The Odessa Record -

Amy Hunt joins council


--Photos for The Record by Terrie Schmidt-Crosby.

Amy Hunt, Jim Hains, Michael Igo and Kaylene James vied for the open council position at Monday's town council meeting.

The Odessa Town Council met Monday night to hear from the candidates for the open council position, get updated on the roadway repair and reconstruction efforts and bid a fond farewell to retiring town clerk Gail Kiesz.

A public hearing on the street project was led by Steve Nelson of Century West Engineering in Spokane. He presented each council member with a map of the town indicating which roads would be involved in the project, for which bids are currently being solicited. No one from the public had questions about the project, so the hearing was closed and the regular council meeting was called to order.

Chamber of Commerce president Zach Schafer called on council members to give additional thought to the council's decision to require additional insurance from individuals and organizations hosting events at which alcohol is served. Schafer cited Washington's already strict laws regarding the sale and use of alcohol at events, saying that banquet permits and special occasion permits provided adequate protection for those hosting such events.

As an alternative to changing an existing ordinance, Schafer proposed that the Chamber sublease the community center for such events, absolving the town of any perceived additional liability.

Following public comments, the council approved building permits for a fence, a roof and demolition of a home destroyed by fire last December. Also approved was a request for the closure of Division Street from First Avenue to Second Avenue for the Car Show to be held from 8 a.m. to noon during Spring Fling on April 28.

A public hearing was scheduled for a variance request related to the building of a new garage.

Town fire chief Don Strebeck reported that firefighters put out a wildland fire near Marlin that burned about a half acre. At the Fireman's Auction on February 24, Strebeck said 200 bidders out of a crowd of approximately 250 people purchased all of the items available.

Police chief Tom Clark was unable to attend the meeting, but had submitted a report that was read by the clerk. A driver was stopped in Odessa by the local police officer on duty for speeding (41 mph in a 30 mph zone). The vehicle turned out to be stolen and also filled with stolen items from western Washington residents. The driver had a history of arrests for theft. While Odessa police worked the scene and inventoried the stolen items, the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office assisted by transporting the driver of the stolen car to the county jail in Davenport.

Public works director Rod Webster reported that his crew had been working to install two new pool heaters, fill potholes that had become dangerous and performed vehicle maintenance.

Town clerk Gail Kiesz attended her final council meeting, and her retirement was celebrated after the meeting concluded.

Council members reports: Kelly Watkins reported on an Lincoln County Economic Development Council meeting he attended. A grant has been awarded for the study of the water table in the county, and a map of the existing wells located in the county is being completed. Hopes are also high for obtaining an additional grant to study Odessa sub-area aquifer replenishment options. Mayor Bill Crossley reported that a portion of the roof in the former library of the Old Town Hall had collapsed as the result of a water leak. Estimates are being obtained for a new roof.

Candidate interviews

Just prior to the candidate interviews, Don Brewer opted to withdraw his candidacy, saying he was unsure he could meet the time demands of the position. So the remaining four candidates (Amy Hunt, Jim Hains, Michael Igo and Kaylene James) were interviewed. Following the interviews, the council went into executive session to discuss the candidates and their responses to the interview questions.

Coming out of executive session, the mayor called for a motion to select a candidate. Amy Hunt was approved by the council as its newest member. She will be sworn in March 12.

The meeting adjourned to the clerk's office for refreshments and to wish farewell to retiring clerk Gail Kiesz.


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