Chelan Council hears Earth Day presentations


Scott Beaton giving his annual presentation at the April 11 Chelan City Council meeting.

Dwayne Van Epps stated that the art of the deal will be balancing monthly charges and GFC’s.

 

CHELAN - Maintaining a healthy Earth was certainly a topic of discussion at the Chelan Council meeting on Tuesday, April 11. 

Before the council moved into their regular business, they listened to two special presentations on Arbor Day, Earth Day and gave a proclamation for a bike, walk or run to work day on Friday, April 21. 

Although Arbor Day typically takes place on the last Friday in April, Chelan Parks Director Karen Sargeant issued a proclamation to declare April 13, as Arbor Day in Chelan. This year’s event took place at Don Morse Park and included a free hot dog and the planting of a new Red Oak tree near the picnic shelter that is closest to the skatepark. 

“We are hoping to have over 100 fifth graders,” Sargeant said. “Part of the Arbor Day celebration is related to Tree City USA, which we are celebrating our 10th year of being a Tree City USA.” 

To be apart of Tree City USA, a city has to have a Tree Board or Department to care for the trees, a tree care ordinance, a community forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation. 

Chelan Mayor Mike Cooney then proclaimed Friday, April 21 to be Bike, Walk or Run to Work Day in Chelan and asks residents to observe the day by getting to work without motorized transportation. 

Local Orchardist and former Chelan Recycle Center employee Scott Beaton gave his annual Earth Day presentation to the council members and also explained that his annual Litter Clean-Up Day in Chelan will be on April 28 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. This year will mark the 23rd that Beaton has gone out with a group of sixth graders to pick up some of the trash lying around Chelan. 

Beaton also stated that he currently has five volunteers - six after councilmember Servando Robledo volunteered during the meeting - and looking for more to help out with the kids. 

After the presentations were finished, Cooney gave the floor to Public Works Director Dwayne Van Epps for a update on General Facility Charges (GFC’s). 

“I want to touch on two things that have changed since staff report,” Van Epps began, “(and) what it relates to is incentivizing industries in the UGA or that will be in the UGA in the future where the city can provide a break on water connection fees up to amount equal to the three year increased revenue the city would realize as annexation. The second item is related to GFC’s. If we are ultimately wanting to base decisions on financial analysis, in order to consider GFC’s you should take a look at monthly rates as well, since all of the existing citizens are bearing costs equal to amount relieved to developers. We ought to consider what monthly charges are, modifying monthly rates keep it to our current 5 year incremental structure.  Whatever you decide it will be based on sound engineering and financial principles that are more easily defended.”

Mayor Cooney stated that the resolution does not effectively raise GFC’s, but it does help with commercial projects coming into the city. 

All of the council members referenced that urgency was important, but that it should be done fairly and have a balance between monthly users and GFC’s. 

“That will be the art of the deal,” Van Epps said.

“Development pays their way,” councilmember Guy Harper commented, “if that is 100 percent than that is what it should be. Everyone bought into it, so it is pretty black and white to me.” 

Sargeant then requested council to approve the hiring of a contractor to complete the pickleball and tennis court resurfacing project and have the mayor sign the motion once all of the needed documentation was in hand. The motion was approved unanimously. 

Sargeant also asked council to approve the hiring of a contractor to do a roof and deck replacement at the Lake Chelan Municipal Golf Course. 

 

“I’m just trying to get these projects going before we get into summer and it becomes a burden, but we have to get rid of the shake roof because it is a fire hazard,” Sargeant commented. 

The motion was approved unanimously. 

The Chelan City Council will meet again on Tuesday, April 25 at 6 p.m.

Zach Johnson can be reached at lcmeditor@gmail.com or (509)682-2213

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