By Christi Baron
Forks Forum Editor
Forks City Council got underway Monday night at 7:30 in the Forks City Council Chambers, with a fair number in the audience. During the public comment period resident Ronnie Aldrich told of his stolen bench.
He shared how in broad daylight a vehicle stopped at his residence on Calawah Way and someone loaded the bench into their car. The crime was shared on Facebook and a short time later some young men named Tony, Ricky and Zack found the bench a few blocks away. Aldrich wanted to thank them and the Facebook community for the bench recovery. He also wanted to thank Forks Police Officer Julie Goode for her professionalism. The good news? Aldrich, who is fairly new to the community, said he met some really great people during the search for the bench.
Lissy Andros, director Forks Chamber of Commerce, invited the community to come out for the Hot Thunder Nite event happening on Aug. 26 starting at 4 p.m. in downtown Forks.
During the treasurer’s report Audrey Grafstrom, clerk/treasurer, made note of the fact that the ending balance for July 2017 is $82,000 over where it was last year at that time. Everyone was happy about that.
The Robbins Annexation moved forward.
There was much discussion regarding the speed limits at both entrances to town, but, most specifically the north entrance. The discussion included talk of new signage and cost and how most residents know the speed limit and that it is more of a tourist issue. Issuing speeding tickets to foreigners was discussed. The idea of a sign with some flashing lights was suggested.
It was decided that the issue needed further study and signage costs, etc., will be brought back to another council meeting as well as more information from the Department of Transportation.
Clerk/Treasurer Grafstrom reported that the city’s application for a USDA loan for the rehab of the city’s two water tanks was approved. The loan will be for $1,947,000.
Mayor Bryon Monohon said that even his own personal credit history was reviewed in the loan application process!
The tanks were built in 1969 and 1979 and have not received much maintenance since they were built. The estimated cost for two new tanks would be about $4 million. The council decided that to avoid catastrophic failure the rehab needed to be done.
In the City well report, Paul Hampton reported that the wells are at higher levels than the past two years and his department is monitoring them weekly. For now, he recommends voluntary water conservation.
Other topics discussed were the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program, changes to public records requests and the upgrading of the police department’s cellphones.
Work on Campbell Street will begin soon as well as the smoke testing on the sewer system. The smoke testing had been put on hold because it already has been so smoky.
Police Administrator Rick Bart shared that officers also have received new tasers. He also said car prowls have decreased but that vandalism to the park restrooms is happening almost daily.
He also reported the speed tracker device has been out in several locations. After a few glitches, it appears to be working better but may need to be calibrated.
City Attorney/Planner Rod Fleck shared that uncertainty with the federal budget is causing uneasiness for the hospital and others. “The federal budget could have huge implications,” Fleck said.
He will be attending the Board of Natural Resources retreat soon and is working on the Shoreline Management Plan.
Ending the meeting, the mayor commented on a successful Relay For Life, which was held downtown this year, and reminded all to take care when watching the eclipse on Monday. The meeting adjourned at 9 p.m.
Speaking of the eclipse Monday, remember to please watch only with certified and approved eyewear. Looking at it can cause great damage to your eyes!
In other items, apologies for confusion last Friday when I posted that there would be no planned power outage in Forks, a rumor got started and well you know … anyway, I had no sooner posted that information on the web and the lights went out in the Quillayute Prairie and La Push areas.
Also, if you have not driven to Port Angeles yet, it is not horrible. I took SR 112 on my way back and the chip seal has set up nicely. Just one spot of about 100 feet is gravel. I contacted the Department of Transportation asking why and they said the entire area is slide prone but that one particular area of gravel is really bad. DOT decided to leave it gravel instead of chip sealing as they thought it would be easier to maintain and safer for travelers as there would be no abrupt edges.