ILWACO - The Sahalee water tank and the Discovery Heights latecomer agreement were again a hot topic of discussion at Ilwaco's city council meeting Monday night.
Long Beach City Attorney Doug Goelz was in attendance to provide his interpretation of the matter and give advice regarding the possibility of a lawsuit between the city and Discovery Heights developers, MSW. Goelz has also been involved with the Seaview sewer litigation.
He reminded councilors that Sahalee is not a separate entity from the city, and stated it would be "silly to think MSW could come after the city or Sahalee."
Goelz described the latecomer's agreement as a backdrop to a lawsuit from MSW, a lawsuit which he felt MSW would have a 50/50 chance of winning. He said MSW is seeking funds to cover the capacity made available; councilor David Jensen added that MSW received funds from the Coast Guard and State Parks.
He urged city officials to settle the case if possible, and added that small cities have to pick their battles and that this particular issue probably isn't one they should choose to fight.
"Latecomer's agreements are a no-win situation for the city," said Goelz, who estimated that a lawsuit would bring the city at least $50,000 in attorney's fees. "... Walk away with whatever you already have with MSW and chalk it up to a learning experience."
Councilors approved a side setback variance for 413 Eliza Avenue NE. The applicant, David Cadwell, said he plans to build a two-sided RV port for his motor home. The council's approval allowed Cadwell to have a setback of two feet rather than the standard five feet.
An application for a short plat at 416 Quaker Avenue was submitted by Doug Cornman, who said he bought his property four years ago and now needs to divide it to break even. City Planner Skip Urling explained that the property would be broken into a 7,500 square foot lot, a 1,600 square foot lot, and an 8,000 square foot lot. The item was tabled until the next council meeting.
City Treasurer Melissa Busby presented the council with a Limited Tax General Obligation Bond ordinance, which was described as having a 20-year term, a $970,000 cap and 4.95 percent interest. The ordinance was approved.
Saturday Market Manager Normandie Hand approached the council to request that the city waive permit fees for market vendors. She also indicated that the market could use street cleaning services once a month and prior to any holidays. Jensen asked Hand how much the market collects in fees. Hand stated that the $760 in fees collected last year was used for marketing. Council member Mike Cassinelli questioned why the market would need fees waived for the second year in a row. Councilman Fred Marshall noted that this year could be a difficult year for the market and motioned to approve the requests, both of which were granted.
The council also unanimously reappointed Jensen as mayor pro-tem for one year.
During his mayor's report, Doug Hubbard recognized Jason Huntley for the work he completed for the city to earn his Eagle Scout badge.
Among council reports, Cassinelli asked Hubbard why the city would allow Seaview 52 sewer samplings per year when only two are required. Hubbard stated that there is nothing wrong with allowing additional samplings since it was a request from Seaview. Jensen suggested that since the city is in a lawsuit with Seaview, the mayor should write a letter defining the sampling agreement.
During public comment, Nellie Beasley asked if Myrtle Street would be open to two-way traffic after the fire hall is completed. Since vehicles have blocked her driveway and have been parked on the sidewalk, Beasley felt that parking should not be allowed in that area. Long Beach Police Chief Flint Wright stated that the above-described parking violations should be reported to the police department.
Jim Donovan announced that the Harbor Lights is now open after a temporary weather-related closure. Contrary to rumors, Donovan said the business has no plans to leave the area.