Last night's meeting started off with a few council committee reports.
Councilman Bob Francis reported that the Parks committee is dealing with citywide signage issues for residents and visitors. They will be making signs more uniform looking and will make sure that directions posted on the signs are accurate and easily understood.
Councilman Elmer Larson reported that the Residential Advisory Committee will be meeting next Wednesday, October 21st at the Fire Hall at 7pm.
Mayor Rob Eaton reported that, weather conditions permitting, he will be heading to Seattle after the City Council meeting for the Fall Mayor's Summit. Mayor Eaton also gave an Amtrak update. The Leavenworth Icicle Station will be featured in an Amtrak publication, nationwide. In September, the Icicle Station saw 95 riders between its opening on September 25th and September 30th. The train has been averaging 6-7 riders per night from Seattle. With these great numbers, Icicle Station should hit its projected ridership of 4,000 riders per year, in its first year.
Chris Rudolph, the Marketing and Public Relations Director for Stevens Pass, spoke to the council providing a resort update. Stevens Pass is moving its business mailing address to a Leavenworth PO Box, from its current Skykomish mailing address. This is another way that Stevens is showing it is invested in building its Leavenworth business. Rudolph reported that the Teton Gravity Research (TGR) movie, with Leavenworth and Stevens Pass specific segments, has been very successful over the past few months. It opened with a world premiere in Jackson Hole, Wyoming in September, and has since been traveling nationally and internationally, receiving rave reviews. The TGR movie will be shown locally in the Festhall for our community in November. Rudolph also reported on Stevens Pass's cooperative work with the City and Icicle Station. Stevens Pass will be contracting with local lodging businesses for transportation from the train station to local Hotels as well as up to the ski resort. The Washington State Department of Transportation pedestrian overpass project has broken ground at the summit of Stevens Pass. The utilities are currently being worked on and the overpass completion should coincide with the opening of the Stevens Pass Bike Park in the Summer of 2010. The projected opening of the Bike Park is early July 2010. The park will open with one chair to serve 2 trails, with the hope of a total of 5 trails open by the end of the summer.
Anthony Antone, of the Washington Restaurant Association, awarded the Restaurant Neighborhood Award to Munchen Haus owners Pam and Oliver Brulotte for their amazing contributions to our local community. They recently raised over $5,000 for the local assisted living facility, Mountain Meadows. Included with their award was a check for $500 to be donated to a charity of their choice. Pam and Oliver will be donating it to Mountain Meadows. In addition to raising money for Mountain Meadows, the Munchen Haus is regularly involved in contributing their time and business, through sponsored events, to the community. With the reception of this award, Munchen Haus will be the Washington nominee for the National Restaurant Neighborhood Award. Mayor Eaton personally thanked Pam and Oliver for opening up their business to the community. Congratulations Brulottes and the Munchen Haus!
Dave Torgler, our City Administrator, announced that there will be a public hearing on October 27th to discuss the city budget. Torgler is still working with Waste Management on a city agreement that would allow residential recycling, and an individual basis. The agreement is not yet ready for the City Council's review and approval.
Dave Schettler, our Public Works Director, announced that Phase 1 of the Icicle train station is nearing completion. Work should be complete mid-November. They are finishing up with the two shelters, fencing, and signage. The ice melt system within the concrete platform was on last night during our first snow!
Connie Krueger, our Community Development Director, announced that the Chumstick multi-use trail project is moving forward and that the City of Leavenworth's Downtown Master Plan came in 1st place in the state with the American Planning Association. Krueger also let the public know that city has recently integrated the City Council and the City's Planning Commission. For those unfamiliar with the duties of the Planning Commission, the Planning Commission is responsible for long range planning and legislative policy recommendations to the City Council. Members are appointed by the Mayor, and volunteer their time. In 2009, the Planning Commission has been working to complete the Transportation and Upper Valley Regional Trails Plans. They have also been working on a variety of updates to the Comprehensive Plan, as well as the Critical Areas, Parks, Shoreline, and Utility Standards Plans.
The City Council passed Resolution 10-2009 to purchase the Bavarian Beer Wagon. The money to do so will be LAP (lodging tax) funds.
Dave Torgler announced an inter-local agreement he is working on between the City of Leavenworth and the City of Tacoma. This agreement would allow Leavenworth to piggy back on Tacoma purchases, like the needed new garbage truck. Leavenworth, on its own, would most likely have to spend about $300,000 on a new garbage truck, but with the help of this agreement and the ability to purchase with Tacoma, Leavenworth will most likely save about $70,000 on the purchase. This is due to the fact that Tacoma purchases items in such large quantities.
Leavenworth local, Bob Kelly, came before the City Council and personally thanked them for the purchase of the Beer Wagon. He helped build it many years ago and is happy to know that it will remain in Leavenworth.