Chevassus to fill vacancy on Enumclaw City Council

Beau Chevassus is the founder and head of Knok Studios.

Beau Chevassus, sitting on the Enumclaw City Hall steps, will officially join the City Council following a June 24 swearing-in ceremony. Submitted photo

Beau Chevassus, sitting on the Enumclaw City Hall steps, will officially join the City Council following a June 24 swearing-in ceremony. Submitted photo

Enumclaw government will return to full strength the evening of June 24, when Beau Chevassus takes a seat on the City Council.

The seven-member body has had one chair vacant since Kim Lauk, who joined the council in January 2016, stepped down two months ago. The city advertised for candidates and Chevassus was the only one to apply. He made a presentation before the council and answered a couple of questions during a June 10 meeting and was unanimously approved.

The appointment is very temporary, as the Position 2 seat will be on this fall’s election docket. Chevassus and Tom Bruhn will be on November’s general election ballot and the winner will take office with the start of 2020.

Chevassus is a local, having grown up in the Wabash area. After earning degrees in both theater and religion from Whitworth College in Spokane – “the theater side allows me to communicate clearly and succinctly and the religion side keeps me honest,” he told the council – he returned home.

Aside from being a husband and father to two girls, Chevassus opened Knok Studio in 2011. The nonprofit organization makes short films for other nonprofit entities, he explained, adding that his work has provided “a lot of lessons” while traveling the world.

Chevassus told the council he has three primary areas of interest when it comes to Enumclaw: health and vitality, economic development and the city’s legacy.

“If you will have me I would absolutely love to join you in creating friends, finding solutions and making history,” he concluded.

In other action during their June 10 meeting, members of the City Council:

• agreed to apply for a Community Development Block Grant that would pay for replacement of the city’s skate park at Dwight Garrett Park. A memo prepared by Michelle Larson, who heads the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, noted the skate park needs work “due to aged prefabricated ramps that are posing safety risks.”

A new skate park, according to Larson’s memo, “would be designed as an ‘all-wheel friendly’ park (skateboards, bikes, scooters, skaters) which would include a pump track around the perimeter of the ramps.” The city’s request will be for $350,000.

• heard of an upcoming public hearing on the city’s 2020-2025 Transportation Improvement Program. The hearing will be part of the City Council’s June 24 meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. in council chambers at City Hall, 1339 Griffin Ave.

All cities and towns in the state are required to adopt a six-year TIP annually; the document is not binding, but is required to compete for state and federal funds.

The list includes work on high-traffic areas like Warner Avenue, between Watson Street and 276th; Warner again, between the Foothills Trail crossing and Berninger Street; Cole Street, from Roosevelt to Stevenson avenues; a downtown stretch of Railroad Avenue; and the intersection of Griffin Avenue and state Route 164. Also on the list is a traffic-control project at the intersection of Semanski Street and Warner Avenue (at Enumclaw High School) where a roundabout appears to be the favored option.

• agreed to reduce a fee associated to the Taco Bell construction project. The city assesses “transportation impact fees” on new development to help pay for road projects. Factors used in arriving at the fee are the size of the building and the anticipated number of vehicular trips associated with the development. The city had charged Taco Bell $61,688 but developers are allowed to submit an independent fee calculation. The applicant, Pacific Bells LLC, came back with a figure of $52,275, which was accepted. The city will reimburse the difference.

• approved a “rate recalculation” with Puget Sound Energy. The city’s natural gas network provides PSE’s natural gas to make its way to Buckley and, in return, PSE pays Enumclaw. The initial contract was signed in early 2014 and allows for rate adjustments every five years. Citing increased costs stemming from gas delivery to Buckley, the city negotiated a higher rate.

• were told staff from the Forest Service will speak at the next meeting (June 24) to update the community on the coming fire season.

• were reminded that the Enumclaw Plateau Farmers Market will continue every Thursday (except the Fourth of July) through the end of September. The market runs from 3 to 7 p.m. on Kasey Kahne Drive.

• appointed James Plowden to a position on the city’s Design Review Board. His term runs through the close of 2022.

• awarded a bid for replacement of sludge pumps at the city’s wastewater treatment plant, a project that was included in the 2019 budget. The city estimated the project would cost $32,000 and received a lone bid; the council agreed to have Award Construction do the work for $46,523.

• officially declared as surplus a John Deer mower that is, according to a staff memo, “aged, worn out and not economically repairable.” The mower is likely headed to a commercial auction.

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