The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Dena Martin
The Times 

Waitsburg City Council Update

 


May 16, 2018

Members: KC Kuykendall, Terry Jacoy, Kevin House, Jim Romine, Kate Hockersmith and Mayor Marty Dunn were all present.

Public Comment:

- Danielle Carpenter let the council know that she was willing to serve on a Parks and Recreation board if the board was resurrected.

- Jim Davison said that it is time for a deadline to be set for making a decision regarding the fate of the fairgrounds grandstands.

-Waitsburg Commercial Club President Joy Smith gave an update on the upcoming Waitsburg Celebration Days.

Unfinished Business:

-The council unanimously approved a $110,000 contract with Anderson Perry & Associates for water line and road engineering and sewer line design for the Taggart Road and Utility Project. The project will bring Taggart road straight through from Millrace Road to Highway 12 and will design sewer and water for future development.

New Business:

-Council members and the mayor took the Oath of Office.

-Kevin House was elected as Mayor Pro Tem.

- Walla Walla County Department of Community Health Director Meghan DeBolt, accompanied by County Commissioner Tod Kimball, gave a presentation on affordable housing. She was seeking insight from the council on whether or not the City would support a ballot item to help fund affordable housing in the County. Options included a one-tenth of one-percent sales tax increase, a regular housing levy, and an emergency housing levy. DeBolt shared a “shocker” statistic, saying that Walla Walla County is ranked 39th out of 39 Washington counties for affordable housing. Council members agreed to discuss the issue further in an upcoming workshop.

- Following a public hearing with no citizen comment, the council unanimously approved the vacation of the remainder of an alley between East 8th and East 9th Streets. A service easement will remain clear to allow the City sewer line access.

- In a four-to-one vote, with Jacoy dissenting, the council approved a resolution authorizing City Clerk Randy Hinchliffe to apply for a Heritage Grant, to obtain funds for upgrades to City Hall. Upgrades could include a new roof, repointed brick, new windows, ceiling repair, new council chambers, possible elevator access, an exterior ADA ramp. Hinchliffe said the application process will cost $1,500 with an additional $9,000 for engineering.

-The council discussed the options, limitations, and requirements involved in reviving the former Parks and Recreation Department. Mayor Dunn ended the discussion by setting a “firm 90-day deadline” for those in support of a Parks and Recreation Department to return with a clear plan and timeline for 1) what to do with the fairgrounds grandstands and 2) how to implement a Parks and Recreation Department to operate and maintain the fairgrounds, or otherwise move forward.

 

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