Trees removed from DeVaney park

Four trees have been removed from Royal DeVaney Park, by the swimming pool. The trees were said to be diseased. (Empire Press photo/Karen Larsen)

 

By Karen Larsen
Empire Press Correspondent

Four pine trees have been removed from Royal DeVaney Park next to the swimming pool. Mayor Royal DeVaney said the trees were diseased and presented a hazard to the public. Another tree located at 103 W. Locust St. was also removed as it was encroaching on the downtown sidewalk.

DeVaney announced the removal of the trees at the June 3 Waterville Town Council meeting.

In other matters, the council, DeVaney and town attorney Steve Smith discussed the building moratorium with Anderson Perry project engineer Jake Hollopeter. The moratorium is to expire at the end of June. It was agreed that the town sewer system is operating at capacity and that it is necessary to extend the moratorium for another six-month period. Hollopeter will provide the town with documentation in support of extending the moratorium.

In a related matter, funding for upcoming sewer improvements was discussed. Hollopeter said that it does not look like the town can qualify for a Community Development Block Grant. It was discussed at the May 20 meeting that the town was eligible for the funds. Hollopeter said that the affordability index for the grant would require monthly sewer rates of at least $73, whereas current rates are at $45.

Hollopeter recommended applying for funds from the Public Works Trust Fund and from the Department of Ecology. The firm will go forward with submitting these applications for the town. The applications are due in July and in the fall, respectively.

Hollopeter suggested that the town consider replacing any manholes along Walnut Street that need to be repaired while the Walnut Street Project is underway. This could be done by the contractor, Selland Construction, while the pavement is open. It would be added as a change order and funded by the town. Council members agreed that this was a good idea.

The council reviewed the six-year street plan for 2020 through 2025. Priority streets are Chelan Avenue from Poplar Street to Third Street (2021), Harrison Street from Birch Street to Beech Street (2022), Rainier Street from Willow Street to Elm Street (2023), Adams Street from Poplar Street to Third Street (2024), Third Street from Chelan Avenue to Columbia Avenue (2024) and Third Street from Columbia Avenue to Jackson Street (2025). A public hearing to finalize and adopt the plan was set for the June 17 meeting.

Kurt Danison, planner from Highland Associates, was present at the meeting to introduce recent work of the Planning and Zoning Commission which has been updating the comprehensive plan as required by the Growth Management Act. Danison stated the town’s comprehensive plan maps would be the aspect of the plan in which the majority of the revisions are proposed.

The Planning and Zoning Commission held a public hearing June 5 to finalize the zoning amendments. The council took part in a workshop on the amendments on June 10. The updates and amendments will be presented at the June 17 council meeting for approval following a public hearing.

Deputy Clerk/Treasurer Erica Stoddard presented the council with recommendations that winter water overages for James Hatch ($320) and Mario Capi ($225) be forgiven. Hatch and Capi experienced leaks during the winter months when the meters are not read. They took quick action to repair their water lines once they were detected. The council voted unanimously to forgive the charges and credit the respective accounts.

A livestock permit for four hens was approved for Autumn Gregor.

Joyce Huber, Town of Waterville Representative to the Link Transit Board, reported that the grand opening and ribbon-cutting for the Leavenworth Park-n-Ride will be held from 11:30 a.m. to noon on June 28.

Huber reminded the council that a ballot measure for a sales tax increase of 0.2 percent to fund expanded Link services will appear on the August ballot.

Smith recommended that the council consider approving a resolution supporting a 0.1 percent sales tax to fund RiverCom services. The tax measure will also be on the August ballot.

Town hall will be closed on July 4 in observance of Independence Day.

Waterville Days will be held July 12-13. Information on the event and entry forms can be obtained at historicwatervillewa.org or by emailing watervillemainstreet@gmail.com.

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