Pool park to be named after Royal DeVaney

By Karen Larsen
Empire Press Correspondent

Waterville Mayor Royal DeVaney (Empire Press photo/Karen Larsen)

Under protest from the mayor, Waterville Town Council members at their regular meeting May 20 voted unanimously in favor of a proposal to name the park next to the pool as ?Royal DeVaney Park.?

DeVaney, 88, began serving as mayor in 1991. He did not file for re-election this year.

Clerk/treasurer Marsha Peterson said a dedication for the newly named park will be held in the swimming pool office area on Sept. 4. During the next few meetings, the council will decide between two proposed signs to be placed at the park. The signs, to be created by Kimberly Gormley, both have the same image of evergreen trees and the words ?Royal DeVaney Park.? One sign is 48 inches tall and the other 36 inches tall.

In other matters, Lisa Parks, executive director of the Port of Douglas County, and Jim Kuntz, executive director of the Port of Chelan County, along with Port of Douglas County District 2 Commissioner Alan Loebsack were at the meeting to discuss the difficulties that the two port districts have been having in keeping Pangborn Memorial Airport financially viable. Parks said the cost of maintaining the airport is about $500,000 a year, which is funded jointly by the port districts.

An artist drawing of the proposed sign for Royal DeVaney Park. The Town Council voted May 20 to name the park located next to the Waterville Pool in honor of the town’s longtime mayor. A dedication ceremony is scheduled for Sept. 4. (Provided image)

Parks said that a task force, made up of elected officials and citizens, assembled this spring to look into possible solutions to the problem. The recommendation of the task force was for the two port districts and the airport operations to consolidate to save money.

After looking into this option in detail it was found that over $500,000 a year would be saved if the three entities joined operations. Parks said that she would plan to step down, and Kuntz would take over as director. In order to ensure the interests of both counties are protected, the six-member board consisting of three commissioners from each county would govern the combined district. Any vote would need to be approved by at least two commissioners from each of the original port districts.

Kuntz said that if the districts are consolidated, he will focus on getting resources out to rural communities.

A joint public hearing on the proposal was held by the port districts on May 29.

An interlocal agreement between the two port districts will be developed and the six port commissioners will vote on the agreement. If the agreement is passed, it will take effect Jan. 1.

The council discussed the engineering firm Anderson Perry?s report about the current sewer system and its need to be upgraded based on recent video footage. The report gives a figure of $1,457,000 as the cost for replacing 11 sewer main segments in the town, which is the first step the town plans to undergo in order to upgrade the system.

Council members discussed that they are still missing information on how many new connections the current sewer lagoons could handle. This will be important in deciding whether or not the council should renew the current building moratorium which will be ending June 30.

The council voted four to one to hire Anderson Perry & Associates as a consultant to write a Community Development Block Grant for the town?s sewer improvement project. Michael Davies had the dissenting vote.

Grant money is available from the state Department of Commerce for systems that benefit entities with a high number of low to moderate income residents. Anderson Perry completed calculations and found that Waterville would be eligible to apply for a grant. The cost the town will pay to have the grant written is estimated at $5,000.

The council voted to set a hearing for 6:30 p.m. June 3 regarding the 2020-2025 Six-Year Street Plan.

They also set a public hearing for the same day to look at proposed amendments to the town code. The amendments have been proposed by the town?s Planning and Zoning Commission.

The council voted to forgive winter water overages in the amount of $476 for Rafel Castillo at 309 S. Central Ave. The extra water consumption was incurred from an underground leak that occurred during the winter months when town staff does not read meters.

Undersheriff Tyler Caille presented the most recent quarterly report for sheriff?s office activity in town. Activity had been about normal, according to Caille. He said that Sgt. Paul Downs has announced he will be retiring June 30. Downs has been with the sheriff?s office for over 30 years. The office will be conducting interviews for promotion of a deputy to sergeant, and will be hiring a new deputy. In addition, two new deputies have recently been hired to serve in the north detachment and the East Wenatchee detachment. They will soon begin law enforcement academy in Spokane.

The sheriff?s office held a ?Bike to School? event May 8 at Waterville School. They gave out bike helmets and locks and educated children on bicycle safety.

Caille said that the office is also planning to hold a safe biking event as part of Waterville Days.

The next council meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. June 3.