Arbor Day Celebrations April 24 and 29

TONASKET – In his first proclamation as mayor, Patrick Plumb announced during the Tuesday, April 13 Tonasket City Council meeting that the Arbor Day celebration will be on Saturday, April 24 at about 3:30 p.m.

“In 1872, J. Sterling Morton proposed to the Nebraska Board of Agriculture that a special day be set aside for the planting of trees and the holiday, called Arbor Day, was first observed with the planting of more than a million trees in Nebraska,” the proclamation states. “Arbor Day is now observed throughout the nation and the world and trees can reduce the erosion of our precious topsoil by wind and water, lower our heating and cooling costs, moderate the temperature, clean the air, produce oxygen and provide habitat for wildlife and trees are a renewable resource giving us paper, wood for our homes, fuel for our fires and countless other wood products and trees in our city increase property values, enhance the economic vitality of business areas and beautify our community and trees, wherever they are planted, are a source of joy and spiritual renewal.”

During the meeting, the city council also agreed to allow a skating tournament to take place at the B3 Skate Park on Saturday, May 22.

“For the last six years, I’ve been manager of the terrain park at Sitzmark and for four years we’ve had a Rail Jam,” Jason Vaughn said. “Kids have asked me if we can have a skating event. I’ve had people volunteer to sponsor and people volunteer to organize it. Parents just need to sign a waiver for liability and from what I’ve figured out there wouldn’t be any extra liability to the city. If there is any profit, it would go to the skate park.”

Vaughn said he was thinking the tournament would be from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. with an open skate from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for the kids to familiarize themselves with the park.

Later in the meeting, City Clerk Alice Attwood said she had contacted City Attorney Mick Howe and the county auditor regarding the use of the real estate excise tax for a feasibility study for the building of a new pool and was told the use is allowed. Attwood is trying to plan a meeting on Tuesday, April 27 at 5 p.m. for the two top contending companies for the study to come and present to the council, but one of them may not be able to come on that day, so the meeting might be rescheduled.

The council then discussed the possibility of bringing in kids from the juvenile detention center to paint over the graffiti around town.

“It appears to me there are a lot of kids who come into the program recognizing they’ve made a mistake and they want to prove they’re trying to make a change,” Howe told the council.

Plumb said he would like the graffiti to be painted over before Founder’s Day. Attwood said it would take a few weeks at least to organize, but it can be done.

During a discussion of the Washington State Department of Transportation repainting the lines of Whitcomb Avenue, the council discussed the fact that even though there is no right-turn lane from Fourth Street onto Whitcomb next to the old City Center Service station, people are still driving up along the right side of other drivers on Fourth Street and making illegal right turns there. Attwood said she would call Janine Ring from the DOT to discuss what the city can do to notify drivers of the fact that there isn’t a right-turn lane next to the service station.

Finally, the Council read a letter from Ali Spietz, the immediate past president of the Washington Municipal Clerks Association regarding recognition Attwood recently received.

“Alice Attwood, CMC, Clerk-Treasurer for the City of Tonasket, received an honorary award of the ‘President’s Award of Distinction’ from the Washington Municipal Clerks Association (WMCA) at the groups’ annual conference in Spokane Valley,” Spietz wrote. “Present Karen Kuznek-Reese (City of Sequim City Clerk) announced the award at the Association’s annual banquet on Thursday, March 19. She cited Ms. Attwood’s exceptional devotion to public service, her continuing contributions to WMCA and her dedication to the City of Tonasket and the profession of City Clerk during the presentation. Ms. Attwood was nominated by fellow clerk and longtime friend, Pam Kolacy, City Clerk for the City of Port Townsend who highlighted the significant contributions this individual has contributed toward her City and WMCA.”

The letter goes on to state that Attwood has worked with many mayors, councils and citizens since she began working for the City of Tonasket in the 1970s. She has also served on the WMCA Board and held every office in the organization, except for President Elect.

The next City Council meeting is on Tuesday, April 27 at 7 p.m. in City Hall.