The Winlock City Council began its normal city council meetings with a public hearing regarding a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to replace 113 galvanized steel lines within the public right-of-way. The proposed project improves existing infrastructure, water quality, and lessens financial impact to low and moderate income residents. It will also reduce water loss and reduce increasing maintenance due to leaks. The project will mainly focus on the First Street lines. Cheri Mitchell of the Winlock Improvement Network then asked if the grant had already been awarded, and was answered with a no, but the city council is pursuing it and is close to receiving it. The council will also be applying for grants to fix the streets needed to be dug into to fix the lines. The public hearing then ended and led into the regular city council meeting.
Opening the city council meeting with council comments was Councilwoman Holly Orbino. She asked who would be responsible for taking the shoes off of the power lines by the skate park. Councilman Jerry Rader jokingly said, "I am about this close to shooting them down." After some laughter from the council and audience, the mayor added he would see about the PUD taking them down since they were on power lines.
The law enforcement report from Chief John Brockmueller was short and sweet. He said there were 29 calls to service throughout the week and operations were running smoothly. When asked from the council whether BNSF had been contacted about slowing down during the Egg Day Parade, he said the department will soon be contacting them regarding this matter.
Nanette Craft, an employee at the Winlock Miller Elementary School, came up to the microphone to speak about the bike rodeo at the school which took place on Friday, May 27th. She had asked for road closures in front of the elementary school, from the King Road stop sign, through Benton, and to the Washington Street stop sign. Mayor Dowell said cones could be used to barricade these parts from 11:30 to 1:00 as long as a faculty member was on each side of the cones. Rodney Cecil, the water sewer superintendent, spoke about the pumps. The pumps are working at maximum ability and as high as they should, but in a couple years, the pumps will have to be upgraded. The pumps will burn out trying to accommodate everyone's needs since it is working at maximum ability all of the time. Bigger pumps will be needed in the future. Cecil then went on to talk about a mentorship program he is close to starting. He is working with the city attorney on this.
Representatives of the Evergreen Rural Water company spoke next about their company and also awards they present. Each year, they give out an award for Wastewater Operator of the Year, and this year Winlock's Rodney Cecil was given this honor. Ross Read, a representative of the company, said, "Operators are the frontline defense... having somebody taking ownership like this is invaluable. Congratulations."
Next on the agenda was discussing the alarm system program. Commissioner Randy Pennington spoke about this. The program was created because many false alarms at businesses were going off. These alarms may be placed too close to cooking stations, or other reasons for the alarms going off. Legally, since the alarms are picking up smoke, these count as valid alarms and the fire department must report. Many times though the alarms go off during the middle of the night and the firemen have to report to this alarm. He was speaking about one business in particular, which he did not name. He called for a resolution to be made for businesses to either make sure their fire alarms are a safe distance from any cooking stoves, or after three false alarms within a 30 day period, the business will be fined about $1800, which is the fee for moving equipment and men for the minimum pay time of two hours for a response. The council tabled this e=item for later discussion and for the city attorney to do research on.
The city council also discussed a new ordinance for rules and regulations at Winolequa Park. The ordinance is being discussed and will continue to be for the next few meetings.
The council then went into an executive session with the city attorney.
The council then adjourned after the executive session, with the meeting running approximately two hours.