Recently, Winlock has seen a lot of issues and they seem to be continuing. Issues like no permits for the waterline extension, a lawsuit by a Toledo Police officer, failing infrastructure, and now we have an incomplete Comprehensive Plan. Comprehensive plans are part of future planning for any municipality and recently the City of Winlock completed theirs, but did not complete it per the requirements of the State of Washington Revised Code of Washington (RCW) or the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) which gives the laws for the state. This plan affects not just the City of Winlock but includes those who live in the Urban Growth Area (UGA).
Per previous Planning Commission members, Mayor Bradshaw and former Community Development Planner Cris Dodd and current Community Development Planner Jenifer Slemp wrote the Comprehensive Plan, not the Planning Commission. The Mayor is a citizen and can only give input, he can not change the plan. The Community Development Planner, Jenifer Slemp is the facilitator and she can not change it either, but they have. Once again, Mayor Bradshaw and his staff have made the decisions and the Planning Commission went along with it, leaving the funding sources in sewer blank and no public funding for the parks, instead stating "grants and donations."
The City of Winlock has sent the incomplete Comprehensive Plan to Lewis County and Washington State Department of Commerce, prior to council approval. While this is not illegal, council should review and approve important information prior to review for approval by government agencies. They should check each element for errors and also look at the funding for the capital facilities portion of the plan. The City Council was given the Comprehensive Plan to review at the May 13, 2019 council meeting, but zero capital facilities funding were provided. Council is set to vote on the Comprehensive Plan on June 11, 2019 but they have not been given any financial numbers. If it's similar to the budget in 2018, the majority will vote without the numbers provided. Mayor Bradshaw threatened to close the city if his budget was not passed, even though council clearly stated they did not understand.
RCW 36.70A.70 states "at least a six-year plan that will finance such capital facilities within projected funding capacities and clearly identifies sources of public money for such purposes; and (e) a requirement to reassess the land use element if probable funding falls short of meeting existing needs and to ensure that the land use element, capital facilities plan element, and financing plan within the capital facilities plan element are coordinated and consistent. Park and recreation facilities shall be included in the capital facilities plan element." Basically, the funds must be available for all capital facilities to continue operating.
In the review for the park capital facilities funding, it states all projects are to be done by "Grants and Donations." The city's 2019 budget has sales tax revenue and other miscellaneous revenues in the amount of $19,400, yet in the 2019 Comprehensive Plan it states "Grants and Donation." The goal over the next 6 years for the parks for the City of Winlock per the public records request the Town Crier received is "Grants and Donations." Does this mean the city does not plan on supporting parks in the future?
There is also no mention of sewer sales to the Benaroya Industrial Park, but there is mention of water retail sales. This means, there is no benefit to the City of Winlock because it will not be going through the Winlock sewer system. The only benefit the City of Winlock will have is a percentage of the tax, which is split with the county and the majority going to the county. This is a county project, even though Mayor Bradshaw has stated several times it is his project. Lewis County Economic Development and Lewis County worked together to get the necessary funding for Mickelsen Parkway.
While the Industrial Park is part of the Winlock UGA, again it appears as though the City of Winlock staff does not understand numbers. In the portion of the Land Use element, it states there are 1370 acres in the UGA, yet according to the zoning, there are only 1356. An error in the Comprehensive Plan possibly, if council would have reviewed this first, the errors would not have gone out to other agencies.
Another element of the Comprehensive Plan is transportation. This portion should be a surprise to every citizen in the city, it states "The City does recognize the need for a public transportation system as well as for non-motorized transportation modes and will work with Lewis County and Twin Transit towards accomplishing that." This was just voted on in 2018 and failed, yet it is a goal of the city over the next 6 years?
The Community Development Planner Jenifer Slemp and Mayor Bradshaw did not follow the RCW's or WAC"s for the Comprehensive Plan. Key financial information was omitted from City Council members and Government agencies. They should have allowed the Winlock Planning Commission to do their jobs instead of taking over Comprehensive Plan. This is the time for the Planning Commission to stand up and say "Yes, we want it done right."