Thursday, February 22, 2024

Chelan City Council approves Transportation Benefit District

Don Morse Park wins grant


CHELAN –- The Chelan City Council voted to create a Transportation Benefit District (TBD) following a public hearing to allow comments on the proposed ordinance at its regular bi-monthly meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 23.

Council members discussed a TBD at their Sept. 30 strategic retreat last fall and again during a council workshop on Nov.1. The council adopted the TBD ordinance last Dec. 12 and scheduled last week’s public hearing. 

The Municipal Research and Services Center (MRSC) specifies that a TBD can raise revenue for specific transportation projects, usually through vehicle license fees or sales taxes. It has the authority to impose a fee of up to $20 per vehicle without voter approval. It can also- with voter approval - impose a vehicle renewal fee of up to $100 per vehicle or seek other sources of funding.

“It's important to note that no funding is currently proposed or requested to be authorized by the action to form the TBD,” a city administration overview said. “The rationale behind…the TBD lies in its potential to provide the city with an alternative revenue stream. Specifically, it can enable the collection of sales tax, which can be dedicated to funding transportation projects and improvements within the city limits.”

2024 Priority Projects

Councilmembers also discussed 2024 priorities during their September retreat. Those were discussed and further narrowed down at the Jan. 2 council workshop Council. On Jan. 9, the prioritization continued.

Councilmembers discussed priorities they would like to focus on in 2024 during the September 30, 2023 Strategic Retreat. During the Jan. 2 City Council Workshop Council reviewed the projects they wish to prioritize for either legislative direct appropriations or grant funding. On Jan. 9 Council reviewed a list of top projects and funding sources they wish to accomplish. They included:

  1. Stormwater Comprehensive Plan. 
  2. East Chelan Reservoir (TIF District). 
  3. Northshore Trail. 
  4. City Hall. 
  5. Imagine Downtown. 
  6. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) access. 
  7. Electrical upgrades for the RV Park.
  8. Ballfield improvements and lighting.
  9. Golf course irrigation. 
  10. Street Corridors (pedestrian access in the downtown core). 

It was then decided that evaluation of the state of the City Hall building and options for its future would be the project that is earmarked for legislative funding. 

RCO park grant

The council authorized the Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) grant application in September 2023. RCO awarded a $100,000 Local Parks Maintenance Grant to the Parks and Recreation Department to address deferred maintenance on several of the park’s parking lots. The city’s application ranked 17th out of 57 awarded grants. The grant requires no matching contribution from the Department. Work will proceed as soon as the weather permits next spring of 2024

Mike Maltais: 360-333-8483 or


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