Tourism, timber sale, on agenda at council meeting

New Chamber tourism marketing employee introduced

Forks Chamber of Commerce Director Marcia Bingham introduced the chamber’s new tourism marketing director, Lissy Andros, at the Monday evening, March 28 meeting of the Forks Council.

 The new chamber position is funded through the two-percent visitor accommodation tax income the state collects in Forks, and the tax is alloted through the City of Forks.

Andros’ mission is “concentrating on getting people to come to Forks for things beyond Twilight,” Bingham told the council.

 The new hire will be active online, moderating a forum of questions posed by visitors and others interested in Forks, plus using Twitter and Facebook to connect visitors to ongoing updates about Forks. Andros will also work on marketing things for husbands and fathers to do while their wives and daughters take in the Twilight sights in Forks.

Bingham said visitor counts have climbed back to levels seen in 2010 after a 25 to 40 percent per month downturn over the winter in visitor arrival counts made by the chamber. Some 200 visitors signed in at the chamber on Saturday, March 26, she said, some on spring break from school. “It’s not over, still alive and well,” the chamber director said of the attraction to Forks of fans of author Stephenie Meyer’s best-selling Twilight books.

 Alternate energy

Mayor Bryon Monohon detailed his and City Attorney/Planner Rod Fleck’s participation at a recent economic development conference in Moses Lake. Fleck was on an alternate energy panel, telling of the Quillayute Valley School District’s new biomass-fueled classroom heating boiler system. Fleck told the council that the state Department of Natural Resources is working on a text of a wind turbine on the side of a ridge located west of Forks.

Log sale

The council approved a timber bid by Allen Log for a stand of trees located on the  grounds of the city’s Quillayute Prairie airport. The Hoh River-based logging company bid $204,835. Fleck said the city should net about $170,000 on the sale, with the income going towards paying off an airport-related loan. The logging is expected to begin in the near future.

Sales tax revenue up

City Treasurer/Clerk Dan Leinan reported that state sales tax receipts were up month-to-previous month one year ago six percent, with revenue from Primo Construction’s work on the Forks High School addition an important factor.

Chevy Tahoe sale

Forks Police Chief Doug Price reported a possible sale of police force Chevy Tahoe for $26,000. If the sale goes through, he said, the funds will be used to buy two patrol cars. He said a North Bend company refurbishes patrol cars and sells them for about $8,000 ready to go except for a police radio. State surplus sale of patrol cars is another option for picking up low-mileage patrol cars, Price said.

New Tillicum Park restroom

Councilmen Bruce Guckenberg and John Hillcar, and City Public Works Director Dave Zellar reported they have been sighting a location at Tillicum Park for a new restroom facility. A location adjacent to the Rayonier locomotive exhibit is the likely location, Guckenberg said. A pre-fab restroom facility would cost about $36,000 delivered to the site, with additional ground, plumbing and utility work bringing the total up to about $45,000 to $50,000. Guckenberg said visitor accommodation tax revenue would pay for the project.

Wild Olympics

Monohon said the City of Forks may soon take an official position on the Seattle-based Wild Olympics organization’s plans to add West End lands to the Olympic National Park.