Council receives recommendation to extend building moratorium

By Karen Larsen
Empire Press Correspondent

The Waterville Town Council heard a recommendation for extending the town’s current building moratorium for six more months at its Dec. 3 regular meeting. Mayor Royal DeVaney presented the council with a preliminary report from Anderson Perry regarding data collected when the town’s sewer system was video recorded in September.

DeVaney told the council that though the analysis of the data is not yet complete, engineers believe that it would be prudent to keep a control on new building until the spring when the system can be inspected visually under the usual wet conditions of that time of year. Once that data has been collected, Anderson Perry will move forward with a design for sewer system improvements.

The building moratorium allows for five new building permits to be issued and three have been issued so far.

A draft ordinance to extend the current moratorium will be presented at the Dec. 17 council meeting.

In other matters, a public hearing was held regarding proposed amendments to the 2018 budget.

Amendments totaled $116,815 and included $40,000 in Transportation Improvement Board grant money for LED street lights, $40,000 in grant money for the Walnut Street reconstruction project, $1,915 used for the park/pool fund, $30,000 from a use and sales tax distribution for Douglas County that was used for video recording portions of the sewer system and $4,900 in utility deposits that were refunded to customers after showing one year of paying utility bills on time. The council unanimously approved the amendments.

The council voted unanimously to authorize the town to spend up to $40,000 for a new sewer jetter. The sewer jetter currently in use has multiple repair needs and does not put out enough pressure to deal with sewer issues.

A public hearing was set for 6:30 p.m. Jan. 7 to hear comment regarding a petition that the town has received to vacate a portion of west Poplar Street. A resident is requesting the vacation because of a carport that has been built and does not meet setback requirements.

The council endorsed a grant application for $5,000 to the Waterville Community Fund to purchase a variable frequency drive (VFD) motor controller for the swimming pool pump. The VFD will enable the pump to operate at a lower capacity in order to save electricity and wear and tear on the pump at times when there are few or no swimmers in the pool.

Karen Francis-McWhite, who is the executive director of the North Central Washington Economic Development District (NCWEDD), gave a presentation outlining the mission, goals and current and past projects of the district. The federally designated economic development district is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit serving Okanogan, Douglas and Chelan counties, as well as the Colville Confederated Tribes. The Town of Waterville is a member of the NCWEDD, and DeVaney serves as the town representative. The district meets at Chelan City Hall the second Wednesday of each month.

Councilwoman Joyce Huber, who serves as the town’s Link Board representative, submitted a written report of the most recent board meeting. The report showed that the 2019 operating and capital budget was approved, a contract with Ogden Murphy Wallace, PLLC, for legal counsel was renewed, a property lease with Long Trucking was renewed and a new tire contract was awarded. It was noted that ridership was up for the month but down year-to-date for the fixed routes.

Waterville Shocker Booster Club birthday calendars for 2019 are available for pickup at town hall.

Town hall will be closed on Dec. 25 for the Christmas holiday and on Jan. 1 for the New Year’s holiday.

The next council meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Dec. 17.