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Harrington news

Civic groups meet with full agendas, plans for future projects, activities


March 16, 2017

Harrington Opera

House Society

The Society met Monday evening, March 6, for its monthly meeting in the Art Room of the opera house. Present were Billie and Gordon Herron, Bunny Haugan, Cade Clarke, Sheryl Stedman, Cherie MacClellan, Carol, Linda Wagner and Marge Womach. This year the secretary sent out 186 newsletters which have brought in donations and memberships. Last year, the newsletter rate of response was about 25 percent, which most groups consider to be a good return for the investment.

Carol reported from the building committee that the elevator will be inspected again March 10. Constant attention is being paid to the level of moisture upstairs. The thumb drive provided to the Society by architect Sue Lani Madsen has been duplicated. Two drives are at the opera house and one will remain with Carol. Concern was expressed that the water and the heat should be turned on by March 20 for a cleaning session prior to the first event of the season March 26.

Regarding grants, Wagner reported that the Farm Credit grant would not be acknowledged until May. Work continues on the US Bank grant. Items being sought include a computer, web cam and Internet installation with a three-year contract.

Piano lessons continue and a recital will be held May 21 at 4 p.m. in the opera house. The young students are anxious for warmer weather when the grand piano will be available for their lessons again. The public is invited to attend these recital. Each of these young, talented musicians will perform, and it would be rewarding for them to have a nice-sized audience hear them.

The schedule is filling in. On March 26, at 3 p.m. the Miss Harrington Pageant will be held with Alex Soliday, Evie Mann and Stormy Stiles vying for the honor. There will also be one rehearsal April 7 at 7 p.m. by Dr. Kevin Hekmatpanah with his cello performing classical numbers with Darin Manica on piano. This performance is free to all, and donations are appreciated. April 29 at 7 p.m. will be Heidi Muller and Bob Welch’s performance of original songs and traditional tunes, Appalachian folk style. This event is ticketed. On May 20, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. during the Cruizin’ Harrington event, the opera house will host the quilt show while the rummage sale will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Donations are already coming in for the sale.

Little is planned for the summer until August 25 when Bridges Home will return for a 7 p.m. performance. During the Fall Festival, the Needhams will return. The date has been set for the 25th Anniversary Event on October 15 at 3 p.m. with Dr. Jody Graves performing. The group seemed excited to learn that she was returning to perform here, and each made guesses as to whether it would be a solo presentation, media presentation or Broadway tunes. Wagner stated that there are a few other potentials for events but not with contracts or dates yet.

City Council

Harrington City Council met March 8 at 7:30 p.m. with all councilmen present (Schenk, Slack, Becker, Davenport and Cronrath) with Mayor Dillon Haas, clerk Bunny Haugan, Scott McGowan (maintenance supervisor) and visitors Brent Wilday, Cherie MacClellan, Marge Womach and Stephen Hardy. Haas and McGowan discussed the maintenance report issues, which included fixing three water leaks this past month, fixing the issue at the rear of Memorial Hall where water entered the building, working on the Vactor truck, reducing the ice and snow mass at the city park to facilitate drainage and rodding of the sewer lines. McGowan is registered for additional classes in Spokane for continuing education hours.

Bills were approved, followed by a single comment from Councilman Cronrath for the Mayor to watch spending. Davenport asked for an estimate of snow removal expenses this year, but the Mayor has not yet begun working with those figures.

There has been a delay in the Second Street construction project, with the state dept. of transportation requiring additional information which made it necessary for the engineer to redesign the plans. Bids will go out March 13.

Local citizens have shown an interest in the vacant lot on the corner of 3rd and Willis, sometimes referred to as “Opera House Square.” This was the site of the Adams & Mitchum building (1901-1986). The lot is the north 65 feet of lots 4, 5 and 6 in Block 46, which was gifted to the city by Myron Floyd in October of 2011. The Chamber of Commerce is interested in assisting with improving the appearance of the lot, as presented last month by Tim Tipton. Since the lot is located in the designated Historic District, compliance with historic preservation criteria must be considered. Suggestions included a skate board park, a park with benches and greenery and a city garden. Other ideas will be gathered from the community. Issues include insurance, weed control, soil quality and regulations. The mayor suggested the potential of selling the property. Concern was expressed regarding the types of contaminates that might be in the soil based on the businesses that may have been located there and about the north side of the building that borders this lot as to whether it had loose bricks.

The mayor mentioned his interest in three specific grants he has been checking into. He also reported on submitting the Association of Washington Cities’ claim for two recent accidents. An Avista pole was damaged by the snowplow and the bill for replacing the pole and mobilization came to over $5,000.

Mayor Haas reported on the state of the library, having met with the board and the decision made again to use the Koha system for scanning titles into the system. He intends to use high school students to help in processing the books. He has also looked into making the Harrington Citizen newspaper archives available digitally by having the Wash. State Library process the microfilm to that end.

In addition to the temporary fix of the water leaks into the Memorial Hall, Mayor Haas discussed the need for the cement in the foundation crack to be sealed and for a catch basin to be dug out and installed to prevent further situations. It was estimated that a portion of two days would be required for maintenance to accomplish this task. Loose bricks at the southwest corner are deteriorating, and it was determined that an estimate is needed for the expense of repairs. The mayor intends to have a planning meeting with building owners to discuss loose bricks and the potential damage they can cause.

Interest continues with the proposed chicken ordinance and Mayor Haas is rewriting the proposal in an effort to keep city employees off of private property while inspecting the construction of the chicken housing facility. The changes include: 1) the person must submit a plan for the structure and get it approved, 2) the person must construct the structure as approved and submit pictures and evidence of completion, 3) the city will accept or reject the proposal after evaluation and 4) penalties will be defined per RCWs. A copy of the draft will be sent to the council and city attorney. Once the attorney responds, it will be returned to the Council.

A Unified Planning Work Program grant to conduct a traffic safety inventory and data collection has been completed and a report filed with the city. The project provided traffic count data and a traffic sign inventory. Maintenance and replacement of the road signs is critical for the City’s risk management practices.

The on-going issue of renewal of dog licenses was reviewed with the May due date. Notices will be printed on the utility bills for two months to remind dog owners in advance. Councilman Davenport inquired about the status of dog owners that have failed to purchase a yearly license. Mayor Haas will check with the city attorney regarding dog owners who are in arrears.

Councilman Slack reported he has been researching the status of enforcement officers in other communities our size. Some towns have their own police force to handle enforcement issues. Only Sprague has an enforcement officer. The issue has become that the citizens feel it unfair for some ordinances to be enforced and others not; some feel it unfair that the city does not enforce all ordinances on all citizens. The council is inclined to find a new city employee to handle this aspect of the city’s work. Mayor Haas once again reiterated his desire for helping one’s neighbor and continuing to strive to beautify the city. In this regard, he has met with church and community groups and is advocating this attitude. He offered to spend time with Councilman Slack on brainstorming about this enforcement issue.

Councilman Slack reported he had been in contact with some of the Lions Club members regarding the proposed storage building at the cemetery. He wants to review the county map to determine the boundary limits of current land owners and check on cost figures before any decisions are made.


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