Chelan County Commissioner Candidates Dale England, Tiffany Gering, respond to Union Valley residents, concerning the Union Valley Road

Editor’s Note: The below messages from Chelan County Commissioner Candidates Position #3, Dale England and Tiffany Gering, was sent to approximately 200+ people, who live on or near Union Valley Road, and centers around road improvements. Below their comments you will find letters from Union Valley residents
 

Dale England talks about Union Valley Road upgrade

 
One of the folks on your email list asked me if I'd be able to address some concerns regarding the Union Valley Road. I hope I don't offend anyone by jumping in with my thoughts.
The Union Valley Road has been designated a Primitive Road from the time it was constructed. Growing up I spent many hours riding motorcycles in your area. In order to upgrade the road it needs to meet a minimum Average Daily Trips threshold. I'm sure you have seen the counting strips laid out on the road once or twice a year. Once that threshold is met, the road can be placed on a higher priority basis for upgrading with the associated funding.
The road is currently on the Chelan County Public Works 6 year plan. As such it is in a position that if the money is found to improve the road, it will happen. The list is the same list many other County roads are on for improvement. Traffic flow dictates a portion of where on the list the priorities are. 
Some of the joy of living in the outlying areas of Chelan County also have some determinants associated with it. The County Public Works/Road Crew spend a good bit of time and money keeping the road open in the winter and doing their best to keep it up after weather events. 
While it would be nice to promise you a new road, that would only be a campaign promise that would be difficult to keep. I will promise you, I know of your needs and desires and in the event I have any sway in providing you those needs I will with full vigor.  
I encourage you to contact me if you have any other questions.
Thanks, Dale England, 
509-860-9058
 
 

Tiffany Gering responds to Lance Stark

 
Hi Lance,

 

The Commissioners are working on moving to a different priority system when it comes to roads projects. What has historically happened at the Chelan-Douglas Transportation Council is a ranking system where people are able to sway votes ahead of time in order to get their project at the top of the list. Wenatchee seems to get most of the love. 
 Quite honestly, I have heard talk of Totem Pole in Manson and how important that project is, but it currently isn’t at the top of the list either. In all the meetings I have sat in on, Union Valley has never come up. 
 If elected, I will absolutely bring all of your concerns to the table and see if we have the resources to fix the problem sooner rather than later. Thanks for reaching out. 

 

Tiffany Gering, Chelan County Commissioner Candidate, Position #3
 

Union Valley Road resident reminds Dale England about brother Doug

 
Mr. England:
If I am not mistaken, the primitive road designation starts well within (roughly 1 mile) what is now the dirt road. When your brother was elected, the first thing he did was ensure that roads in Manson (i.e., Washington) got RE-PAVED. There was nothing wrong with those roads and those funds could have easily been allocated to at least the non-primitive portion of UV Road which is dire need of paving.
Best, 
Michael Keeler, 
Chelan
 

Union Valley resident explains ‘hopes’ to Dale England

 

Thanks Dale for weighing in on the Union Valley hopes. You should know that the first year that Sally and I moved up here I was involved in a meeting with the county commissioners and a number of neighbors regarding Union Valley Road and our inquiries regarding paving. That was 2015. At the time we were told that Union Valley Road was on the county's 5 year plan for paving and that at that time our road had already been designated as non-primitive and was perhaps the only non-primitive road in the county that was not paved. This is starting to sound like a shell game.
Given the pronounced sale of properties and subsequent building up here the dirt surface can no longer support the traffic it is subjected to. The last work done by the county road crews to clear the dangerous washboard conditions lasted about a week and they were back to repair again. Looks like wasted money to me. Additionally the last time there was a discussion of paving the county had some sort of criteria for paving the upper stretch that sounded like a interstate project and way overkill. The paving on the lower part has held up for how long now and of course the farther up you go the less traffic there is.
I'd like to see the county records for the criteria and cost for the paving of the lower part of Union Valley and the expenses for the maintenance of the upper and lower parts respectively. I wonder if the expenditures make sense. I'm sure the longer it goes, the more expensive the inevitable will be. 
Lance Stark, 
Chelan
 

Union Valley Road can't be classified as 'Primitive Road'

 
 Mr. England, according to the RCW’s, a county road cannot be classified as a “Primitive road” if there are over 100 average trips per day.  Union Valley road crossed that threshold over 15 years ago.  Still no major improvements have been done.  All that was done was moving the primitive road sign up to what is now Idyll Spurs Lane (formerly Clark Road). Again with NO IMPROVMENTS. We have also been on the Six Year Street Plan for most of those years.  We have been promised that officials would seek some funding, but none has been secured. 
 The County Road crew does spend a lot of time & effort trying to keep the road passable and safe. Mr. Spence’s points are well-taken that it would appear to be more cost effective for the County to find a permanent solution.  Washboards and ruts show up in a couple of weeks after they work on it.  They have added soil stabilizers such as lignite and now are using “Mag”  a couple of times a year but they are slick when wet and do not stand up to the heavy traffic.  This summer there were several months when over 20 loaded dumps trucks per day ran up and down the road.  Also many heavy cement trucks are serving the average of 7 new residences being built per year.
 The  road is unsafe and severely impacts the health and safety of all Union Valley residents.  We need a new active plan to resolve and repair this long-standing unsafe condition.
Joan Simpson,
Chelan
 

Thanks for reaching out to us Dale

How many cars and trucks use the road?  What are the counting strips telling us?  Has the road use increased or decreased over the years?  What is the minimum Average Daily Trips threshold to move Union Valley Rd to the next higher priority level?  Let’s put a stake in the ground and establish some clear targets we can review.  What is the link for the Chelan County Public Works 6-year plan and what does any revision page to the document say about changes to the quantity of vehicles over the last seven years?  What is the cost per mile to install a better road surface?  Please show in groups of miles i.e. 5,10 or 30.  What is the current annual cost of Union Valley road maintenance.   Please break snow removal out as a different line item and show it as a separate cost or provide expenses by yearly quarter.

 

Many Regards,
CG Spence
Union Valley Rd.
 
 
Likes the security of the dirt during winter season
 
Hello Dale,
One of the reasons we live up the valley (7 miles from town) is for the solitude. While growth is inevitable, we are some of the few folks that do NOT want to see additional paving happen.  We like the security of the dirt during our long winter season, as well as it seems to keep (some) people going an appropriate speed.   
I appreciate your comments.
Thank you! 
 
Leanne Dupuis,
Chelan

 

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