Tonasket receives transportation enhancement grant

TONASKET – The Tonasket City Council learned the city was recently chosen to receive $126,500 for the Whitcomb Avenue Pedestrian Upgrade project during their meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 14.

“On behalf of the North Central regional Transportation Planning Organization (NCRTPO), I am pleased to notify you that the City of Tonasket has been awarded Transportation Enhancements funds in the amount of $126,500 for the ‘Whitcomb Avenue (US97) Pedestrian Upgrade’ project,” a letter from Jeff Wilkens, executive director of the Wenatchee Valley Transportation Council, states. “The Board felt this was a very worthwhile project.”

The funds from this grant will be used to build Americans with Disabilities Act ramps at the sidewalk intersections along Whitcomb Ave. and to install crosswalk awareness lights for the crosswalks over Whitcomb Ave. from North Valley Hospital to Second Street.

“I talked to Kurt Danison, who is working on the prospectus which will need to be sent to the Department of Transportation for approval,” Alice Attwood, city clerk, said.

In other city news, the council is once again supporting a city-wide Clean-Up to be held on Saturday, Sept. 25 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Tonasket City Shop where the recycling bins are near Chief Tonasket Park. Items that will not be accepted are wet paint, oil, tires and hazardous materials. Also, no appliances accepted this year. Loreen Felstet and Green Okanogan will once again be doing an e-Waste collection along with glass and most other recyclable items. Felstet said in addition Green Okanogan will be doing a useful items exchange where items that are still useable, but are not being used, can be brought and exchanged for similar quality items. People do not need to bring a reusable item in order to take one.

Information from Attwood states that e-Waste “consists of televisions, computer monitors, computer towers, CRT’s, laptops, ink and toner cartridges, cell phones and iPods.”

Brush will be also be accepted during the clean-up but sod will not be. The city crew will not be picking up items from homes but elderly and disabled assistance is available if arrangements are made by calling (509) 486-2132.

Tonasket Police Chief Robert Burks said the Tonasket Municipal Airport will be closed from Thursday, Sept. 23 through Saturday, Sept. 25 due to the department’s hosting of an emergency vehicle training throughout the day on Friday, Sept. 24.

Finally, Attwood passed out fliers with official information about the Okanogan Wood Pellet Stove Project, which was “created to encourage homeowners and businesses to trade in old wood and oil stoves and replace them with new, high-efficiency wood pellet stoves,” the flier states.

“Buyers will be provided a voucher of $500 to swap out their old, uncertified wood or oil-burning stoves,” the flier continues. “The program, open to all Okanogan residents, will provide vouchers to buyers of high-energy wood pellet stoves if they change out their current wood stove or oil/propane burner. One voucher is available per family. The vouchers, worth $500, are redeemable at participating pellet-stove retailers if the buyer agrees to recycle their wood or oil stove or, if that is not possible due to impact on the house, disable their stove and provide acceptable confirmation that they live in Okanogan County.”

High-efficiency wood pellet stoves enjoy a tax credit of 30 percent off the purchase and installation costs, up to $1,500.

The next City Council meeting will be on Tuesday, Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. in city hall.