Tonasket approves plans for Phase 1 of the Perfect Passage

Council’s unanimous vote allows project to go out to bid

TONASKET- The Tonasket City Council gave a unanimous vote to approve the current Perfect Passage Project Phase 1 Plans, as presented by Varela and Associates.

Kurt Holland, Varela and Associates Principal Engineer, joined Mayor Pro-tem Alisa Weddle and the council during their regular meeting to answer questions regarding the project, Tuesday, March 28.

“Kurt, correct me if I’m wrong. The purpose of these plans are to have our Phase 1 tied up in a bow, so if we happen to go out to bid, we are ready with the documents.,” said Weddle.

Holland said he doesn’t expect any significant changes to the documents.

Levine moved to approve the plans as submitted by Varela Engineering for Phase 1 of PPPt. Weddle seconded the motion.

After several minutes of discussion, Councilmember Jeff McMillan said he would vote in favor of accepting the plans, but reluctantly.

“I hope this goes smoothly. I hope it’s a good finished project and I hope the city prospers over it,” said McMillan.

Holland said the council is approving the ability to take the PPP Phase 1 out to bid.

“After the bids are opened, and there’s a responsible responsive low bidder, then there may or may not be a recommendation to award the contract,” said Holland.

Alexander said he has thought on it and prayed on the matter and is proud to be a part of the project.

The plans submitted by Varela Engineering for Phase 1 of the Perfect Passage Project, were unanimously approved by the council.

Also approved by the council, an agreement with the Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) for the 4th Street Multimodal Project in the amount of $395,277 authorizing the mayor pro-tem to sign all applicable documents.

City Clerk Alice Attwood said this is a grant already received by the council approving the contract, which enables the city to get moving on the project.

“It’s all funds from TIB,” said Attwood.

The council said the details of the project will be posted on line for the public to view.

McMillan reported to the council the update regarding the ongoing pursuit to replace City Hall’s front doors.

“I had a conversation with John Rosser, owner of Discount Glass and Construction, on Wednesday, in regards to the city doors. Randy Taylor looked at it and we came up with a possible scope of work,” said McMillan.

McMillan said he hopes to get an itemized quote by the end of the week.

“I just wanted to bring this forward so that people are thinking about it,” said McMillan.

According to Mayor Pro-tem Alisa Weddle, the Public Works Committee has considered how to honor the theme in the Master Plan moving forward with the Perfect Passage Project.

“In that Master Plan, it only talks about representing the Native American community that is here in Tonasket. We want to continue with that honor, but we also want to add in all of the other cultures in Tonasket to make sure that everybody is represented, not just one specific demographic,” said Weddle.

Multiple Avenues are being considered by the committee on how to represent and honor the community of Tonasket and its diversity.

“One is looking at what’s important within those cultures and trying to provide art and language that wraps around that culture,” said Weddle.

As the council moves forward with the plan, Weddle suggested they do so in the most appropriate, tactful, and respectful way.

“If we put anything in town that represents our theme, we have the blessings and permission to move forward with doing so,” said Weddle.

McMillan said he would hate to see the “quote-unQuote, founding fathers,” not represented in the process.

Weddle said they would be represented.

“If you look at those three distinct cultures, and three different areas, there are commonalities there. There are a lot of things that tie us together, that we can say represents what you’re talking about and who you’re talking about,” said Weddle.

Okanogan County Sheriff Paul Budrow attended the meeting last Tuesday to give his report to the council.

“This is my first council with you, looking forward to the rest of the next four years, hopefully eight, if Teagan likes me over there. Everything is going well, at least for us. We are moving forward, very well,” said Budrow.

As far as service for Tonasket, Budrow said Deputy Randy Taft will be moving out of Tonasket, and a new officer will be coming in to replace him.

“He wants to go farther out. He’s been here for a few years and wants to get a little more work under his belt,” said Budrow.

Budrow said the transition will happen soon.

“We’re working with the new prosecutor office, working with the new judge, and a couple judges have moved around. I’m learning how bureaucracy works. It’s very different from what I’m used to working,” said Budrow.

Councilwoman Teagan Levine asked Budrow how the jail booking restrictions have changed.

“We are still working off some COVID restrictions that are state mandated and federal mandates that I cannot, not, enforce,” said Budrow.

Budrow said all of the federal mandates are predicted to go away April 11.

“That will change a few things for the entry. Right now, only one person is allowed to enter the jail at a time, in the booking area,” said Budrow.

Budrow said as more officers are hired it will allow him to put “more bodies in.”

Right now, ” Budrow said, “there is a cap of 75 in the jail.”

“Hopefully when we go through prosecution, prosecutors, judges they can bounce people in and out, depending on what happens in their hearings,” said Budrow.

City Clerk Alice Attwood asked Budrow if he has plans for the future to start contracting out for other entities to use the jail.

“Not at this point,” said Budrow.

According to Budrow, Okanogan County Ordinance only allows for 74 people in the jail.

“Unless, I wave and say there is an emergency situation. What happened was, we have 198 beds, or 189 beds, whatever that number is. Well, back in the day that was like, ‘let’s do that because we can make money off of it.’ That was a great idea, which made money. The problem is the jail is not in the shape to take care of that many bodies,” said Budrow.

Budrow said Okanogan County Jail’s kitchen and laundry service were never upgraded and not made for more than 75 bodies.

Councilmember Mathew Alexander asked the Sheriff if there will be anyone available to clean up the highways.

“That is a hope. Once COVID is over, because that is what shut that down, we will work to get to that level,” said Budrow.

The council moved to excuse Councilwoman Patti Hill from the meeting. The motion was passed unanimously.

Holland pointed out that the Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) Engineer was in town this past week.

“He was doing road ratings for the state and working with city officials on the best means and methods on approving the residential streets of Tonasket,” said Holland.

Spring is in full swing in Tonasket. During the week of April 10-14, city crew members will be out and about doing their annual Spring Clean Up.

The council moved to approve an Airport Land Lease Agreement with Kristi Krieg for space #21 and authorized the mayor pro-tem to sign all applicable documents.

The mayor declared April 28, as Arbor Day. The council approved the declaration.

In other news, the purchase of three picnic tables in the amount of $2,426.57 was approved by the council. The tables will be paid from the City Hall/City Park Reserve Fund.

Accoring to Attwood, Timberline Construction has completed their work at the old building at the City Shop area.

“I would like to go ahead and pay this bill,” said Attwood.

The council approved paying Timberline Construction in the amount of $23,110.50.

The insurance payment to VIP Insurance was approved by the council, for Tonasket Municipal Airport, in the amount of $5,952 for the next three years.

The next council meeting will be held Tuesday, April 11, at 6:00 p.m.