The Forks City Council met via Zoom on Monday night. While there was no public comment from locals Representative Derek Kilmer Zoomed in to wish the City a Happy 75th anniversary.
Kilmer joked with city attorney/planner Rod Fleck that he has been with the city all those 75 years. Kilmer shared that one of his most favorite memories since being in office was the Pinning Ceremony for Vietnam Veterans that was held at the Forks/Peninsula College site a few years ago. “It was great to see the way that the town showed up, Forks is an amazing community, always helping those in need, even rallying recently to save the Forks Forum.”
“Tough times don’t last, but tough people do,” Kilmer said. He wished the city best wishes for another 75 years, and Rod too.
The discussion of a liaison for the Hoh Tribe was discussed. Mayor Fletcher asked that he would like to take on that position, “I grew up in the Hoh area and it would be an honor to be the Hoh liaison,” Fletcher said. All were in favor.
Water shut-offs were discussed. Clerk/Treasurer Audrey Grafstrom shared that they were looking to implement a relief program but the city has seen no COVID-care dollars.
There were questions about adding new service to the sewer system. Public Works Director Paul Hampton said that there were “things” that had to be taken care of first before any new customers can be added.
Tillicum Park upgrades were also discussed. Improving the two tennis courts and replacing them with multi-use courts has begun. The courts would be upgraded for basketball and Pickle Ball.
The Lloyd Allen trust has provided funding to help with these upgrades. The new courts have been engineered and are a similar design to courts in Sequim. The Lions Club has recently completed demo of the area down to gravel. The project has gone out to bid and bids will be opened on Friday at 2 p.m. “We will see how the bids come in,” Grafstrom said. She shared that the plans and drawings can be found at Solicitbid.com.
The Mayor said that he appreciated the Lions participation. Councilmember Hillcar said, “I appreciate the Lloyd Allen Trust’s involvement, in this project and the community as well.”
Councilmember Joe Soha had asked that a conversation be had about building permits for structures 400 sq. ft. and roofs to mirror what the county does. That being they not be required. He also said engineering costs on small structures are unneeded and a burden to citizens especially those on a fixed income.
Councilmember Jaunita Weissenfels was concerned about setbacks, Soha said those would remain the same. “I am not opposed to setbacks, those would remain the same, but engineering a woodshed costs too much, people should not have to deal with that,” Soha said.
Councilmember Jeff Gingell asked that city staff share information on the cost of COVID and time city staff has had to spend dealing with the Pandemic, and share at a future council meeting. Grafstrom said that they have been keeping track.
In staff reports Hampton said that paving would be done soon at the site of the recent water leak at Calawah and Fir Ave. Forks Police Chief Mike Rowley shared that in recent days community members have stepped up and made donations to help upgrade some of the department’s equipment. He also shared, “The new officers have been welcomed as well, thanks to the community, as we see a message of hate for Police in general, we have seen support.”
Rowley also shared the department is still in need of jail staff.
The meeting was a bit longer than those in the past few weeks and adjourned just before 9 p.m.