City Council to Meet Twice A Month

The Chewelah City Council will now meet twice a month for the rest of 2012; meetings will take place on the first and third Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers. The next meeting will be June 20.

The council adopted the ordinance designating the day and time on which regular council meetings are held with a 4-3 vote at the June 6 regular meeting. Council members John May, Dave Haskell, and Carra Nupp opposed the ordinance.

Previously, the council had meetings only on the first Wednesday, but Mayor Clancy Bauman suggested the additional meeting so that business is taken care of in a more timely manner.

Also at the June meeting, the council declared the Main Street property at 306 E. Main Ave. (across from The Independent) as surplus and set the minimum bid at $90,000 after a 15-minute executive session to discuss the sale price.

The council voted to close Lincoln Avenue from Highway 395 to Third Street on Aug. 4 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the Rev it up for the Vets Car and Motorcycle Show. This is a fundraiser for the Wounded Warrior Project that will take place in the Chewelah city park.

Show organizer David Bergman requested the temporary road closure because he said the show will be much bigger than first anticipated. He said they expect as many as 500 vehicles to participate and the more they can fit, the more funds they can generate for the charity.

The council also voted to increase swim lesson rates to help with the cost of operating the city pool. The previous rates were set in 2007.

The cost of one week of swimming lessons increased from $12 to $15; two weeks of swimming lessons increased from $22 to $25; and two weeks of lessons plus daily swim increased from $33 to $35. They also added a Mommy and Me session that costs $5 a day for parents and toddlers to be in the pool during lunch hour with only one guard on duty and no other swimmers.

The Chewelah City Pool will be open from July 9 to August 31 (Editor’s note: See pool schedule in Sidebar on front page).

The Planning Commission has suggested the council vote on the Airport Layout Plan by Nov. 1, 2012. The Airport Layout Plan was created in 2007 through grant funding and, although there has been discussion on it, no action has been taken to approve the plan so the commission wanted to pass it on to the council once an issue with Richmond Lane is resolved.

Richmond Lane, located on the Chewelah Golf Course, was supposedly approved by the council in 1987 to be a designated taxiway but was not properly recorded. An airport board meeting took place on July 7 to discuss the issues with the plan and begin work toward a solution that the council can vote on.

The Airport Layout Plan is necessary to be eligible for future airport grant funding and the application for the first round of funding from WSDOT Aviation (for the next biennium) is due by March 30, 2013.

Representing the committee set up at the May meeting to discuss the possibility of requiring business licenses in Chewelah, Councilman Nick Lasko said he and Carra Nupp met with members of the Chewelah Chamber of Commerce who had originally suggested the idea. Lasko said although people are for it for various reasons, the city does not have the legal backing to enforce new fines.

Lasko said enforcing the nuisance ordinance is already a challenge for the city since they can ticket violators but there is no recourse from the county if brought to court.

With Lasko’s suggestion, another committee was created to review the enforceability of the nuisance ordinance. Committee members are Lasko, Nupp and Krisan LeHew.

The council adopted the 6-year TIP (Transportation Improvement Plan) following a public hearing where there were no audience comments. No projects have been had added, but priorities have changed for some projects as City Administrator Mike Frizzell said they may be able to find grant funding in the future for certain items, and some grants require projects to be a priority.

Frizzell said they have to replace the city’s paint sprayer for $6,500, which no longer works after 25 years of use. The cost will be split by four departments that use the tool often: water, sewer, electric, and street.

Holly Peterson was appointed to the Chewelah Library Board of Trustees.