Tonasket City Council to consider crematory

TONASKET – Discussion of the 2012 ad valorem tax and the continuation of the water and sewer project continued at the Tuesday, Oct. 25, Tonasket City Council meeting, but decision on future action was tabled on both issues. Meanwhile, Gary Bergh and Scott Miller of Bergh’s Funeral Service approached the council with plans to build a crematory and columbarium near the Tonasket Cemetery.

On the water and sewer system project, final approval of the project was tabled as there are not yet final numbers of the cost of the project. The council did approve payment to Varela and Associates for their updated water system plan update.

The board also discussed options for the 2012 ad valorem. The options were to leave the tax as it was, or to increase it by the statutory one percent.

“Last year was the first in memory that we didn’t raise it the one percent,” said councilwoman Jean Ramsey.

An increase would bring in about $1,158 of additional revenue and cost property owners an average of an additional $2 per year. With two board members absent, further discussion on the tax was tabled.

Bergh and Miller, during public comment, said that they had already begun the process of securing financing for the crematory, but that they wanted to see if land was available for the project and if the city even wanted one located there.

“We’d like to purchase property from the city next to the cemetery, but the question is if there is property available,” Bergh said. “Of course we would need to make sure to do things properly and comply with all the ‘hoops,’ and we don’t want to offend anyone. But really all we need from the city’s point of view is the property.”

“We really appreciate being approached about this,” said Tonasket Mayor Patrick Plumb. “I definitely think this is something worth looking into and investigating what our options are.”

Kari Alexander asked for an received approval for the use of the Founders Day Park for Winterfest on Friday, Dec. 2.

A budget workshop hearing was set for Wednesday, Nov. 2, at 6 p.m. The next regular Tonasket City Council meeting will be held Tuesday, Nov. 8, at 7 p.m. in the city council chambers at City Hall, located at 209 S. Whitcomb Ave.