Council Drafts New Facility Policy

City Secretary Tracy Ferrell introduced a draft facility use policy at the April 4 Chewelah City Council meeting.

Ferrell said the civic center committee has worked for a year to create more concrete guidelines for renting out the civic center and other city property. They also created a fee schedule they tried to keep as reasonable as possible while still allowing the city to make enough money to maintain their propertes. The spaces for rent include the civic center, designated areas in the city park, council chambers and city hall board room.

The application process will be a first come, first served basis with a non-refundable fee of $25 to reserve the date. Events can be scheduled up to 12 months in advance. A refundable damage and cleaning deposit, and one-time event insurance, will be required for all events in the civic center. Rent will be due within two weeks before the reservation date.

Ferrell said they intend to have a resolution ready for vote at the May meeting and enforce the new facility policy in June. She said it will be an educational process for everyone, and plan to work to make it successful and beneficial for all parties involved.

The Chewelah City Council tabled the discussion on annexing into the Stevens County Rural Library District due to insufficient information. Annexing would give the library district control over the Chewelah Public Library rather than the city, but would add another layer of taxation for city residents. If approved by the city council and the Libraries of Stevens County Board of Trustees, the issue would then be proposed in a public election.

Councilwoman Carra Nupp said the Chewelah Public Library Board of Trustees needs to have a chance to approve an ordinance concerning the library before it goes to a council vote. In addition, Amanda Six, director for the Libraries of Stevens County, suggested in a letter to the council

that they discuss all the details in more depth before moving forward with an ordinance. She said that it is not something that needs to be hurried along like initially thought because the soonest it can go into effect would be January 2014.

Nupp also said there is now a position open on the Chewelah Public Library Board of Trustees due to a resignation.

The council discussed the ordinance designating the day and time on which regular city council meetings are to be held. The ordinance review came after Mayor Clancy Bauman’s suggestion at the March meeting to meet twice a month for the rest of year.

Councilman Nick Lasko agreed that it would be a good idea for two monthly meetings so, for example, ordinances could be created and adopted within six weeks instead of three months. Bauman also said that most all city councils meet twice a month and would help when creating next year’s budget as well.

As an alternate option, Clerk Pam McCart suggested they adjourn meetings to another time if there is still business to complete. However, she did not know if ordinances could be approved at a meeting continuation and will look into it further. Ordinances cannot be adopted at special meetings.

The council adopted Ordinance No. 841 prohibiting the non-emergency use of compression brakes. The vote was unanimous and no discussion was offered at this meeting as the amendments suggested in March had been made. These included changing some language and specifying muffled and unmuffled compression brakes. Violators of the new ordinance will incur a $250 penalty for their first violation, a $500 penalty for their second, and a $750 penalty for each further violation.

Ordinance No. 842 amending the 2012 budget was introduced to include the remaining proceeds ($47,000) from the grant received in 2011 to fund a connectivity project for additional city hall sidewalks.

Nils Johnson, president of the Chewelah Farmers Market, reported the 2011 market season statistics and previewed their expectations for the 2012 season. He said they had a very successful year due in large part to their new location at the Chewelah City Park.

The farmers market board has planned 23 market days for 2012, which includes the Friday of Chataqua. However, that market will be located at the city hall lawn and no new vendors will be allowed to sell that day. Johnson said the vendors will have to attend at least five of the first seven markets to be allowed a spot during the Chataqua market.

The farmers market season will begin Friday, May 18 and end on Oct. 12. The Chewelah Farmers Market runs every Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the Chewelah City Park.

Ferrell, as president for the Chamber of Commerce, said their next project is a city beautification day on April 21 where everyone is invited to help “spruce up” the city with new paint, flower baskets, and general cleanup activities.

Justin Peterson, Jenkins Middle School sixth-grader, reported that he has almost raised $20,000 for Inland Northwest Honor Flight since his last nacho feed fundraiser on March 10. Peterson said it now costs $1,000 to send one veteran to Washington, D.C. because the airlines no longer donate the cost of the flight.

By Kellie Trudeau, The Independent Staff