The Odessa Record -

By Marjorie Womach
Special to The Record 

COVID-19 relief funds available through EDC

Cemetery cargo container discussed

 

Last updated 7/20/2020 at 2:09pm



HARRINGTON — The City Council met July 8 via conference call with the following participants: Mayor Nathan Luck; council members Stephen Hardy, David Buddrius, Peter Davenport, Levi Schenk and Justin Slack; Clerk Janice Cepeda; Margie Hall of the EDC, Steve Marsh of TD&H and identified citizens Geoff Talkington, Marge Womach, Jess Silhan and Cherie MacClellan. A public hearing was opened with Steve Marsh talking about the Community Development Block Grant. Davenport wanted to know what the time-line would be, and Marsh responded that the city would know by mid-September whether or not it would receive the grant.

During the regular meeting, there were questions about bill payments. The clerk responded that she had not been aware that the city was being charged a finance charge and consequently only the amount on the receipts was being paid. She assured the council that this would not recur.

Lincoln County Economic Development Council Director Margie Hall addressed the council regarding COVID-19 relief funds. The State of Washington has sent mayors a letter citing criteria for towns that qualify to receive funds under the Cares Act. Harrington is eligible for $25,000 for expenses incurred due to coronavirus. These U.S. Treasury funds must be used for unbudgeted expenses incurred from March 1 to October 1, 2020 for such items as food delivery, distance learning, personal protective equipment, etc. Cities and towns pay out the funds and then get reimbursed from the state. When Luck asked how the other towns in the county are responding, Hall said that some in Almira would go to businesses and for plexiglass purchases and a laptop to perform a necessary function during the pandemic. The City of Davenport will include expenses at its fire station for plexiglass and some for businesses. Odessa will put 100 percent toward small businesses only. Reardan and Sprague have not yet expressed specifics, and Wilbur is just now talking about the funding and finding ways to benefit the community. Hall said that if the EDC helps fill out the funding applications, there would not be a charge to the city. Comments included that the process and application are handled through the EDC and that, although distribution might not be clearly defined, the city needs to begin the application now and set the process in motion. Hardy suggested disbursements in the form of a 90/10-percent split, the 10 percent being retained for local improvements. Council voted to move forward with the application for funding and to hold a special meeting, if necessary, to determine how the funds would be made available.

The Harrington Lions Club has requested placement of a cargo container at the Hillcrest Cemetery as a place to store more than 65 flags the Homemakers Club and Lions Club acquired from donors in the spring of 2016. Initially the flags were stored in the basement of city hall. In Jan. 2017, the Lions suggested obtaining a shipping container, but the council at that time was opposed for reasons of aesthetics. The (mostly) new council of 2020 rehashed the same suggestions and obstacles that were discussed in the spring of 2017, including repairing the old building which is inadequate for housing the flags; pooling money and constructing a new storage building; painting a cargo container to put in the cemetery and driving the trailer with the flags into it; making use of the old fire house; finding an alternate location for the storage container. Since city government now includes several Lions Club members, impartiality on the issue may come into question.

Other issues under discussion included Lincoln County Public Works agreement, the proposed Liberty State concept, speed control or flashing light near the cemetery on the Harrington-Tokio road, irregular usage of masks and PPE, failure of Casey Monge to submit letters to help council get reimbursement for its $5,000 fine and training sessions available for council members.

A comment made to this writer that the 1985 pumper truck the city wants to sell to Fire District No. 6 must be declared surplus before any sale can take place is cited here for the public’s information.

 

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