The Chewelah City Council voted to increase the speed limit on Flowery Trail Road, at the Cottonwood Road intersection, from 25 to 35 miles per hour at the July 5 regular meeting.
Councilman John May said increasing the speed is a way to make the transition more gradual coming down the hill towards town as drivers come in at 50 miles per hour. He also said an increased speed will help drivers going up the hill. The speed limit now decreases to 25 just west of the Pioneer Cemetery.
Councilman Dave Haskell said the more gradual change will be helpful to truck drivers who have a harder time slowing down quickly going downhill.
May suggested the change be made by simple council vote; no ordinance or resolution is necessary. It passed 5-2 with opposing votes from Carra Nupp and Krisan LeHew because of concerns for pedestrian safety. LeHew said many children walk there regularly even through there are no sidewalks and little shoulder on that section of the road.
During audience comments, Peter Roesler, of Chewelah, addressed May to ask if he is using his position on the council to push his personal agenda since he lives on the road that will be affected by the speed limit increase. May said he has talked to many people who are for this change besides himself.
Doug Sassman resigned as Chewelah Fire Chief and Mayor Clancy Bauman appointed David DeVeau to take his place. DeVeau has been in the Chewelah area for two and a half years. He is originally from Texas where he was a firefighter for 25 years.
The council approved a request from John Bowers and the Chewelah Youth and Community Foundation to purchase materials needed for repairs on the city skate park using the $500 that is already designated toward that facility. The CYC has organized all volunteer labor to execute the work.
Adult leaders from the CYC calculated exactly how much money and materials they would need for the repairs, and presented that to the council, and also asked the city to inspect the property once the project is complete. They said more kids will take advantage of the skate park if it is in better shape.
John Eminger of 49 Degrees North Mountain Resort donates $500 to the Skate Park fund annually.
The council approved an agreement with Welch, Comer and Associates to provide professional services in creating and submitting a grant funding application with WSDOT (Washington Department of Transportation) for Main Avenue improvements. It will cost $1,000.
Kevin Herda presented $22,000 to the City Council from the Chewelah Chamber of Commerce on behalf of several community members to open the Chewelah City pool for eight weeks this summer. The pool opened on July 9.
The council voted to move City Administrator Mike Frizzell from interim status to permanent CA.
Councilman May’s motion to remove the U-Turn sign at the intersection of Third Street and East Main failed as no one seconded it. He said he sees many people make U-Turns there, although it is illegal, and removing the sign would make it easier for those traveling Main Avenue. Police Chief Troy Anderson said he was against removing the sign because it is a high traffic area, which increases concern for safety.
U-Turns are legal at the Fourth and Fifth street intersection but not at Second or Third Streets.
By Kellie Trudeau
The Independent Staff