Council approves cash for


By Kevin Hanson

The Courier-Herald

A handful of community events - threatened by the demise of the Enumclaw Downtown Partnership - will go ahead as planned.

Shortly after the EDP's May announcement that it would disband after six years of operation, the Enumclaw Area Chamber of Commerce announced it could take responsibility for various activities slated for the second half of the year.

Money was an issue, and the chamber asked the city for additional funding to carry out the additional projects. Members of the Enumclaw City Council allocated $3,765 last week to help the chamber achieve its new goals.

Chamber President Paula Jordan told the council her group will oversee the Aug. 12-14 sidewalk sale; a Sept. 11 downtown car show; the downtown Halloween kiddie parade and trick-or-treating; decorating downtown for the holidays and the Dec. 4 holiday parade.

"The community wants these events to continue and the chamber can make them happen," she said, adding the need for additional financial resources.

The vote to give the chamber additional funding came after it was noted the city will save about $12,000 by not making its second-half payment to the Downtown Partnership. The city was the EDP's primary source of funds.

In other matters, members of the Enumclaw City Council:

€ approved a pay increase for the city's non-union employees. Those workers had received a 1 percent raise in January, but council members voted to make the raise 1.7 percent, retroactive to the first of the year. The decision came following settlement with members of an employee union, who received a 1.7 percent raise. It was determined the non-union employees should receive the same pay bump. Also, the non-union workers were given financial help with medical insurance, in keeping with the agreement with union employees.

€ heard Mayor John Wise give a positive summary of this year's Relay For Life event. Wise, who served as co-chair, said the initial hope was for 20 teams and 34 participated; it was estimated 300 people would participate and there were close to 400; and the goal was to raise $58,500 and the total was in excess of $90,000.

€ discussed ongoing problems with litter at the recently-expanded skate facility at Dwight Garrett Park. Parks and Recreation Director John Keates reported city employees spend one or two hours each day picking up trash at the facility, which has boomed in popularity since improvements were made last month. Council members stopped short, however, of approving a motion to close the facility if the problem persists.

€ heard a brief report from Fire Chief Joe Kolisch, who said the helicopter landing zone - formerly at Dwight Garrett Park - has been moved to Thunder Mountain Middle School. The move was effective June 17 and was necessary following expansion of the skate park.

€ signed a letter expressing their desire to see the King County Housing Authority purchase a 16-unit complex in Enumclaw that would be used for transitional and low-income housing.

€ witnessed Wise perform a swearing-in ceremony for police officer Dustin Lobdell. The new officer lived in Enumclaw as a youth, then moved to Montana where he finished high school, graduated from college and began his law enforcement career.

€ listened as Wise proclaimed July as Recreation and Parks Month in Enumclaw. He noted the city has offered recreation programs for city residents since 1993.

Kevin Hanson can be reached at

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