Tonasket City Council hears from city engineer

TONASKET – The Tonasket City Council heard from a representative of Varela and Associates regarding storm drainage and TIB funding for street improvements.

Mayor Patrick Plumb said a public workshop on storm drains was held. He felt that the problems, especially on Third Street, needed to be addressed.

“I think that’s a center jewel of town, with a large concentration of businesses,” Mayor Plumb said.

Kurt Holland, from Varela, said the city had basically three options: 1.) Do nothing, 2.) Evalute the specific problem or 3.) come up with a Comprehensive Stormwater Plan.

In a handout to the council Holland writes that under the “Do Nothing” scenario Varela’s engineers do not expect the stormwater problem to get worse at the intersection of Second and Whitcomb unless the downstream piping fails.

“Significant storm events would continue to flood the businesses on the uphill side of Whitcomb, as well as impact the life of the Second Street surface.”

The “Evaluate the Specific Problem” scenario involves running television cameras through the existing piping downstream of Second Street to determine if the limiting factor was something else other than the hydraulic capacity of the existing pipe such as deteriorating pipe, pipe offset, roots/debris or a combination of any of these possibilities. This option would cost around $3700, according to Holland.

The third option, Comprehensive Stormwater Plan, would require a full evaluation of the city’s existing system, including mapping of the existing storm conveyance and structures, identifying problem areas and evaluation possible solutions, recommendations and potential funding scenarios and scheduling. This option would run between $60,000 and $80,000.

“Option 3 is the full meal deal,” said Holland.

Holland said his firm was recommending Option 2 as the most cost effective method of trying to handle the city’s stormwater system without a lot of upfront engineering costs.

“I like the idea of getting onto this in the fall. Even though $3700 is a lot of money, it could be dollars well spent,” said Councilman Scott Olson.

Councilwoman Julianna Griffith made a motion to go with Option 2 as recommended by Varela and Associations pending finding the money in the budget. Olson seconded the motion and it was approved.

Holland also discussed state Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) funding for improvements to the city’s streets. He said there was a TIB application due at the end of the month and recommended the city apply for funding.

“Right now there is about 30,000 square yards that have been identified for chip seal, including East Second St., Western Ave., Railroad Ave., Division, First St., S. Tonasket and Johnathon. These have been prioritized by Bill (Public Works Superintendent Pilkington),” said Holland. “I reviewed the streets for bad sections for dig out and full depth replacement, etc.”

Holland recommended the city apply for funding for chip sealing of these streets. In addition he said that the city might be eligible for the Small City Sidewalk Program (SCSP).

“It would appear the city has a couple of good potential applications for Western Ave. between Second and Third and for Third St. on either side of the road.