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City Council Notebook
By Dennis Box, The Courier-Herald
After canceling their Jan. 6 workshop due to the snowstorm, members of the Bonney Lake City Council kicked off the New Year on Jan. 13 with their first council meeting of 2004.
The first order of real business was the election for a deputy mayor. Two members were nominated - Jim Rackley was nominated by Mark Hamilton and incumbent Deputy Mayor Dan Swatman was nominated by Neil Johnson.
Swatman won by a 4-3 vote.
The council also voted to leave all members on their respective committee assignments.
"I'm happy to help the council further what we've been doing the last two years," Swatman said. "It also makes sense to leave the people in place on their committees. It provides continuity."
State of the city
Mayor Bob Young kicked off his seventh year with a "state of the city" address.
"This is one of the most fascinating jobs I've ever had and I'm honored to work with the people of our community," Young said. "They have a great spirit."
The theme of his speech was summed up by, "Bonney Lake is growing up. We have a wonderful future ahead of us and we're not done yet."
The mayor issued a proclamation making Jan. 27 "Welcome Home Vietnam Veteran Day." The proclamation invites all Bonney Lake citizens to, "Acknowledge the contributions to the nation and community of the city's Vietnam veterans, both at home and abroad."
The open mic portion of the night was dominated by citizens in and around Inlet Island concerned about receiving brown, smelly water from Ball Park Well and anxiety over further development in the area.
"I'm concerned about water quality," Hugh Smith said. "We've had wonderful water, but I've gone to bottled water. We need to stop annexing until the water quality is taken care of."
Seven citizens made their way to the podium to implore the council to not use the water coming from Ball Park Well and to stop further development and annexations in the city until the water issues are resolved.
The city was forced to use Ball Park Well during the 2003 summer drought. The water from the well is heavy in iron and manganese, causing it to taste bad and look brown.
Councilman Dave King noted that while the water looks and taste bad, the state has assured the city it presents no health hazard.
Councilwoman Cheryle Noble said during the meeting, " I don't have all the facts to make a decision I need. I'd like to thank all the citizens that came with comments on the water problem."
Swatman asked the City Council, and the members concurred, to consider purchasing the land around the Skystone to protect the ancient artifact.
Swatman noted the Skystone artifact came to his attention after an he read an article written by Teresa Herriman for The Courier-Herald.
The stone is thought to be a map of the night sky used by native people in the area more than 600 years ago to chart position of the stars and moon. It is believed Skystone was used for predicting the summer and winter solstice.
Currently, two house are in the process of being built very near the site.
The final action of the night came with an announcement that the City Council has sold a piece of properly at the corner of Locust and Sumner-Buckley Highway for $180,000.
The property was originally purchased for the purpose of redesigning the intersection. With the road work completed the property was put on the market and the council accepted the offer.
Dennis Box can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org