the Times 

Waitsburg City Council Update

May 15, 2019


Public Comment

Parks & Recreation Board Chair Danielle Carpenter provided an update regarding the Parks & Recreation Board. Carpenter said the committee has decided to focus on events and engagements in the near future and will take over maintenance or recreation facilities slower than originally planned. Carpenter will attend the June 19 council meeting with more definitive plans. Meeting minutes and updates are available on the Waitsburg Parks and Rec. Facebook page.

Louie Gagnon provided the council with a photo of why a “substantial ditch” is necessary along the new Taggart Road. Louie said water stood 2.5-3 feet deep in north of the proposed addition, following heavy rains. City Administrator Randy Hinchliffe said a ditch will be included in the plans.

Council member Terry Jacoy asked about changes to garbage service now that Basin Disposal has taken over garbage billing from the cities. He expressed concern over a request in a letter from Basin Disposal stating that cans in alleys will not be dumped and cans must be brought to the streets. Hinchliffe explained that BDI will no longer service alleys except those along the Main Street corridor, which has nothing to do with them taking over billing. He said the trucks are damaging infrastructure. Most of the sewer lines run down alleys and vegetation has encroached on many of the alleys making it difficult for the trucks to enter, he said. Council member Kuykendall said that a wintertime contingency plan may be necessary. Hinchliffe said that the transition will take some time. Mayor Dunn said residents can contact BDI to arrange for assistance if they are unable to get their cans to the street.

New Business

Kevin House was unanimously voted to remain Mayor Pro Tem.

Hinchliffe reported that the Planning Commission has spent six to eight months on the city’s Comprehensive Plan and Development Code Update in order to meet the June 30 cutoff to receive full grant funding. Hinchliffe said the process included good discussion and public participation throughout the update process. A hearing on both items was held May 8 with no comments received. Council approved the Planning Commission’s recommendation to submit the documents to the Washington State Department of Commerce for the required 60-day review. Commerce will return the documents with comments to the Planning Commission. Following Planning Commission review, the documents will move forward for formal adoption sometime around August. Both documents are available on the website in the Comprehensive Plan section under the Government tab.

Hinchliffe informed council that a lack of certified lifeguard applicants may result in the pool being unable to open. Following discussion, council requested that the City reopen lifeguard applications and move forward with preparing the pool as if it will open. A concerted publicity effort resulted in several applicants taking a YWCA class. The City currently has four certified guards and the pool is slated to open on June 24.

Mayor’s Report

Mayor Dunn thanked the fire department for cleaning the streets prior to Waitsburg Celebration Days.

Council Reports

Student Representative Leena Baker said this will be her last meeting. Baker is the last of her family to serve as a student representative. She was preceded by her siblings, Fletcher and Meara.

Hockersmith said emergency preparedness is looking for an updated hydrant list. Randy Charles will teach a CPR certification class.

Romine said that he saw a group of young out-of-town kids climbing in the fairgrounds bleachers. He requested that painted stencils replace the paper “keep out” signs.

House requested that the fairgrounds bathrooms be checked out, including lighting, prior to Celebration Days. House suggested that something may need to be done regarding alleys. “If they aren’t good enough for garbage trucks to go down, they probably aren’t good enough for fire trucks to go down,” he said.

Kuykendall commented that the public works board appropriated approximately $60 million in Public Works Fund Trust Fund grants and he hopes the city can “return to that well,” possibly for funds to renovate City Hall.

City Clerk Report

Hinchliffe shared pictures showing a massive root ball in sewer lines on Willard Street. He said that, on a personal service line, someone just broke a hole in the City line and inserted black ABS pipe into the line to bring the house online. He said that for 40 years roots have infiltrated the pipe until water can’t get through. Hinchliffe shared photos of another problem area in an alley. Council discussed a plan of attack for addressing sewer and water line issues. The entire system will need televised inspections first. The new Vactor truck (used to clean water and sewer lines) is in and the City crew will be receiving instruction on how to operate it.

The commemorative Main Street Bridge display has been placed.

The City’s annual report has been completed.

The City was successful in securing over $450,000 in capital grant money from the state legislature. Money for two partially funded projects, including $206,000 for the Taggart Road water line project and $206,000 for the flood control project (to be used for future construction) were combined to be used for new water lines on the east end of town. Hinchliffe said the funding could replace 7,000 feet of new water line with new hydrants and valves. He said the project is easily phaseable and the biggest priority is getting a new line from Garden Street to Taggart.

City street lights are being replaced with LED lights.

The City has allowed residents to bring woody debris to the water treatment plant, which isn’t monitored closely during the week. Someone, possibly a tree contractor, dropped off four whole trees at the site. Hinchliffe said they suspect that it is an out-of-town contractor and the site is being heavily abused by those living outside the area as a free dump site. Yard waste will now only be accepted at the wastewater treatment plant on Mondays between 8:30-10:30 a.m.

The next City Council meeting is Wed., June 19 at 7 p.m. at the Lions Club building at the fairgrounds.


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