Tonasket council discusses need for new city planner

TONASKET – Business from the last Tonasket City Council meeting, including the need for a planner, carried over into last Tuesday’s meeting.

The Sept. 9 meeting started with discussion about the need for a city planner that was discussed at the Aug. 26 meeting. Councilwoman Joyce Fancher told the council she was waiting to hear from Chris Branch, who Tonasket shared with Oroville, until he was hired on a full town basis by Tonasket’s neighbor to the north. Councilwoman Jill Vugteveen said she had talked to Craig Nelson and asked him to get in contact with her within the next two weeks with a date for a meeting that will work with both of their schedules. She stated that she hadn’t heard from Branch either.

Councilwoman Connie Maden stated during her report that she and Councilwoman Jean Ramsey had met with building official Christian Johnson about the library expansion that was brought to the council at the Aug. 26 meeting and that he is now drawing plans for it. Maden also said she had contacted MedStar about the airport infrastructure and that MedStar wants to possibly place one of their helicopters at the Tonasket airport.

The council then discussed the 2009 budget dates. The budget meetings will be on Tuesdays before the city council meetings except for one at 5 p.m. on Oct. 4. The council also moved their budget and city council meetings schedule for Nov. 11 to Nov. 4 due to the Veteran’s Day holiday.

Next on the agenda was the approval of the new Transportation Improvement Board cost estimate for the Locust Ave. project for $2,500. Bill Pilkilton said when the budget first came in it was too high for a two inch overlay. Mayor Patrick Walter said the council should approve the new budget as long as it doesn’t cost the city any extra money and the council and voted to approve it.

The approval of pay request #1 to William Emfinger for the Salmon Viewing Platform project was discussed next. Mayor Walter said it would take Emfinger $10,231 to get started. The council decided to approve the pay request after striking the statement “clean up demobilization” from it. Ramsey said that Emfinger will just have to write another pay request for the demobilization at the end of the project.

“I just want to make sure Emfinger doesn’t bill us twice for demobilization,” Fancher said.

Discussion then turned to Ramsey asking the council for approval of the Farmer’s Market being at Day Park on Oct. 11 during the Harvest Fest. She said the market would be there from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. plus one hour for shutting down. After the council approved her request, Ramsey informed the council that Steve Mattson, bookkeeper for the chamber of commerce, had asked her to inform the council that the chamber would be running an accounting class through the TVBRC starting on Sept. 26 at 6:30 p.m. and continuing for 10 weeks after that.

Police Chief Robert Burks gave his department head report beginning with informing the council of a new program called E-Trip. Burks said this program, provided by the state, will supply three free scanners, three free printers and free training for up to three officers. The software for the scanners and printers will be downloaded into the computers in the police cars. The program would scan license and registration information into the system and then the printer would print out the ticket.

Burks added that the program would also do accident and collision reports. He stated that the program came from the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs and since it is free for up to three officers “it’s perfect for a department like ours.”

Burks informed the council that his department had sent up an arrest warrant on Sept. 9 for the driver a car that was chasing another which resulted in a crash of both the pursuing and pursued cars on Whitcomb Ave on Aug. 30.

The final item in Burks’ report was that the police department had just been informed of an incident four or five years ago involving an adult and a crime against a child. He said that a nationwide arrest warrant with a $50,000 bail had been issued.

“Wherever he is, we’re going to find him and bring him back,” Burks said.

For final business, the council read a letter about Joseph Louis-Martinez who was hired through the Tribal Tanf Summer Youth Program to work for the city. Louis-Martinez worked 64 for the city but was only paid for 40 because he worked past the Colville Indian Reservation’s pay period. After reading a letter from Pilkilton praising Louiz Martinez’s work, the council voted to pay him for the 24 hours he hadn’t yet been paid for.

The next city council meeting is on Tuesday, Sept. 23 at 7 p.m.