Olson and Rice finish terms on Tonasket City Council

TONASKET - Maria Moreno was sworn in as the new Tonasket City Council member Tuesday, Dec. 8. Moreno replaces Lois...

Moreno sworn in  as new member; 2016 budged adopted

New council member Maria Moreno sits between Scott Olson and Jill Vugteveen after being sworn in December 8. Moreno replaces Lois Rice. This was also Scott Olson’s last meeting serving as a council member. Katie Teachout/staff photos
New council member Maria Moreno sits between Scott Olson and Jill Vugteveen after being sworn in December 8. Moreno replaces Lois Rice. This was also Scott Olson’s last meeting serving as a council member. Katie Teachout/staff photos

TONASKET – Maria Moreno was sworn in as the new Tonasket City Council member Tuesday, Dec. 8. Moreno replaces Lois Rice, who was appointed to fill the vacant council seat when Jean Ramsey resigned in June, 2014. Rice chose not to run for an additional term.

Along with her regular City Council responsibilities, Rice was appointed by Mayor Patrick Plumb to serve on the 2015 street/Water/Sewer/Cemetery/Airport committee with fellow council member Claire Jeffko; and the Personnel committee with Dennis Brown.

Moreno, who ran unopposed for the council seat, takes over the appointed seat immediately. Jensen Sackman, who ran unopposed for Scott Olson’s council seat, will take over his position at the end of the year.

Olson, who has been on the city council for six years, also chose not to run for another term. This was his last meeting serving on the council.

“The people of the city are really doing a good job and I appreciate them,” said Olson as he passed out gifts of flowers, coffee and hot chocolate coupons to city staff and fellow council members. “It has been an honor to serve with each of you.”

Giving Plumb a gift certificate to the Tonasket Natural Foods Co-op, he told the mayor, “I am impressed with how you have changed and grown in this position, and the city is lucky to have you.”

Olson was appointed by Plumb to serve on the 2015 Finance/Capital Improvements committee with Jill Vugteveen, and the Park/Pool/Housing/Youth Center/Recreation committee with Jeffko.

The Council voted to approve the City of Tonasket 2016 Budget, with total Law Enforcement expenditures of $456,639 and total Fire Control expenditures of $36,000. Total Park Expenditures were approved at $29,600 and Total Building Inspector/Administrator at $18,600. Total Airport expenditures were budgeted at $10,940 and total Library expenditures at $8,600. Total Youth Center Expenditures are expected to be at $5,600 and total Health expenditures (mosquito control, professional service and dog pound improvements) at $2,000.

All city staff employees received a flat increase of $32.23 per month when an increase of 1 percent to each of the current employee hourly rates times 2080 hours was divided equally between eleven employees.

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After Maria Moreno took her office on Tuesday, Dec. 22, she signed it as witnessed by City Clerk Alice Attwood.

City Hall requests for the budget included a new phone system for city hall and new front doors for city hall. Public Works requests included two chlorine and two poly metering pumps at $1500, cleaning of water reservoirs at $4500, wastewater and treatment plant UV lights at $3500, a new mower for the park and cemetery at $14,000. The police department requested a new car at $10,000, with $5,000 allotted in the budget.

The council also approved an ordinance transferring $60,000 from the Water Reserve Fund to the Water Fund. This increases the Water Fund Revenues and Expenditures from $431,190 to $491,190; and decreases Water Reserve Revenues and Expenditures from $67,650 to $7,650.

Total revenues and expenditures are both at $2,941,516.25 for the 2016 budget.

All charges for city fees remained the same, except for sewer rates increasing by two percent and water rates increasing by 10 percent.

Disbursement of hotel/motel funds was $650 for the Tonasket Airport Improvement fund, $1,900 for the Tonasket Rodeo Club, $600 for the CCC and Garlic Festival, $600 for the North Country Car Club, $600 for the Tonasket Chamber of Commerce, $5,600 for the Tonasket Visitor and Business Resource Center (TVBRC), $650 for promotion of Tonasket at the Northwest Aviation conference and $100 for Okanogan County Tourism.

Other City Council business included approving the sole bid for janitorial services submitted by Kelly Emory. The contract is for cleaning the Tonasket City Hall/Tonasket Library complex, the TVBR and the Youth Center at $25 per hour, or $686 per month.

Mayor Plumb announced that Tonasket Chamber of Commerce President Julie Alley is ready to step down from her position.

“If anyone is interested in being involved in the chamber, now is the time to step up,” said Plumb.

The annual Chamber Banquet is being planned for Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016.

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