(By Chewelah Mayor Dorothy Knauss)
What is the City doing with regard to water recreation for our youth?
In 2013 the City commissioned a professional study of our pool by Pool World from Spokane. Estimate for repair (but not bringing the facility up to current ADA standards) was approximately $400,000. The City inquired about a state grant, but we would have been required to sign documents indicating we would operate that pool ‘in perpetuity’. The Council did not take further action.
If I was directed to do so by the Council, I would work diligently to find available funding.
I suggest an alternative (and have been directed to find funding) – a splash pad in the park. The City Administration and I met in July with a representative of RCO (funding for outdoor recreation) – a splash pad is something they will fund with only a 10 percent match required by the City. The next grant applications are due March 1, 2018.
A Splash Pad is one of the elements of the Parks & Recreation segment of our Comprehensive Land Use Plan. Both Colville and Newport have splash pads. Ideally, we would locate the pad on the West side of the park. The grant would also cover the addition of ADA compliant restroom(s) adjacent to the pad, and ADA compliant walkways from the parking area.
This seems like a feasible alternative which would encourage motorists to stop, eat and maybe shop while their children play on the splash pad.
FASTER INTERNET IS COMING TO TOWN
Steven Gerber, Senior Executive with Charter Cable, announced Tuesday at a meeting hosted by Greater Spokane, Inc. that the company is in the process of upgrading internet service in Chewelah, both in Chewelah South and Chewelah North, to 60 mbs. If you have seen the orange cable around town, this is Charter working! Mr. Gerber stated that all work should be complete and the system in operation by Thanksgiving.
Congresswoman Cathy McMorris-Rodgers, Senator Shelly Short, Representative Mary Dye (9th District), Stevens County Commissioner Wes McCart and I attended the meeting, together with members of the Spokane Tribal Council , members of the Stevens County Broadband Action Team, executives from Verizon, AT&T, Microsoft and others.
I am so pleased that our citizens and businesses will have access to faster internet speeds. This will also help to promote and attract future economic development. Broadband is no longer an option in order for businesses, both brick and mortar and home-based, to operate efficiently. This is one of the first ‘needs’ my visioning committee identified back in 2014, and it definitely is a victory for Chewelah.
Dorothy L. Knauss