The meeting started off with a report from our Sheriff's Department. Lieutenant Sissen reported on the three weekends of Oktoberfest. Many, including those promoting it, felt it was a huge success, but the Sheriff's Department is concerned that due to its size and the number of participants, it's not possible to adequately cover the fest and downtown. He feels that they do not have enough resources.
The Sheriff's deputies who worked the fest would like to debrief with Projekt Bayern so that they can offer suggestions for improvements. Mayor Eaton felt this would be a good idea and suggested that he and a council member attend this meeting. Sissen expressed that he believes that Oktoberfest caused a lot of bad behavior and incidents in town. Mayor Eaton clarified that people will make bad personal choices regardless of the event. Incidents are just more noticeable when the numbers of visitors increases.
It was announced that revenue expenditures are to remain flat for 2010. Property tax will be increased by 1%, and this revenue will be used exclusively toward road improvements in the city. Capitol improvements are to be paid for with grants. The budget will be available on the City's website on November 10th. The water/sewer bill will be increased by $2 for 2010.
Comprehensive Plan Amendments
The council meeting was also a public hearing, as it addressed amendments to the city's comprehensive plan. There were three items up for approval by the council: the Upper Valley Regional Trail Plan, the Downtown Master Plan, and a zone change requested by the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust. This zone change would change a parcel from residential to public. It is currently owned by the Land Trust and it is managed by Barn Beach Reserve, and will incorporate a community garden on the property. All three items were voted on and approved by the city council.
Elmer Larsen reported the the Residential Advisory Committee met last week and had a very successful meeting. They obtained a lot of great information from those in attendance in regards to residential street needs.
Peter DeVries gave the financial committee report. Sales tax revenue is down 13% this year. Lodging tax revenue is down 6.5%. The real estate excise tax obtained this time last year was $129,000, and so far this year we have obtained only $43,000. Peter said that the 2010 budget is tight, but is accurate.
The city has obtained a $10,000 grant for archiving. The tri-yearly audit is now complete after 3 1/2 weeks.
Rob disclosed that the NEPA process for re-establishing the Upper Icicle Road has started. The upper portion of Icicle Road has been closed for the past 2 years do to a large water blow out.
The Department of Interior is going to be doing some work at the Fish Hatchery. The Hatchery is proposing a large water project. There will be a public meeting to discuss the project on December 12th.
The draft agreement between the City of Leavenworth and Waste Management is complete. The draft is now with lawyers for a few minor changes. During this council meeting the council approved the agreement, pending the few legal, non-substantive changes needed. The motion passed unanimously! This is a huge success! A representative from Waste Management was at the meeting and announced that the goals is to allow Leavenworth residents to start calling for account setup and tote drop off on December 1st. December 7th would be the first day new totes would be dropped off, and the following week would be the first scheduled pickup in town. If your pickup day falls on a holiday, pickup would be the following day. Recycling is coming soon!
Additional news and actions
A public hearing will be held on November 24th for final budget approval. Any city residents interested are encouraged to attend.
The council discussed the 2010 Prosecution Services Agreement with Chelan County. Elmer said that he would like a quarterly report from the Prosecution Office for the services they are providing, to make sure that were are getting what we are paying for. David Torgler, our City Administrator, said that he would contact Gary Riesen, in the Prosecutor's Office to discuss this with him. The council added that they would like this type of reporting added to the agreement prior to their approval. The council tabled this item and will re-address it at the next council meeting.
The council approved all three Comprehensive Plan Amendments. There were no comments from the public on any of these items.
The Village Voices requested approval of a city purchase of risers at the Festhall. The risers would be paid for with lodging tax money. The City would own the risers and store them at the Festhall. A total of 5 risers with rolling racks would cost $7,270. The Village Voices already own and store three risers. The council approved this purchase for the city.
The Mayor reported a change order to KRCI for the Icicle Station project. This order is needed do to changes made during construction that were necessary, but different from the initial project plan. These changes include fencing, paving of the entrance and parking lot, pedestrian fencing for safety, and a shelter heater switch. The council approved this change order.
The Mayor announced that his salary change will expire at the end of the year and asked the council to review his job description, job duties, and salary, and render a decision by the end of November.
That's all there is to report for the close of October here in Leavenworth!