The August 10, Winlock City Council meeting started as scheduled without Council Member Sam Patrick and with Ginny Boylen acting as clerk. After the call to order and the approval of the agenda, the council dove into matters of old business.
Starting the old business, it was brought up that City Attorney Erin Hillier, would be taking the Development Codes into commission next Monday, before returning back to the council. With no further information on the matter, Mayor Lonnie Dowell called forth Police Chief, John Brockmueller. Once at the microphone, Brockmueller reported that there had been "24 calls of service within the last two weeks." Faced with the concern about hours, Brockmueller assured that with flexible hours, he was able to place the police where he thought they were most needed, and "Winlock has needed us the most. We're getting to know your area around here, we're getting to know the people and introducing ourselves in our own special ways." Brockmueller smiled as he returned to his seat with the "thank you's" of the council. With no mayor or council comments, the city council moved straight into agenda items.
With this transition, resident Roy Richards was brought to the microphone to voice his request for a police uniform for his museum. With the recent closing of the Winlock Police Department, Richards was told that the uniforms had not been inventoried yet, but could check back in about a month. As Richards was about to return to his seat, Brockmueller then spoke up that he had a personal police shirt in the back of his car that Richards could take. Following Richards was to be Kimberly Hartman for her movement for Senior and Disabled Discounts, but with another no show the council began this discussion themselves. At this time, Councilmen Aaron Mummert suggested to get rid of all discounts "for an even playing field." As no further discussion was brought forth, Michael Townsend was brought forward to speak of his proposal for a tourism destination in Winlock.
As Townsend approached the front of the room, he brought with him the promise of a research facility and tourism site based around Bigfoot. His proposal brought forth his desire of a public/private partnership with the city of Winlock. Presenting with this desire, he handed to the council a petition signed by community members, showing their support for this idea. As Townsend continued his presentation, he claimed that though this facility would be based on Bigfoot, this site would bring much more to Winlock. This facility would open employment to the town that suffers with the "descending economic profile." Not only would this project bring employment, but it could open doors for conservation, preservation, educational classes, and cultural exchange with Native American involvement. Closing his proposal with research and evidence of Bigfoot, he returned to his seat leaving the council with much to think about.
After this lengthy proposal, the council passed that the youth soccer will be allowed to use Winolequa Park for free as usual. Next up was the movement to change from Century Link to Yealink phone system. This switch would drop spending of over $100 per month. With this topic approved, city maintenance was brought forth. Mayor Dowell sought approval to seek the trust for around $52,000 for gas heaters, painting and roofing of various city buildings. The council then moved to seek help with the city attorney before making the movement while also wanting to get the painting done before fall.
Next up was the discussion of the Oil Collection Tank Draft Interlocal Agreement. In this topic, the council agreed that the contract they had been given was different from what they had been promised. It was agreed by the council that the city did not have sufficient manpower to do this by themselves, but that the representative they spoke with had promised them everything they would need as long as Winlock provided a site.
"We actually said a site that might work and they said they would take care of everything else", Mummert spoke. The council agreed that this contract was not what they had wanted and that Mayor Dowell would get back to this company and tell them that this is not what they were promised.
Moving forward was the topic of the fireworks ordinance. In the crowd were multiple employees from Jake's Fireworks who had come to discuss their views. The first speaker, Daniel Allison, stated that he agreed that non-profit organizations should be allowed to sell within the city limits. That way it would open up business opportunities for fireworks manufacturers such as Jake's Fireworks. The next speaker also expressed that he put on a show for his area in town. He posed the question of should the city limits be banned, how would he put on his show without the allowance of lighting fireworks within city limits? After much discussion, multiple speakers voiced their support of limiting days of firework lightings, punishment towards those who start fires and litter, and canceling the lighting of fireworks should the weather be too hot. Finally, Councilwoman Sarah Gifford moved to table this topic for later since "banning is off the table" and the meeting was adjourned. The next meeting will be Monday, August 24.