Pool reps appear before Tonasket Council

TONASKET – Norm Weddle and Karen Stangland of the Tonasket Swimming Pool Association appeared before the Tonasket City Council Tuesday, Nov. 24 to announce plans to begin building the pool this coming spring. Also attending were new Tonasket Parks and Recreation Board Members Jordan Weddle and Billie Attwood.

Norm Weddle had several questions for the mayor and council members regarding moving forward with plans for the pool. Weddle said so far, the only money raised to build the pool has been private funds, so the association is hoping to be able to hire their own contractor rather than go through the bid process as required with public funds.

Mayor Patrick Plumb advised not mixing private money with public money, as government involvement means meeting extra requirements.

It is still unknown if the city will take ownership of the city pool once it is rebuilt, or if it will remain Tonasket Parks and Recreation District Property.

Council member Scott Olsen suggested a three-person committee be established including Building Inspector Christian Johnson and Maintenance Supervisor Hugh Jensen to meet weekly with the pool association. Olsen also stressed the importance of getting everything in writing.

“Make sure you have it documented who is going to pay for what before a shovel full of dirt is turned over,” advised Olsen. “And I would encourage you not to feel offended when the city says ‘we don’t want to touch this;’ it’s about all the red tape as soon as we get involved.”

Plumb suggested the council would not be of as much help to the pool association as the city staff would be, and suggested the pool committee seek legal counsel as well as reach out to other communities who have experience running five-year levies that don’t always pass.

Council member Jill Vugteveen reminded pool association members present the Tonasket Parks and Recreation District had been established not just for the pool, but for any recreation needs the community wants to see addressed.

In council member and city staff reports, Olsen encouraged people to attend the Best Christmas Pageant Ever, to be held at the Tonasket Community Cultural Center December 10, 11 and 12 at 7 p.m. and December 12 and 13 at 3 p.m.

“There are a number of small kids involved and it is delightful. It is also a huge fundraiser for the CCC,” said Olsen.

Olsen also expressed his concern the council not handle the city pool project the same way as the Splash Park, saying it was ‘quite a learning curve.’

Council member Vugteveen agreed with Olsen and said the Splash Park turned into a much bigger project than what was originally presented, suggesting the city get things in writing rather than having a ‘fluid agreement.’

“At least along the lines of unforeseen issues, have some sort of clause in there as to how we move forward with unexpected issues,” advised Vugteveen.

Plumb said he would be meeting with the Utilities and Transportation Committee February 3 to discuss Chief Tonasket Park having only one way in and one way out without approval of the railroad crossing.

In new business, Plumb notified the council he would be meeting with the city lawyer to adjust some of the language regarding Title 9 of the Tonasket Municipal Code, Public Peace, Morals and Welfare.

“I would like to see us move forward on cleaning this up before it gets challenged in court,” said Plumb.

In other city business the council adopted ordinance #760 which repeals ordinance #759 adopted October 13, 2015.

The council also renewed the Interlocal Agreement Relating to Benefits, Training and Travel Costs Associated with Building Inspection/Permit Administration Services. This agreement is effective January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2018. It is an agreement between Oroville, Tonasket and Okanogan to share the costs of benefits, training and travel expenses of the Building Inspector and Permit Administrator.