Chewelah Mayor Clancy Bauman proclaimed May as “Older Americans Month” at the May 1 Chewelah City Council meeting to recognize citizens age 60 and older, and those who serve and support them.
He also proclaimed May 12-18 as National Police Week and May 15 as Peace Officers’ Memorial Day as that is how Congress and the President of the United States has designated them nationally.
Councilwoman Krisan LeHew reported that Chewelah was named a WellCity once again for meeting nine best practice standards for employee health promotion. The award is presented annually by the Association of Washington Cities Employee Benefit Trust. All 2013 Well-City recipients receive 2 percent off health insurance premiums in 2014.
Chewelah Farmers Market president and manager Nils Johnson gave the pre-season report on the 2013 market season set to open Friday, May 17 at the Chewelah City Park. In 2012, market vendors had a total of $104,000 in sales and the market made $6,000 in revenue. This year, the Farmers Market board of directors has decided to reorganize the vendor layout for the market. They designed two layouts for the times when it is busy and not as busy to make it successful for all the vendors and more appealing to customers.
Also, Johnson said the board has a future goal to hire a market manager who would take over the managing from Johnson and marketing from Shelley Stevens. However, only $2,100 has been budgeted for wages in 2013 and the board has decided to pay Johnson and Stevens each $50 a week for the entire season more as a volunteer stipend for the work they already do. Although it is a successful market, a paid manager is one thing Chewelah lacks compared to other markets in the state, Johnson said, which should be someone separate from the board.
The market board has also decided not to hold a market during Chataqua as they had last year (although it was moved to the city hall lawn) since vendors did not have great sales success. Johnson said some craft vendors only sold enough that day to pay for the $5 minimum booth fee.
The Chewelah Police Department recently purchased two flashing speed limit signs that were placed on the North end of Chewelah to mark when the road becomes a 25 mile per hour zone and at the Old Highway on West Lincoln Avenue. Police Chief Troy Anderson reported that those are the locations within city limits where they get the most complaints about speeding. The signs were purchased with money donated by The Spokane Tribe of Indians and cost $3,500 each.
Chewelah Fire Chief Dave DeVeau said they have received the brush truck purchased last month and are waiting on the decals and siren to be installed, but is excited about the truck saying it could not have worked out any better. The used truck was purchased with money budgeted from the fire department reserve that can only be used for fire department expenses.
City Administrator Mike Frizzell said he is working on a mutual agreement with Avista to help provide extra linemen during possible electrical emergency situations when linemen are needed.
The city council approved the municipal lease for Healthy Perceptions in Room 220 for April 1, 2013 to Dec. 31, 2013, which was tabled at the April meeting to clarify the tenant’s questions.
The city council then approved the Hangar Sublease with Chewelah Flyers, Inc. for April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2023 which was also tabled at the previous meeting as City Attorney Charles Schuerman had not had a chance to review it prior to that meeting.
The Mayor of Odessa has invited Mayor Bauman and key staff to attend a regional AWC (Association of Washington Cities) conference in Odessa on May 21. The Mayor, City Administrator and other council members are also attending the three-day annual AWC conference in Kennewick in June.
In a letter, the Chewelah Community Float Committee thanked the city for allocating some of its lodging tax funds to help pay for fuel for the summer parade season.
The Inland Northwest Blood Center also thanked the city in a letter for their continued support in holding community blood drives. Bauman suggested that a group, like the Chamber of Commerce, host a chili feed fundraiser to coincide with those blood drives that happen regularly at the Chewelah Civic Center.
Councilmember Dorothy Knauss reported that the Pool Advisory Committee continues to meet regularly and have been learning a lot each time they meet. However, the pool will not likely open this upcoming summer as no funding solutions have been finalized as of now. The Chewelah City Pool funding was cut for 2013 when the city council was forced to reduce the general fund by $250,000.
The next city council meeting is scheduled for May 15 at 6:30 p.m. at the City Council Chambers.
By Kellie Trudeau, The Independent Staff