Thursday, February 22, 2024

Entiat city council, staff provide project updates at meeting

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ENTIAT – Councilmembers and city staff gathered to discuss and resolve agenda items including the City’s 2018 budget and scheduling of city fees for services, licensing and permits during the regular council meeting, Thursday, Dec. 14 in Entiat. One mentionable service fee that came up during the meeting was an annual three percent water and sewer increase to Entiat residents. Until details can be further researched by councilmembers, the rates will remain the same as they are presently, however if any increase takes place, it will require a budget amendment.
Initiating the regular meeting was an update from City Planner RJ Lott, stating that he was in attendance at the last North Central Washington Economic Development District (NCWEDD), Wednesday, Dec. 13 in Chelan. Lott will be continuing to attend the meetings along with Councilman Bob Anderson. “It’s something I think that will greatly help us in moving forward,” explained Lott, “they’re a pretty solid organization.” He proceeded into his next update regarding the community center feasibility study, “I met with Pacific Engineering,” he began explaining to Mayor Keith Vradenburg and councilmembers, “a quick summary of that is that we’re still on track, the delays we had, so to speak, didn’t derail us from the qualifications of the grant.” After a few revisions, the final report should be available for review the end of December or beginning of January Lott concluded.
Next to report was City Engineer Larry Cordes with an update on the budget for the back-up well project around Hedding Street in Entiat.  Cordes began by explaining that, although receipting a little lower-cost well bid, the overall project “budget was skill kind of fuzzy.” Afterward, he stated that he asked to reevaluate the project’s budget, to get a better idea of the projected costs. “Essentially, we’re just trying to drill a well,” he began, “initially we were wanting to drill two wells in that area, a 12-inch and an eight inch, but now we’ve settled on just drilling one 12-inch well.” According to Cordes’ report, the total grant amount for the project is $498,614, with a city contribution in the amount of $16,071. “Of that (grant amount), $321,410 is the construction costs,” he explained, “I went back to the original construction costs estimate that we developed, which was in 2012, and I did quite a bit of research, pulled together some cost data from more recent projects from our Kirkland office and such, and I just took a real hard conservative reality check on all the project components.” He continued by explaining that cost adjustments were needing to be made to catch up with current costs, “the test well originally had a number of $49,700, bids came in at $97,300, so there’s a $47,000 difference,” he emphasized.  “What we’re heading at here … is we need about $190,000 more to get through this project as planned.” Actual construction costs are looking to be nearly a 100 percent increase of what was initially anticipated, and if funding can be secured then drilling is projected to take place during the winter/spring and construction in the summer/fall.
Councilman John Alt took a moment to provide an update on a couple different housing projects in the works. “RJ and I attended the ‘our valley’ housing solutions meeting,” Alt began, then explained the process of the group. “It’s broken into subgroups, RJ is working on housing types and inventories. and I’m working on codes and solutions,” he explained. “The board is moving along quickly and a lot of good people are showing up to the 7 a.m. meetings to try and make some progress on that.,” Alt added, “I think RJ and I are feeling really excited about what’s going on there.” Moving on to his next update, Alt said he also attended the Wenatchee-Chelan Housing Authority board meeting and brought forward a discussion on a piece of property that they have a current intent to purchase agreement on. After asking the board to consider moving forward on that and actually purchasing the property, he said they felt confident enough in their funding to move ahead with the purchase. “The sense I got, without it being said, was that they thought they had pretty good funding string potentially, but I think they also realized that they are in a pretty good position to purchase property and may have concerns that that wouldn’t be available if they tried to renew again.”
Moving into the action items of the night, Lott proposed revised zoning along Highway Commercial zone in regard to mini-storages. “This is regarding mini-storage facilities, not to be confused with cargo containers, in the Highway Commercial Zone.” He began explaining, “as it sits now, commercial mini-storage facilities are available in the Highway Commercial Zone via the use of a Conditional Use Permit (CUP), Ordinance 774 which I believe we did in either August or September … before you tonight is the decision to remove that use via the CUP and not allow mini-storage facilities at all in the Highway Commercial Zone.” Along with the proposed rezoning, was the redefinition of storage units, separating the mini-storage from vehicle and watercraft storage. Councilmembers approved and passed the proposal, disallowing mini-storage units in the Highway Commercial Zone.
Due to the holiday, there will be no Dec. 28 Entiat Council meeting, so councilmembers will meet again for a regular meeting, Thursday, Jan. 11 in the council chambers.
 

Entiat, council, meetings

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