Forks City Council met via Zoom on Monday night. Councilmembers John Hillcar, Jaunita Weissenfels, Jeff Gingell, and Mike Gilstrap were present, councilmember Joe Soha did not attend.
The meeting started off with a short executive session. Then after approving minutes and expenditures the first item of business was the 2021 budget.
Two options were offered for 2021 Budget Ordinance #651. Option ‘A’ included $6,000 from the Lodging Tax fund to pay a year of rent payments to provide a Forks Police Department Outpost at the Forks Transit Center in the vacated rental space there. Option ‘B’ did not include the additional $6,000.
Councilmember Gingell moved to approve option ‘A’ with Weissenfels seconding the motion. After some discussion regarding the exact amount of the just over $5 million dollar budget all were in favor of option ‘A’.
Next up the council was asked to authorize the Mayor and city staff to negotiate contracts for risk management and 2021 City insurance coverage.
Hillcar made a motion in support of this activity with Gilstrap seconding and all were in favor.
In councilmember reports Gingell stated he was quite surprised by the drastic move by the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife with regard to changes to local fishing activities.
City of Forks Attorney/Planner Rod Fleck said it had been a rough week with lots of meetings, at least four or five, with regard to area fishing and the impact on guides, businesses, etc.
Fleck said he was looking to work with guides and shared that a group called wildfish.org was seeking even greater restrictions. He also said that the DNR had come out with the Trust Management Report, which also had some interesting aspects in it.
Mayor Tim Fletcher shared that he had been talking with area lodging owners/Airbnb’s and discussing how the fishing closure is going to affect those businesses and also the impact on the two percent lodging tax numbers. The two percent tax helps fund many area non-profit activities that bring in tourism to the community.
In other activities…
It is the countdown to a modified West End Business Holiday Promotion this year but there is still a week or so to purchase a ticket(s) to win a $500 Shopping Spree. The drawing will be Saturday, Dec. 19 and the winners will be notified by phone. Tickets are available at Outfitters Service Center and volunteers will be selling them outside Outfitters on Saturday, Dec. 19. Also that Saturday there will be a “blue ticket” drawing for $50 and $100 in Santa Bucks. Winners will be notified by phone.
The winners of the Dec. 5 drawing were Christina Matson and Laura Hahn.