwater shoreline.

This coming year, a new boat inspection program will begin on Lake Chelan. The program will utilize a mobile cleaning/inspection unit on weekends and during water based events that bring watercraft to the lake from other areas.There will also be a CD3 Waterless Wash Stations located in the area.

In 2023, a boat inspection program will begin on Lake Chelan. Boats found to have invasive species will be required to be cleaned by a trained crew using atrailer mounted cleaning machine before being allowed to launch into Lake Chelan.

All of the major boat launches will have inspections this coming boating season. Locals who use the lake, but don’t take their watercraft to other bodies of water, will be given a pass after one inspection. Neighborhood Inspection Parties are planned for locals.

The big fear is the potential introduction of Quadra and Zebra mussels to the lake. If introduced to the lake, these invasive species could cost up to $600 million to eradicate.

Fortunately, the State of Washington has recognized the potential problem and now has boat inspection stations at all major entries to the State from the east, south, west and north. They even have dogs trained to sniff out invasive species on watercraft.

“Public involvement is important to make this all work,” said Lisa Dowling, a natural resource specialist with Chelan County. She is also the lead proponent for the Keep It Blue program ( The Keep It Blue website has a lot of information concerning the health of Lake Chelan and the efforts to keep the lake pristine.

Lisa Dowling, a Chelan County Natural Resources Specialist it the lead at the Keep It Blue program.

The Lake Chelan Research Institute will continue to monitor lake quality with an emphasis on near shore issues in the coming year.

City ends year on positive note

by Richard Uhlhorn

Tuesday’s City Council meeting was mostly year-end clean-up and adoption of the amended 2022 budget and Council adoption of the new 2023 budget amongst other professional service agreements with engineers.

Important motion considerations:

Two items stood out from the year ending meeting:

  • The Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce Lodging Tax Extension.
    The Chamber was given its requested $700,000 for marketing next year, but the Council will meet early next year to discuss the next steps in reigning in the Chamber with a new contract (their current contract ends December 31) that will have a much broader oversight function. Expenditure of Lodging Tax dollars will also be on the table.
  • Community Development Director, John Ajax, requested that an ordinance to amend the Apple Blossom Center Development Agreement be prepared by the City Attorney for consideration at a future date.

    Councilwoman Erin McCardle stated that she would like to see one full calendar year’s impact on the community after the first phase is constructed. Councilman Tim Hollingsworth would like to see the construction costs of affordable units.

    Ajax stated that 5% of the units (35 units of the proposed 720 units) will be 80% or less of the medium income. “It needs to be a fair and thought through number,” Ajax said.
  • The Park’s Department has hired Grette Associates for permitting services for its Park Street Road End project, but said that the possibility of permitting all of the street end parcels may not happen.

Chelan Arts Council:

Dan Crandall, president of the Chelan Arts Council, presented a new outdoor art proposal being developed by Jerry McKellar for Chelan’s outdoor art gallery.

Dan Crandall, president of the Chelan Arts Council.

This sculpture is a large bronze caricature of Tsilly, the Lake Dragon, which is based on a lot of native history of a creature living deep in Lake Chelan. Tsilly has gained notoriety as a local children’s “Find Tsilly” adventure in downtown Chelan. Authore John Fahey has written a children’s book about the legend of Tsilly.

Crandall told the Council that McKellar has said this sculpture is his favorite and most exciting sculpture he has made in his career. It measures 7′ high X 7.5′ long. “We got excited about working with Jerry on this project,” said Crandall. “It would be up to the City where it is located.

Mayor/Council comments:

Shari Dietrich remarked that she is excited about the Tsilly project.

Tim Hollingsworth stated that it was important to remember that the Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce does a lot for the community. “I’m looking forward to our discussions.

Hollingsworth also mentioned Senator Hawkins proposed regional aquatic center and said the Council should keep an open mind on the proposal, but it may or may not have a benefit for the Chelan Community. He deferred to Mayor Goedde who is against Chelan having anything to do with the proposal.

Peter Jamtgaard said it would be “great to have a lot more input to spending that money,” in reference to the Chamber’s marketing efforts.

Erin McCardle said she appreciated the transparency being exhibited by Community Development Director John Ajax with respect to the Apple Blossom Development Agreement.

She also mentioned that from 2012 to 2022, the Valley’s tourism impact has grown 447% from the Chamber’s marketing efforts.

McCardle said she is looking forward to the January 3 City Workshop that will consider the new lodging tax contract with the Chamber, the Butte acquisition efforts, Annalisa Noble’s priority and funding strategies and Dave Erickson’s presentation on Wenatchee’s Foothills expansion.

John Olson thanked the staff for all they do and stated that the City is looking at upwards of $60 million in Capital Improvement Expenditures and other projects over the next five years

Mayor Goedde thanked the staff and council for their hard work. He also stated that Senator Hawkin’s proposal for a regional aquatic center wouldn’t help Chelan. “This isn’t going to help us,” said Goedde.

Goedde said the City of Wenatchee is going to do a $300,000 study on the proposal. “We have our own aquatic center,” said Goedde.

Wade Ferris told the Council and staff that this was CFO Steve Thornton’s last official meeting. “Of all the financial officers I have worked with over the years, Steve is in the top one or two I’ve worked with.”

Outgoing CFO Steve Thornton.

Ferris went on to say that the 2023 budget has set up the City for a long, long time.

Jake Youngren echoed Ferris’ view and said Thornton has done incredible work.

Paul Horne added that he also appreciated Thornton’s work.

John Ajax said he has been incredibly gracious and professional in his work with the Planning department.

Thornton told the staff and council he appreciated all the kind words.

Ferris then pointed out the work City Clerk Peri Gallucci and her staff have done. “Without Peri and her staff, we would look foolish a lot of the time.”

City Council and staff will reconvene on Tuesday, January 3, to begin the new year discussing a number of issues facing the City in 2023. Workshops begin at 4 p.m. and can go as late as 8 p.m.

“There is a lot of funding out there,” Annalisa Noble told the City Council at the December 6 City Workshop. “It is a once in a generation level of funding we have never seen before.”

Annalisa Noble is the City’s consulting grant writer who will be working with the Council and City Staff on potential grants and loans to help fund the many projects the City needs funding or partial funding for.

Noble, who has been retained by the City as a consulting grant writer and funding strategist, made a presentation at the workshop regarding the multitude of City projects that require outside funding or partial funding.

“Chelan needs to take advantage of it. We are getting a lot of money in Washington State,” said Noble who described the City challenges as 1. – Funding Climate; 2. – Funding Strategy; and 3. – Funding Schedule.

Legislatively, the City has Affordable Housing, Lake Chelan, Chelan Youth, and Traffic and Pedestrian Safety on its list of projects.

There are 23 Priority Projects on its 2023-2027 Capital Improvements Priority list including, but not limited to; Parks Improvements, Recreation Upgrades, Community Development and Infrastructure Improvements.

“You’ve got a lot going on,” said Noble. “However, I was surprised to see wastewater and the water system at the end of your priority list. I thought that was interesting.”

Councilwoman Erin McCardle replied that the list was not the City’s priorities, but a list of projects that need prioritization. “The importance of having you here is that we haven’t prioritized that list. “We hope you can guide us.”

Councilman Tim Hollingsworth added that a number of projects are being funded through the City’s Enterprise Fund. Noble replied that all of the projects listed are great and that all of them would receive funding from different sources at different times

She added that the City is going to need new or improved infrastructure to keep up with the growth.

Councilman John Olson said that at a recent Associated Cities Convention, that there were between 40 and 500 agency personnel from different communities across the state who were getting the same message about all the funding that would be available. “What kind of competition are we facing?”

Noble replied, “You (already) have a grant writer to help you,” said Noble. She added that most of those represented were not organized and that Chelan was ready to go.

“I need to know what grants and loans you are eligible for,” said Noble. “Also a combination of both while avoiding debt.”

Olson asked about matching funds for grants and Noble replied that she worked “very upfront” regarding matches to grants so the City knows where it would stand.

She also remarked that federal money comes with federal requirements. “What are their requirements and how often do they require reports.”

“I love working with small communities,” said Noble. “I’m ready to help you guys.”

The City and Noble will be working together in early January to prioritize its projects and figure out what grants, and/or loans it will apply for.

Public hearing on Lake Chelan Water Quality Wednesday evening

by Richard Uhlhorn

Lake Chelan: Town Hall
Topic: Aquatic Invasive Species and Watercraft inspections Location: Chelan Fire Hall ~232 E Wapato Ave, Chelan, WA
Date and Time: December 14th from 5-7pm

Tomorrow evening from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. the Lake Chelan Watershed Planning Unit and the Keep It Blue group will hold an important PUBLIC meeting to address a major concern regarding the continued quality of Lake Chelan.

Invasive species like Eurasian Milfoil and Pond Weed have established on 520 acres of the near shore littoral zone. In addition, algae, that has never been an issue in the near shore areas, has also become a major problem.

A diver utilizing an airlift during a test program to remove milfoil and pond weed from the bottom of Lake Chelan this past summer proved to be effective but an extremely expensive solution to the ever growing problem of invasive species established
on the lake’s near shore environment.

For residents of the Lake Chelan Valley who are interested in Lake Chelan Water Quality, this meeting will be an introduction to problem and some of the potential solutions.

Put it on your calendar. Lake Chelan’s Water Quality is an important aspect to the overall quality of life in the valley.

City Council approves Chamber funding request for one year

by Richard Uhlhorn

Most everyone knows the initial outcome of Councilman John Olson’s request that the Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce forgo $400,000 of their requested $700,000 marketing budget which would be applied to Toursim infrastructure issues.

John Olson opened a hornets nest asking the Chamber to give up some funding for infrastructure issues.

The Chamber won a 6-1 council vote to extend their current contract for one more year instead of the new five year contract they requested at the City’s Workshop on December 6.

Council chambers were full of tourism advocates at the workshop.

The Olson request certainly stirred up the issue of the Chambers marketing efforts which have increased tourism in the Lake Chelan Valley to a point where the City, and Valley for that matter, can’t absorb more tourists.

Councilman Tim Hollingsworth didn’t disagree with Olson, but said, “We need to develop a committee, goals and strategies of where tourism fits in our community. We’ve grown to a point that we need to look at adopting a lodging tax advisory committee.”

Tim Hollingsworth called for a Tourism Advisory Board to be established

“On one hand,” continued Hollingsworth, “I’m glad you brought this up.” He remarked that the tourism industry and sales and property taxes have huge impacts on the community. “We need to move forward next year and organize in a collaborative way.”

City Administrator Wade Ferris stated they would bring this forward next year regarding a Lodging Tax Advisory Committee. “I think the process would benefit us.”

Councilwoman Erin McCardle brought up the point that tourism brings both pros and cons to the community.

Erin McCardle outline her wished for moving forward with tourism issues.

On the one hand, the entire community benefits from the revenue generated by tourism dollars that supports the infrastructure and creates a robust business community.

On the other hand, she stated that the adverse effects are less severe when a community has revenue generated from outside sources.

“Change is hard,” remarked McCardle. “We have visitors who do not understand or respect our small-town culture.” She stated that tourism affects affordable housing and the rising costs of living in Chelan.

“What I would like to see is the City have a more collaborative discussion around visioning and planning to develop a healthy and robust Tourism economy,” she said. This would include:

 a. The value of tourism is understood and supported by the local community, while impacts are proactively planned for.

b. The local community quality of life is at the center of our decision making.

c. We have varied and high-quality experience for visitors.

d. Visitors understand and respect our local culture, way of life and our environment.

e. Our authentic rural and small-town heritage and character is an asset to be protected.

In order to achieve this, McCardle would like to see the City spend more time on economic development by bringing together residents, businessess, the public sector to craft a vision of the future.

The City’s Statement on the issue:


The City Council will move forward on Tuesday evening, December 13 to approve a one year extension of the Chamber’s contract and ratify its 2023 budget as presented.

Council to discuss Chamber funding at December workshop

by Richard Uhlhorn

At last Tuesday’s City Council meeting there was a public hearing on the proposed 2023 Final Budget.

Chamber funding:

Counciman John Olson asked Chamber Director Mike Steele to fofgo $400,000 of its requested $700,000 for 2023 marketing.

Councilman John Olson, who had proposed that the Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce forgo $400,000 of their request for $700,000 so the City could address Tourism related infrastructure.

Bed tax, commonly known as 3% monies collected for heads on beds has been a source of tourism related funding for Chelan over a number of years. As the Lake Chelan Valley becomes busier and busier with visitors and tourists, there is a consensus among many in the Valley that it is time to slow down the Lake Chelan Chamber’s marketing efforts.

Olson, in his comments told the Council that Chelan is the No.1 tourist destination in the state. “All of our city is a tourist facility,” he wrote.

Olson continued by asking executive director Mike Steele to forgo $400,000 from is 2023 $700,000 request so it could be put into public infrastructure to support the community’s tourism.

Michael Steele, executive director of the Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce is not interested in forgoing any of his requested $700,000 for 2023 marketing efforts.

Steele’s response at the workshop was that “it is not the Chamber’s responsibility to provide public infrastructure; it’s the City’s responsibility to do so.”

Olson retorted that he agreed with Steele and added, “it is not the City’s responsibility to financially support the Chamber. That’s the Chamber’s responsibility.”

Olson then told the Council that he was withdrawing his request for the $400,000 and, instead, requesting that the Council deny all of the $700,000 requested by the Chamber and earmarking that funding to go into the City’s CIP (Capital Improvements Fund) program to support tourist-oriented facilities like the Skate Park, Butte acquisition, Lake Street Pocket Park, downtown restrooms along with a number of other tourist related projects.

Councilwoman Erin McCardle – City’s liaison with the Chamber asked Olson to forward his comments to all of the council members. “I sit on the marketing committee,” said McCardle.

A decision was made to have the issue discussed at the upcoming December 6 City workshop.

Motion considerations:

 Social Media services – The Council unanimously agreed to an extended Social Media Management Services Agreement with Jenna Rahm.

Water Quality studies –The Council also agreed to authorize the Mayor to finalize and execute an Interlocal Agreement between the City and Lake Chelan Research Institute and Chelan County Natural Resources Department for $25,000 per year for the next five years to continue its long term monitoring program on Lake Chelan.

Phil Long, director of the Lake Chelan Research Institute.

Phil Long, director of the Institute gave a presentation outlining the monitoring efforts. Long told the Council that the City’s initial five-year agreement for $20,000 a year made a huge difference in the program.

“The lake is doing well,” said Long. However, there are changes occurring in the near-shore zone including algae growth on the shoreline rocks, pilings, etc along with 520 acres of Eurasian Milfoil and Pond Weed growing on the bottom mostly in the Wapato Basin.

Long hopes the Institute can determine how much nutrients are coming into the lake from various sources; pesticide/herbicide pollution, goose poop, storm water runoff and temperature changes. “We should have been monitoring near shore environmental impacts,” said Long. Most of the monitoring has been accomplished in the middle of the lake where no significant changes have occurred since 1986.

The Icicle Fund granted $25,000 to the Institute which is a first for Chelan. The Institute is also receiving private funding from residents, Campbell’s Resort, the Lookout and Lakeside Lodge & Suites.

Long hopes to receive funding and research help from the State and Federal governments.

Councilman Peter Jamtgaard asked Long about potential solution outside of the expensive underwater DASH solution. He asked about bulldozing the invasive weeds when the lake was down and a boat inspection program to keep the invasive species out of the lake

A DASH test program in the summer of 2022 collected over 900 pounds of invasive weeds off the bottom of Lake Chelan.

Jamtgaard said the first areas that should be cleaned up was where people accessed the lake. “Those are the most important areas. Olson asked how deep the milfoil and pond weed grew. Long replied up to 30 to 35 feet.

Apple Blossom Planned Development District:

Community Development Director John Ajax told the Council that there was no pressure to make a motion to prepare an ordinance to amend the ABC Development’s agreement at this meeting.

McCardle told the Council members that she highly recommends that they sit down with Ajax and go over the proposed agreement before making a decision. Both she and John Olson spent several hours with Ajax on the proposed agreement.

City Council is requested to review and consider this draft Development Agreement Amendment in order to prepare a final draft for consideration at a future public meeting. Any comments or concerns Council may have will be incorporated into a revised final draft.

Mayor/Council comments:

Chris Baker stated that if Chelan wasn’t so nice, “we wouldn’t have all these problems.”

Mayor Goedde said the County is disposing of two property parcels; one of which is a 5.7 acre gravel pit on Boyd Road. The County wants $120,000 and Goedde asked the Council if they want to consider purchasing the property. “I need a consensus,” he said and asked City Administrator Wade Ferris to give the City some time to consider the property.

Goedde also mentioned that Brian Patterson has put together a traffic count study. “I’m impressed with his work.” He wants Brian to work with Public Works on this issue.

Public Works Director Jake Youngren reported that the department has shared data with Patterson.

Upcoming meetings:

On Tuesday, December 6, Council and staff will hold a workshop to discuss the issues that have come forth, namely Olson’s request for Chamber funding for infrastructure and the ABC proposed Planned Development.

Chelan Fire & Rescue adds two firefighters

by Richard Uhlhorn

Chelan Fire and Rescue pinned two new career firefighters at their Wednesday, November 16 regularly scheduled meeting. Kyle Byrne and Duke Odenrider took the oath of office from Fire Chief Brandon Asher wherein they agreed to uphold the best traditions of the community and the District.

Kyle Byrne (left) and Duke Odenrider took their oath of office from Chief Asher at the District’s November 16 commission meeting.

Fire Chief’s report:

Asst. Fire Chief Sherman (left) and Fire Chief Asher report the District’s activities to the Fire Commission on a monthly basis.

Asher told the commissioners that the October financials were not ready and would be shared at the commission’s next meeting.

“We had a 36 percent increase in calls,” Asher said. Seventy four percent of those calls were EMS related. The callouts were one of the busiest the department has seen; 105 calls versus only 67 i 2021.

However, it was also a busy month for fire/accident related calls for the department. On October 2, … Jones was spent 14 days on the Bolt Creek Fire; October 10 the department responded to a motor vehicle accident on the Boyd Loop and Swanson Gulch intersection; October 16, firefighters were sent on another State mobilization in Clark County on the Nakia Fire; they responded to a structure fire on October 20 at 2334 Bradley; and on October 29 responded to a motor vehicle accident on Hwy. 97 and Hugo Road. One person involved in the accident did not survive.

Staff is working on a Community Newsletter which should be published in January, 2023.

The District has two more firefighters attending the Fire Academy.

The District is working on a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) grant to help replace a brush truck in 2024.

They are currently researching a $30,000 block grant which would be used to redo the residents quarters.

Asher stated that the District is hoping the waterline to the airport gets constructed. “It will help increase our services.”

Commissioner Russ Jones suggested setting up a meeting with the City Community Development department to explore where growth in the valley is going.

Commissioner Phil Moller asked if there was a plan for the $30,000 grant. Asher replied that the cost associated with a remodel of the resident quarters was around $500 per sq. ft.

Assistant Chief report:

Assistant Chief Shawn Sherman stated that the District was building a volunteer training camp and hoping o revitalize the District’s volunteer group. He also mentioned a Truck Academy to train fire fighters on the variety of fire fighting units the District deploys on fires.

Lake Chelan’s near shore water quality is in trouble. Algae (that green stuff) and Eurasian Milfoil has taken hold. Visit to see how you can help reverse this.

Hearing Examiner considering approval of two Manson residential developments

By Richard Uhlhorn

Last Tuesday’s Manson Community Council preceded the Hearing Examiner’s meeting on Wednesday, November 16.

Andy Kottkamp, Chelan County hearing examiner, had several Manson issues to consider during his hearing on Wednesday.

Hearing Examiner Andy Kottkamp

Two of these issues were residential developments; the 66 lot Sundance Estates on 9+ acres and a 14 lot Summerset Vista Crest development north of the Sundance property.

At the Community Council meeting, Chairwomen Kari Sorenson asked Brian Patterson for an update. Patterson stated that he had talked to the County and their comments were confusing. “The Staff Report was not what I expected… there was no mention of old regulations.”

Brian Patterson

Patterson went on to state that the current County Code requires a minimum lot size of 10,000 sq. ft. but Sundance is asking for lot sizes from 2,077 sq. ft. to 6,462 sq. ft. with access off Hwy. 150 and a private road to the north. Based on the staff report received, Patterson said, “I don’t know how the public can evaluate this… I’m just as confused.”

The Sundance project has been a major concern with the both the Council and public throughout the north shore of Lake Chelan.

Patterson wrote a letter to Hearing Examiner Kottkamp on May 15 addressing the SEPA review on the project. In his November 14 letter to Kottkamp he stated that he had requested the Staff Report on three different dates but had no response from the County Planning Staff. He had to get the staff report from the Manson Community Council.

His letter to Kottkamp stated that the County obviously didn’t want the public or Kottkamp to understand “how it is that this project is supposedly compliant with Chelan County Code which based on lot sizes requested, it isn’t.” Patterson added to his letter that the project clearly cannot be approved.


On Wednesday, November 16, Kottkamp called the hearing to order and heard several other issues before him before opening the hearing on the Sundance and Summer Crest development proposals.

“I have lots of locals commenting on this project and these comments are a part of the record,” said Kottkamp.

The staff gave their confusing report on lot sizes and an existing zone change based on a December 23,1996 code. Interim Director Dianna Walters came to the staff rescue and tried to explain the density issues which were as clear as mud.

The project manager for Sundance Estates said it was their intention to build single family houses, put in all infrastructure including storm water retention ponds. “We have no plans to allow Short Term Rentals,” he said.

Kottkamp replied that the developer has the burden of proof to address all issues covered in the staff review including the contaminated soil issues. “The proper procedures will be monitored,” said Kottkamp.

Kottkamp opened the hearing for public comment, but none was forthcoming. “I will have my determination in 10 days.”

Summerset Vista also had no public comment.

Manson Community Council continued:

Missing from the meeting was Kathy Blume and Gordon Lester.

Manson Community Council members John Frolker, Cindy Smith and Kari Sorenson.
Absent – Gordon Lester and Kathy Blume who was removed from the council at the meeting.

The three council members present; Kari Sorenson, Cindy Smith and John Frolker unanimously removed Kathy Blum from her seat on the council for non-compliance with Council bylaws.

Lester’s term is coming to a close and the council will have to elect someone to his position. Blume has two more years remaining on her seat, so the counci will have to appoint someone to her seat.

They decided to kick the bylaws for discussion at the next meeting.

Speeding was discussed on Manson Blvd. and Boetzke Avenue. The speed limit is posted at 25 mph but vehicles including fruit trucks commonly speed up to 40 mph on Manson Blvd at the Boetzke Avenue intersection creating a dangerous situation.

“It’s only a matter of time before someone is injured there,” said a resident who lives on that intersection. “We need to put a camera in there and have the Sheriff’s Department start writing tickets.”

Frolker said that perhaps a discussion with Manson Growers would be helpful. “It’s something the Sheriff needs to address. Perhaps they could put their portable radar machine there.” Sorenson added that a letter could be written addressing the issue and have it posted to the Council’s Facebook page and on the Manson Tribune website.

Sorenson reported that Gordon Lester would be retiring from the Council and that the Council needs to appoint someone to his chair and for Blume’s chair.

The Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce’s move into Manson across the street from the Manson Chamber of Commerce was brought up. The Council members and others were curious as to why the Lake Chelan Chamber would move an office into Manson.

City Council member John Olson said he’d found out that the Chamber signed a $3,000 per month three year lease on the property and planned to have it manned 8 hours a day, seven days a week.

Chelan City Councilman John Olson

Olson also remarked that he asked the Chelan Chamber’s executive director Mike Steele to forgo advertising in the valley because the valley can’t take care of the visitors that are coming already. He asked that some of the 3 percent money be used for tourism related infrastructure which is now allowed by law.

Property taxes are going up

by Richard Uhlhorn

2023 Property Tax increase:

At last Tuesday’s City Council meeting there was a Public Hearing on the 2023 Property Tax Levy and other Revenue Sources.

Outgoing Finance Director Steve Thornton (left) reported the property tax increase that will take effect in 2023.

The City is allowed to increase its property tax one percent per year and according to outgoing finance director Steve Thornton that increase will be based on $1,711,318.62 and will amount to an increase of $17,113.19 plus $47,321.75 from new construction and $3,437.10 refund from prior years bringing the total amount to $67,863.04.

“That does not mean that everyone’s tax goes up,” said Thornton. Seventy five percent of the property tax revenue goes to Chelan’s Street Fund.

Thornton told the Council that the City had $400,000 more in sales tax revenues this year up to $2.1 million. “I think we will get close to $2.7 million,” he said.

The Planning Department will be bumping up building fees by $525,000.

Lake Chelan Reclamation request:

The Lake Chelan Reclamation District has requested the City sponsor them as a Non-City Entity for the Association of Washington Cities Benefit Trust. The Council unanimously approved a resolution to sponsor the LCRD. The sponsorship is allowed to a non-entity when it has a formal agreement. A sponsorship will allow the Reclamation District to offer employees more affordable insurance rates.

City Administrator Wade Ferris

Attorney Services Agreement:

The Council approved a new City Attorney Services Agreement with Davis Arnell Law Firm for 2023. “Costs have gone up and this is a reasonable request,” said City Administrator Wade Ferris. The cost per hour increase to $318.


The Council approved a not to exceed $74,500 Professional Services Agreement with Design West for Design Services of the Parks Maintenance Building. Design West will provide construction administration for the new project.

The City has agreed to a $2,880,000 contract with Halme Builders, Inc. for the construction of the 4,600 sq. ft. building and another $320,000 for construction of a 540 sq. ft. Public Restroom.

The base bid has been reduced by $600,000 by a change order that reduces the building contract to $2,280,000. City Staff will be conducting work on the project that reduces the cost.

Parks Director Paul Horne explained that the building project first went to bid in 2017 and construction costs have risen considerably since that time. Councilman John Olson said, “We are seven years into this. I would like to see it move forward.”

Parks Director Paul Horne (right)

Park Street:

The development of street ends to improve access to the Lake took another step forward at the council meeting. Park Street adjacent to Peterson’s Waterfront is the first street end to be developed. Horne stated that it is a fairly simple plan that includes a sidewalk, some basalt columns, landscaping and benches. “Mark Elliot (Peterson’s Resort) worked well with us,” said Horne. “We are waiting on cost estimates and permitting.”

Horne added that Community Development Director John Ajax has recommended that the City go after permits on all the selected street ends in a comprehensive permitting process. Ajax told the Council that the city would work with Grette Associates Environmental Consultants. Work will hopefully begin in the spring.

Councilman Tim Hollingsworth stated that there were several projects that the City should move forward on including the micro park adjacent to the Chelan Ranger District. “It is low hanging fruit and would be aa benefit to the public.” Horne replied that the Forest Service is very much on board to opening up access to the lake off their property. “The Forest Service is open to making lake access more accessible,” said Horne.


Horne provided the Council with a Don Morse Concept Plan for the Skate Park/Pump Track but Councilwoman Erin McCardle through that plan under the bus and requested that consideration be given to re-locating proposed skate facility to the Chelan Athletic Fields (commonly called Stinky Fields). This is despite the public’s wish to have the facility built in Don Morse Park.

The Skate Park is estimated to cost $750,000 in 2022 dollars. Changing its location could increase that cost considerably. When Horne was asked how many local kids utilize the current skate park, he stated that somewhere between 10 and 15 locals use the park. During peak summer periods Horne says the park has 1,200 to 1,800 people enjoying the park on any given day.

According to Horne, the Don Morse Plan would include ADA trails throughout the park, a promenade along the lake, event space and a new playground. The existing basketball courts would be moved to the concrete pad now used by skaters. The skate park would compliment other athletic venues in the park from the basketball to the volleyball courts.

The proposed Skate Park would be constructed in this little use area of Don Morse Park.

Horne said more public input on the park is desired. “It is an excellent plan that could be transplanted elsewhere.”

McCardle said the skate park was predominately for the local community. She said that a survey that was held was answered by 70% who did not live in the City and 22% that were 18 and under. “Don Morse is already overcrowded,” said McCardle who wants to explore the South Chelan area and ball fields as a potential location.

Councilwoman Erin McCardle

McCardle argued that their was a lack of activities for middle school kids. She wants to conduct a survey at the school. Horne replied that a lot of little kids on scooters use the existing park and might not fill out a survey. “This is just an update to get input.

Councilman Mark Ericks asked it the south Chelan area was an appropriate location. He stated that in a past life (law enforcement) that security and safety is always a concern with location. “This design work is really good,” he said.

Councilman Mark Ericks

Horne added that there are not a lot of eyes on the south Chelan location. “The lights are on at Don Morse and there are more eyes on the existing park.”

Tim Hollingsworth agreed with McCardle. “I think it would be better at the community field. Don Morse is crowded.”

John Olson said he like the conceptual plan and added that security an issue at the Community fields. “We put outside lighting at the Senior Center and they were gone within a week.” Olson added that the VFW building also has issues along with Chelan Valley Hope. “It is a problem area and we need to have a cohesive plan.”

Councilman John Olson

McCardle said there needs to be next steps. “We need to look at the concerns at the athletic fields and move forward.”

During Mayor/Council comments, councilwoman Sheri Dietrict said she liked the idea of utilizing the athletic fields because they are close to the schools.

Mayor/Council Comments:

Olson encouraged the City Council to move forward on Chelan Butte Draft Resolution. “The Trust for Public Lands is ready to move forward,” he said.

City Administrator Wade Ferris replied to Olson’s comments on the Butte. “We need to be careful how we do this,” said Ferris. “There are a lot of moving parts with other organizations.” He added that purchasing the Butte brings liability issues to the surface and that the City needs to figure out the best course of action. Ferris suggested a workshop on the Butte issue in December or January.

John Ajax reported that he would be bringing a draft Development Plan for Apple Blossom Center to the next meeting.

Ferris reported that there were 700 touch and goes from the airport in October.

The City Council meets every second and fourth Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. The next council meeting will take place on Tuesday, November 22.

Chelan Butte and Chelan Airport topics of Mayor/Council Comments

by Richard Uhlhorn

City Council Meetings can be boring as the Council considers staff requests and decides who to hire or where to spend money. Currently, they are entering into the budget period and there is a lot of talk about various programs that receive money from the City over the course of the year.

On the other hand, the Mayor/Council comment period can get really interesting as members of the Council discuss their personal observations about various projects. This past Tuesday, October 11, Chelan Butte and the Airport Revitalization Project were topics raised by several councilmen.

Mayor/Council comments

Council member John Olson wants the Butte preserved in its natural condition.

John Olson said he hoped each council member had a chance to read the many emails regarding the Save the Butte program instigated by the Chelan Basin Conservancy.

Olson had a prepared statement which he read to the Council encouraging them that a clear message has been received from the public to preserve and maintain the open space of Chelan Butte for future generations.

Olson’s statement talked about the $400,000 spent to preserve the last nine acres of open shoreline space in Spader Bay. He wrote, “Now the Council has the opportunity to preserve 900 acres of uplands with a deposit of $500,000 from the City with other funding sources for the purchase.” His example of local efforts to preserve open spaces is the Wenatchee Foothills project.

With the 2020 census count showing Chelan with a population of 4,800 residents and Manson with another 4,600 residents combined with the south shore brings the Valley up to 15,000 residents total.

Other information states that an estimated 50% of homes in the Chelan valley are second homes and those owners are not included in the census numbers.

“Let’s stop the deception and let’s support efforts to preserve what is left before it is all gone,” said Olson.

Councilman Holllingsworth wants the City to conduct an economic impact study on the airport.

Tim Hollingsworth acknowledged the letters received by the City, but said he hasn’t seen that much support.. “I’ve been hiking up there for 30 years,” said Hollingsworth. He stated that the trailhead to Elephant Head and the PUD trails are full on Sunday’s. “I have concerns of how the City would manage this property.”

Mayor Goedde said there were a variety of comments by a number of people and the City needs to wrap up their portion of the movement to preserve the Butte.


City Administrator Wade Ferris reported on the Chelan Airport and the status of its upgrades.

Wade Ferris said there were 750 landings at the airport so far this month and 4,800 over the course of the year. “It’s a pretty busy airport.”

Hollingsworth asked about the economic impacts and the use of taxpayer dollars to upgrade the airport. “How does that translate to the flow in the community of what we are spending.”

Ferris replied that the City expects a significant impact. Mayor Goedde added that it is not just about the airport. It is about water, hanger expansion and new business opportunities.

Ferris added that the original purpose is to bring the airport into FAA compliance by expanding the runway. “As the Mayor reports, it is about industrial uses out there… maybe some affordable housing too. It is hard to quantify.”

Hollingsworth said the City did an economic survey for the Golf Course. “Why can’t we do one for the airport,” He wants confidence that the City is spending money wisely.

Ferris replied that the City and Port are sharing only 5 percent of the $20 million dollar cost. The FAA is carrying the rest.


Tim Crandall, president of the Arts Council invited everyone to an open house at the Chamber of Commerce where Jerry McKellar’s newest piece will be revealed.

Stan Crandall, president of the Lake Chelan Arts Council, told City Council that the Arts Council would be holding an open house at the Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce to introduce Jerry McKellar’s latest project for the City.

This Arts Council event will take place on Saturday, October 22, from 5 to 7 p.m. The new sculpture is based on Lake Chelan’s legendary lake monster, Tsilly which is the topic of John Fahey’s new children’s book, Tsilly, The Monster of Lake Chelan, which is based on the legends that have been passed down to the present day.

Put this one on your calendar. It should be a good one.


Mayor Goedde read a proclamation into the record regarding Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Mayor Bob Goedde paid respect to his Mother who died of breast cancer after an 18 month battle by reading into the record a proclamation about the 2022 Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

As the second leading cause of death amongst women, Mayor Goedde urged all women to avail themselves to getting a mammogram.


Executive Assistant of Special Projects for the NCW Regional Library System, Tim Dillman and Facilities Manager Amanda Lawson were on hand at the City Council to present a $10.3 million dollar upgrade to library facilities and programs with $7.5 million dedicated to facilities. “We are hoping to meet the needs of the public in the five county region,” said Tillman. “Chelan is fortunate to have great spaces.”