Tonasket gets $24,000 planning grant for water-sewer project

TONASKET – The Tonasket City Council announced during their regular meeting on Tuesday, May 10 they had received a $24,000 Community Development Block Grant planning-only grant from the Department of Commerce for their water/sewer project.

The grant award letter, sent by Karen Larken, assistant director of Local Government and Infrastructure Division, states that the funds will be used to update the city’s water system plan.

During this same meeting, the council approved Resolution 2011-03 “A Resolution approving the application for Department of Transportation Division of Aeronautics funds to repair the Tonasket Municipal Airport Runway and a portion of the taxiway.”

City Clerk Alice Attwood said this resolution would be used as part of the process to apply for funds to repair the runway and taxiway at the airport.

“The City Council approves the application for Aviation funds to be used for the repair of the airport runway and taxi-way according to the City’s adopted Airport Layout Plan,” the resolution states. “The City Council is aware there will be a local match of five percent of the total project in the amount of $7,515.42, that the city will be responsible to contribute toward the payment of the project.”

After hearing multiple concerns from several city residents during public comment, ranging from problems with neighbors’ dogs to issues with the sewer hookup policy, the council scheduled a special workshop to occur before their next meeting to discuss these issues more at length. The workshop will be from 5:45 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. on Tuesday, May 24.

Attwood informed City Council Members Julianna Griffin, Scott Olson, Selena Hines and Jill Vugteveen that their seats are up this year and to run for their seats on the council, they must file between June 6 and June 10. Attwood said anyone who has lived within city limits for at least one year and is a registered voter can file to run for the open positions. She said there is more information available from the Okanogan County Auditor’s Office.

During his department head report to the council, Police Chief Robert Burks said he would like to push for passage of an ATV ordinance like Okanogan has. He said the ordinance would allow for ATVs to be driven within city limits, although they would be under the same rules and laws as motorcycles.

Leroy Orr from the Tonasket Airport Improvement Club announced that Big World of Flight will again be in town this year on Wednesday, May 25 to teach middle school students about airports, flight plans, airplanes and other pilot information. Orr also said he handed out 11 boxes worth of apples, 360 jars of applesauce and 300 apple slices at the Aviation Conference and Tradeshow, where he said the Tonasket booth has a great response.

Finally, Hines announced that a mock school shooting has been scheduled to take place at Tonasket High School on Saturday, June 18. She said the event is meant to help train all emergency personnel on the proper procedure to be followed in the event of an actual school shooting. Hines said community involvement is greatly appreciated and encouraged as the more people are involved, the more life-like the situation will be for the emergency personnel. Invited emergency personnel include police, firefighters, EMS and hospital workers.

The next city council meeting will be on Tuesday, May 24 at 7 p.m. in council chambers at city hall, located at 209 S. Whitcomb Ave.