The Odessa Record -

Volunteering on PCT; council handles sundry issues; summer reading

 
Series: Harrington News | Story 38

Courtesy photo

Five children attended the first day of the Harrington Summer Reading Program July 11. They learned about the planets in our universe and tried to stump instructor Kris Moritz with several interesting questions.

Human interest

Local Harrington resident, Ellen Evans, spent nearly a week volunteering as part of a 10-person crew on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), which runs from Mexico to the Canadian border. This group met at Chelan, where the 10 volunteers took a two-hour boat ride (provided by the Forest Service) up Lake Chelan to Stehekin, a small town accessible only by boat, plane or trail. Once at Stehekin, a bus took the 10 members of the group to the end of the trail. They hiked 30 miles over the five days. As it turned out the group consisted of 5 younger and 5 older volunteers. Most of the group was from the West Side, one from Chelan, one from Spokane and our Harrington hiker.

The purpose of the group was to carry tools and supplies, build two back country toilets and clear the trail. The trail itself was about two feet wide. The crew cut back the brush so that it was a total of 8 feet wide to make it easier for people and horses to pass one another. They also cut overhead brush. To erect the toilet, they began by digging the hole in the earth. The toilets were mere boxes with lids, made of cedar. There was no "outhouse." They were set up at two different areas, concealed from the trail for privacy, and the custom was that if one were going to use the toilet, they would leave their back pack on the trail to alert others to wait until you were coming back out to pick up your gear. Their tools were all manual; there were no chain saws. Motorized vehicles are not allowed, nor are bicycles.

Volunteering for a crew on the PCT can be for one day only or for the week trip. Some of the week-long trips will use pack animals to carry tools and gear. Projects often consist of clearing logs, clearing brush or fixing the tread of the trail, which deals with drainage to prevent the trail from washing out. Volunteers must have stamina and be avid hikers. Interested persons can learn more by going to http://www.pcta.org.

City Council

The Harrington City Council met July 10 at 7:30 p.m. at city hall, with the full council present. Those in attendance were: Mayor Justin Slack; Council members Tim Tipton, Levi Schenk, Peter Davenport, Cherie MacClellan and Nathan Luck; Clerk Bunny Haugan, Maintenance Supervisor Scott McGowan; Compliance Coordinator Jess Silhan and visitors Kathleen Martello, Marge Womach, Chris Meats, Dave Buddrius and Denisa Holling. Council members generally are forced to focus on things that need to be done, things that are wrong and sometimes troubleshooting. Council member MacClellan requested the time to make a few very positive comments regarding improvements in a specific yard in town. She was amazed and very impressed with the amount of work the family had done, giving the yard a very wholesome appearance. Since they had not planted gardens and flowers, the yard would not qualify for recognition by the Chamber's Yard of the Month, but she was hoping there would be a way to recognize what a wonderful job they had done in the past month or so.

Slack gave an update of the resumes and interviews for the clerk's helper position that they are anxious to have filled. Six applications were filed and four came for interviews. The position would be for 40-hour weeks for the remainder of the year.

Discussion was held regarding the Avista franchise renewal, due in January. It has been 25 years that Avista has provided electric power. In 2014, the city obtained gas. Council will have to pass an ordinance.

Silhan gave a report that eight letters had been sent out regarding violations to ordinances. Five have been resolved or are in the process of resolution. As for the other three, today is the 10th day without resolution. Silhan will move forward in the process and begin the certified letters, which will cost about $8 each. The committee consists of the mayor, the city clerk and the compliance coordinator.

The dog ordinance which had been reviewed by Davenport and MacClellan was discussed. Essentially, Harrington's fines and fees are in alignment with those of other towns. One fee was misrepresented last month, and with that resolved Council decided to keep the ordinance as it is, one member stating, "Let sleeping dogs lie."

Tipton gave an update on the city bulletin board and brochure holders. The Chamber of Commerce wants to pay for the brochure holders and also wants to place a Chamber bulletin board at the city park. Council seemed to favor purchasing a new board and enclosure rather than using too much time and expense to repair the old one. McGowan, Tipton and MacClellan will research a unit comparable to what the city has for its downtown location. Council consented to Chamber erecting a bulletin board at the city park.

Tipton explained that he had taken the issue of the $120 he spent on the paver blocks ads to the Chamber of Commerce, which then voted to reimburse him for half of that value, provided the city would reimburse him for the other half. MacClellan made the motion, seconded by Luck, that the city reimburse Tipton for the other half. With Tipton abstaining, the motion passed 4-0.

An hour-long update was given on annual-reports filing and SAO accountability audit comments and recommendations. The State is insisting on specific software for the city to use and how they want the city to report things into their system. Specialized software is expensive and there is a one-time fee that includes training and implementation.

Tipton shared information he gleaned from attending the AWC annual conference, having attended for two of the three days. He was particularly impressed with the GIS mapping session. Other council members contributed comments on things they learned at the various AWC meetings they had attended.

Summer Reading Program

As has been the practice, the Harrington Public Library opened its July Summer Reading Program on Thursday, July 11, at 3:30 p.m. with five children present. Children learned about the planets in our universe and during the session came up with some interesting questions in an attempt to stump the instructor, Kris Moritz. They seemed eager for snack time and none could be coerced into checking out reading materials. The next session will be July 18 from 3:30-5:00 p.m.

 

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