It was an exciting evening at Forks City Council on Monday night as two new and one returning council members were sworn in. Juanita Weissenfels returning for another term in Council Position No. 1 and new council members Jeff Gingell, Council Position No. 4 and Mike Gilstrap, Council Position No. 5 were sworn in by District Court II Judge Erik Rohrer.
Then the new members joined Weissenfels, John Hillcar, and Joe Soha and got down to city business along with Mayor Tim Fletcher, city attorney Rod Fleck, Police Chief Mike Rowley, Public Works Director Paul Hampton, and Deputy Clerk Ginger Simmons.
There were no public comments.
The first bit of business for the new year included a discussion with a representative from Enterprise Fleet Management regarding the city’s plan for new vehicles; a truck, van, and car, which will replace aging, and from the sound of it, sometimes dangerous equipment currently being used. Questions were asked by several council members and Hampton explained he had researched the options of outright purchase versus Enterprise and Enterprise was a better option financially.
Weissenfels volunteered to return to her position on the Clallam Transit Board. Mayor Fletcher expressed his need to step down from the Transit Board and councilman Gingell volunteered to replace him. The Mayor will remain an alternate.
Councilman Gilstrap volunteered to be an alternate on the Peninsula Regional Transportation Planning Organization.
Attorney Fleck discussed a lease at the Quillayute Airport by Meter Group, Inc. The lease was approved for a lease to install weather recording devices.
Councilman Hillcar commented on Clallam County PUD’s plan for a $4.5 million project at the Industrial Park. The new facility will join a completed building at the Park and PUD will eventually move their facility from W. E St. to the Industrial Park. Hillcar also discussed a Bill to eliminate the Discover Pass and asked that the council might write a letter supporting the Bill.
Public works Director Hampton shared that another employee has passed their CDL test.
Police Chief Rowley updated the council on the low numbers of contract holds at the jail. The number is down due to needed repairs on the HVAC system at the facility. Repairs have been completed and Rowley said he will be looking to house more inmates. Rowley also shared that the Sober New Year event at the VFW was well attended and very successful.
Fleck updated on the Campbell Pit emergency well project and costs. He also shared information on HB 1406 which creates a sales tax revenue sharing program that allows cities and counties to access a portion of state sales tax revenue to make local investments in affordable housing. To take advantage of this funding source, cities and counties must pass a resolution of intent by January 31, 2020, and adopt a tax ordinance by July 27, 2020.
He also shared information on the Marbled Murrelet lawsuits and how that might play out.
Mayor Fletcher said that he had been looking at improvements at Tillicum Park that include a Pickle Ball Court. The Mayor also recently attended a ceremony at the Coast Guard Station in La Push.
The next City Council meeting will be held Monday, Jan. 27 beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers.