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Harrington news

Fall schedule for opera house filling up; council handles varied issues


August 16, 2018

Harrington Opera

House Society

Monday evening the Harrington Opera House Society met in the Art Room for their monthly meeting with the following in attendance: Ed and Bunny Haugan, Billie and Gordon Herron, Mark and Sheryl Stedman, Linda Wagner, Carol, Marge Womach, Ellen Evans, Susan Larmer and Karen Robertson. Discussion was held on transferring money from the checking account to an investment brokerage firm in order to gain interest on funds that are not presently being used. Construction projects for the rummage area will not begin until October.

The railing for the old staircase needs to be re-attached. A portion of the rail has been stored, but the building committee wants a rail on each side of the stairs with the center area being left open. Gordon Herron believes the original design of those stairs was with rails attached to the walls. The present status of the fire extinguishers and the need to get them updated were discussed.

Arrangements will be made to have the piano tuned prior to September 10. Piano lessons have not been organized since a teacher has not been selected.

Billie Herron and Karen Robertson discussed the costumes from the former theatrical company, K/P Productions. Herron spoke with Linda Knapp who said she donated them to Davenport Theatrical (now Wheatland Theater Company).

The fall schedule is filling in nicely with a variety of upcoming events: Sept. 22 will be the final rummage sale for the year. October events will include John Nilsen, pianist, Oct. 6; Fiddlers, 30 chairs, on Oct. 13; and Peter Davenport will return with a presentation on UFOs on Oct. 27. Presently, Scott Kirby, piano, is the only event on the calendar for November. He will appear Nov. 9. The Pine and the Cherry, about Japanese internment camps, will be presented at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 18.

City Council Meeting

The Harrington City Council met August 8 with Mayor pro tem Justin Slack chairing the meeting. The other councilmen were present (Michael Cronrath, Peter Davenport, Levi Schenk and Tim Tipton). Clerk Bunny Haugan and maintenance man Scott McGowan were also present. Visitors attending were Ashley Schenk, Cherie MacClellan, Kevin Moeller, Jay Gossett, Marge Womach, Dick and Priscilla Derr, Ted Axelson, Nathan Luck, Maddie Peters, Paul Gilliland and James Mann. Following approval of minutes from the past two meetings, Slack opened the hearing for the Six-Year Transportation Improvement Program. The council had been given the final updated copy created by former councilman Rick Becker to aid the discussion. A proposal was included with the listing of projects for the program.

Council reviewed the 2018 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) estimates that were provided by Steve Marsh six weeks ago. Council is presently waiting for the city attorney to send a purchase agreement for the McGregor building. Council will hold a public hearing on the CIP at the next council meeting .

Slack told the Council that letters by the Code Enforcement Officer were impacting the issues of non-compliance with city ordinances regarding fire hazards, debris in yards and belongings encroaching onto city property. Citizens responded favorably, for the most part, by asking for extensions, cleaning up their yards or asking the cost for the city to remedy the issues.

Slack concluded discussion on the Six-Year Transportation Improvement Program. Resolution #209-2018 outlines six projects for which the city will seek revenue sources defined as either “needed most” or “most likely to be funded.” The resolution was adopted.

The topic of recent items of concern or interest to the council was next on the agenda. Slack presented the directions for filing the monthly DMSs; they are due the 15th of the month, along with stats from the previous month, and are to be filed by the primary maintenance man. The 2017 annual report deadline for the state auditor’s office was due May 31. Council is intent on having reports presented in a timely manner.

Council is deeply concerned with golf carts and off-road vehicles traveling on city streets, including Third Street, a part of the state highway. The city clerk has received innumerable calls regarding the hazards of these vehicles, including children driving, adults without legal licenses driving, children hanging off the vehicles without helmets or seat belts and their interference with the normal flow of traffic. The city clerk has reported these complaints to the Lincoln County Sheriff. Councilman Slack also spoke with the Washington State Patrol, whose response was that the hazard is not strictly on Third Street and therefore they do not intend to involve themselves with what they perceive to be a local matter.

Lincoln County Sheriff Wade Magers is reluctant to do anything because his office does not want to station a car in Harrington for an indeterminate amount of time waiting to catch wrongdoers in the act. Several derogatory comments were made implying that the Sheriff is not interested. The county is paid by the City of Harrington to attend to these types of offenses. A councilman stated that the “squeaky wheel gets grease” and suggested enlisting the public to phone the Lincoln Co Sheriff when they see these infractions and document the issue. Another suggested photographing the violators and turning the photos in to the Sheriff. Since there is a high probability for an accident, liability will be an issue. In defense of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, a citizen told the council that Undersheriff Kelly Watkins came to resolve an issue that they had with neighbors in the alley behind their house.

Council was informed of the Hazard Mitigation meeting on August 28; McGowan responded that he will attend as he has been right along.

Two bills were reviewed by the council, J.A. Sewell and Western Telecom. The Sewell bill was not itemized. McGowan vouched for the work done at the Wastewater Treatment Plant. The Western Telecom bill was for work done in March for which the city did not have the necessary tools. Council voted to approve and pay these over-due bills. Council voted also to approve the bills for July and announced they would go into executive session for two issues: to evaluate qualifications of candidates for appointment to an elective position (Mayor) and to review a public employee’s performance. Cronrath had stated that the city has no more than 60 days from the date of the meeting to bring a person into the mayor’s position, but that he is not in a great hurry to fill the position. Following the executive session, the council returned and adjourned without comment.


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