The Ritzville Adams County Journal - Eastern Adams County's Only Independent Voice Since 1887

By Al Stover 

Ritzville City Council approves Varela’s design work proposal

 

February 15, 2018



The Ritzville City Council went approved the Dam Safety Office (DSO) engineering contract from Varela and Associates for $16,800 at their Feb. 6 meeting.

Council voted 6-1 to approve the contract with Council Member Mark Weigand being the dissenting vote. Weigand said he felt Varela’s cost for their proposal was too high for design work.

Varela and Associates proposed to complete the design work for the project consisting of deepening the channel on the northwest side of the city’s wastewater lagoon cells.

During the Dec. 19, 2017, meeting, Mayor Gary Cook informed council the Washington State Department of Ecology DSO found the drainage channel on along the northside of the city’s wastewater lagoons have insufficient hydraulic capacity to pass the 500-year storm event, and requested the city fix the issue.

Principal Engineer Dana Cowger said the firm is trying to focus on the survey and investigation of the channel while the city’s Public Works Department employees would compete the physical deepening of the channel.

Once the plan is complete and approved by Ecology, Cowger said the city would implement it into the project.

Cowger said he estimates the investigation would take an estimated 140 hours to complete and the company would need to add it into their schedule.

In other action items, council approved a resolution adopting an addendum to the personnel policy. The addendum focuses on changes to the job description of the clerk-treasurer, specifically adding a requirement of a Washington state driver’s license and two years of governmental work experience.

Cook said he wanted to have the clerk-treasurer job description updated before he advertised the opening for the position.

Council also voted 6-1 to increase the salary for the golf course manager’s contract from $4,100 a month to $4,300 a month for 2018, which was a 5 percent increase.

Prior to the vote, Cook said he met with the Finance Committee about the matter. The discussion began with a potential 10 percent increase to the golf course manager’s salary.

Council Members Scott Yaeger, Dede Rawlings and Mike Schrag said they were comfortable with providing a 5 percent increase.

Council also voted 6-0 to authorize Council Member Dennis Chamberlain to temporarily remove the 15-minute parking sign in front of his building, formerly Soup It Up, on Main Avenue until July 1.

Chamberlain, who abstained from voting on the motion, explained the parking sign was placed in front of the building before he purchased it.

He said there is a possibility he could use the sign in the future, but requested the authorization to remove it until he completes the remodel of the building.

After he opens his business in the building, Chamberlain said he wants to see if the sign is a necessity for him to have.

Yaeger said council would need to amend the city’s sign ordinance to permanently remove the sign. Cook said the council could motion to allow Chamberlain to temporarily remove the sign for a designated period of time.

In department reports, Police Chief Dave McCormick said 25-mile per hour signs were installed on Division Street near the City Park.

McCormick said the location of the signs may change when the city begins updating the wayfinding signage. He said council or Cook can also provide him or Public Works with directions to move the signs to a new location.

Deputy Clerk Michelle Asmussen read a letter from Dave and Bonnie Vandervert regarding their request to gift the city five residential lots on Columbia Street, behind the Birchwood Apartments.

Asmussen said the Vanderverts have owned the property since 1977 and there are no liens or other issues associated with the property. She noted the Vanderverts have no conditions for future development of the property.

Cook said he would send the letter to City Attorney John Kragt for review and discuss how the city would move forward with acquiring the land.

He also informed council about the update to the city’s travel policy for mileage reimbursement. Cook said the reimbursement rate increased 54.5 cents per mile, which is 1 cent more than in 2017. He added the new rate correlates with the Washington state standard, which went into effect on Jan. 1.

 

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