Thursday, February 22, 2024

Chelan City Council gets ready for summer, might punt decision on water line


CHELAN - The Chelan City Council addressed a few housekeeping issues in order to get ready for the Summer season in their regular meeting on Tuesday, March 28. 

• Pickleball / tennis courts

One of the approved 2017 Capital Projects was to resurface the tennis / pickleball courts at Don Morse Park. 

“There’s huge cracks in it, so we temporarily patched them to make things playable,” Chelan Parks Director Karen Sargeant said. “They were a big hit though, so we would like to get them resurfaced. THe materials cost has increased since the budget was approved, so I am requesting an increase of $600 to cover the cost.” 

Sergeant stated though that the pickleball group, who have continued to meet regularly throughout the winter, offered to reimburse the city for the cost of the resurfacing. The motion was approved unanimously.

• Facilities Maintenance Worker 

The Parks Department received approval from the Council for a new seasonal Facilities Maintenance Worker position. In order to make the evening shift more appealing, Sargeant proposed increasing the wage by $.25 to make it $13.50 per hour. The increase will make the wage equal with the day shift.

“I don’t know why there was a difference between the two, but this will equal them out and hopefully draw some candidates for the evening shift,” Sargeant explained. 

The motion was approved unanimously. 

• Woodin Avenue Bridge

Chelan Public Works Director Dwayne Van Epps gave an administrative update on the Woodin Avenue Bridge project. Preliminary renovation work will begin in April. 

“What I would like to do is develop a strategy of working in three enhancements. Widening the bridge and pedestrian area and traffic enhancements adjacent to the bridge,” Van Epps said. “I want to have the design compartmentalized in units so that it could be executed based on the funds we are able to acquire for the project on the whole.” 

“I strongly recommend that we commit to that style of design and strategy,” Van Epps insisted. 

• Airport waterline extension 

In the search for funding, the City applied for a loan with loan forgiveness through the Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund (DWSRL) and the Washington Department of Health (DOH). The application was for $6 million with a request for $3 million in loan forgiveness, but in January, the City was notified that $3 million was the total award with zero loan forgiveness. Since the return came out, the City has been weighing its options on whether to accept or deny the loan. 

Chelan City Administrator Mike Jackson indicated that if the city rejected the loan, they could re-apply for the entire $6 million in a future funding cycle, however, their chances of improving their score are slim. Chelan ranked 14th out of 29 projects submitted.  

Either way, the city would have to approve a new water plan, since the current one expired this past December before re-applying. If the city refuses the current loan, they won’t be able to reapply likely until 2018 for 2019 funding. 

Since there isn’t a rush on accepting the loan, the City decided to wait to make a decision until a later meeting. 

 The next City Council meeting is April 25 at 6 p.m. 

Zach Johnson can be reached at or (509) 682-2213


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