Open seat available on Tonasket City Council

TONASKET – With the official resignation of Tonasket City Council Member Connie Maden at their regular meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 14, there is another seat on the council open for appointment.

“I’ve been looking for work and on the side I’ve started my own business,” Maden said. “I’m anticipating being very busy and don’t feel I could do my council work to the best of my ability.”

City Clerk Alice Attwood said applications for the open seat will be due on Tuesday, Jan. 11 by 7 p.m. and that the rest of the council and Mayor Patrick Plumb would interview the prospective applicants during that night’s meeting.

During the Dec. 14 meeting, the council came to an agreement with Fire District No. 4 regarding their contract for fire protection.

“The Fire District shall continue to assume the obligation of providing fire protection service within the jurisdictional limits of both parties to this agreement in the manner and to the extent required by law. Equipment and personnel will be used in such manner as to furnish uniform protection throughout the limits of the parties, as nearly as may be reasonably done,” the interlocal agreement states. “The City agrees to budget and pay to the Fire District for fire protection services pursuant to this Agreement an amount equal to City assessed valuation multiplied by .00065. The Fire District shall pay all costs and expenses incurred in operating, maintaining, repairing and insuring its Fire Hall and all firefighting equipment.”

Attwood said the city’s assessed valuation currently is $44,456,140 so they will be paying $28,896.49 for fire protection under this new agreement.

The Energy Efficiency Block Grant program, which provided vouchers for people to replace their wood-burning stoves with pellet stoves, was terminated during this same meeting.

“The council voted to terminate their contract with Atlas Pellets because the company is in receivership,” Attwood said. “Atlas Pellets committed a $100,000 match for the grant and there’s no guarantee whoever buys it will continue the program. Also, we were supposed to sell 50 pellet stoves by December and we’ve only sold 19. We decided it’s in the best interests to terminate the contract and Mick Howe is currently looking it over.”

Finally, Ordinance No. 689, an ordinance adopting and establishing enhanced penalties for drug-related violations, was approved by the council.

“Any person who violates RCW 69.50.401 and the violation occurs in a drug-free zone, which shall include the area in a school, on a school bus, within one thousand feet of a school bus route stop as designated by the school district, within one thousand feet of the perimeter of any school grounds, in any public park, on a public transit vehicle, or in any public transit shelter, may be punished by a fine of up to twice the fine otherwise authorized by this code or Chapter 69.50 RCW, or by both such fine and imprisonment. The provisions of this section shall not operate to more than double the fine or imprisonment otherwise authorized by Chapter 69.50 RCW for an offense,” Section 1 of Ordinance No. 689 states.

The ordinance creates specific drug-free zones within Tonasket City limits and within these zones, the penalty for possession, use or sale of drugs increases. Attwood said Tonasket Police Chief Robert Burks was given the task of creating a map of Tonasket with the drug-free zones clearly marked after this ordinance passed.

The City Council will be meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 4 at 7 p.m. for a special meeting to discuss annexation. Their next regular meeting will be on Jan. 11 at 7 p.m. in city hall.