Waterville Town Council | Sheriff Morris gets ready for first elected term

By Karen Larsen
Empire Press Correspondent

Mayor Pro Tem Chuck Driver presided over the last Waterville Town Council meeting of the year on Dec. 17. Mayor Royal DeVaney had fallen on the ice that morning and had broken his arm.

Douglas County Sheriff Kevin Morris was present at the meeting and gave a report of recent law enforcement activity. He has appointed Sgt. Tyler Caille to serve as the undersheriff beginning Jan. 1. Morris, who served as undersheriff before accepting the appointment as interim sheriff this summer, said that he has been executing the duties of both sheriff and undersheriff since that time.

Morris has spoken with the individuals who serve in the three other appointed positions in the sheriff’s office and they have agreed to remain in their positions. They include Kelly Soltwisch as chief civil deputy, Steve Groseclose as chief criminal deputy and Tiffany Augustson as administrative assistant.

Morris said that the sheriff’s office had requested a few increases in the budget. Three corporal positions were added, which are not new positions but represent advancement opportunities for current employees and will help to lighten the supervision duties of the sergeants. This request was granted. The office also requested and was approved for an emergency management position. A request for another full time deputy was denied.

Morris said that the sheriff’s office currently has two open deputy positions in the north end of the county.

In other matters, the council unanimously voted to extend the current building moratorium for six more months.

In recommending approval of the extension, town attorney Steve Smith told the council members that results of the recent video recording of the sewer system have not yet been analyzed and a solution for the limitations of the sewer and water systems has not yet been determined.

The moratorium allows for the issue of five new building permits, three of which have already been issued.

A public hearing regarding vacating a portion of West Poplar Street will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 7. A resident is requesting the vacation because a carport has been built at the location that does not meet current setback requirements.

Due to the lack of a quorum, the Planning and Zoning Commission was not able to hold its scheduled Dec. 10 meeting regarding amendments to the town’s zoning system, the comprehensive plan and maps. The meeting will be rescheduled for a future date.

Jill Thompson, who serves on the Chelan-Douglas Health District Board, said that there are currently cases of influenza in the community. She advised people to get flu shots if they have not done so already and to follow standard hygiene guidelines.

Town Utility Superintendent Marty Ramin has received two bids for the new sewer jetter the town plans to purchase. At the Dec. 3 meeting, the council authorized the town to spend up to $40,000 on the jetter. Ramin is considering the bids he has received.

Town hall was closed on Dec. 25 in observance of Christmas and will be closed on Jan. 1 in observance of New Year’s Day.

Waterville Shocker Booster Club calendars are currently ready for pickup at town hall.

The next council meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Jan. 7.