Groups tell Enumclaw council what they do with public money

The Enumclaw Expo Center, KCLS, Plateau Outreach Ministries, and the Chamber of Commerce were represented.

Public money is given each year to a handful of organizations, each contributing to the overall good of Enumclaw. In return for the financial boost, members of the City Council receive periodic updates from the nonprofit agencies.

That constituted a key portion of a recent gathering of the Enumclaw City Council. Here’s a recap of what the assembled elected leaders, city staff and general public heard.

ENUMCLAW EXPO AND EVENTS ASSOCIATION

Stepping to the podium was Rene Popke, who heads the organization charged with handling all events and facilities at the Enumclaw Expo Center. She took the job late last year, when Scott Gray, a founding member of the EEEA, stepped aside.

Popke noted her appreciation for the city’s ongoing funding of the Expo Center and listed of the more recent maintenance projects and capital expenditures. Those include:

• Carpet in the Fieldhouse “bridal room” and new gutters on the building.

• A new hot water tank that serves Midway bathrooms and the RV park.

• Painting of the Activity Hall and administration office (planned for this spring).

Popke also noted there were upgrades funded through grants. Those include a bathroom remodel in Les Schwab Hall and the purchase of drapes for both halls.

Discussing the many events hosted on the Expo Center grounds, Popke highlighted an increase in youth athletics inside the Activity Hall. She told of a potential King County grant that would pay for a synthetic floor in the Activity Hall, making it more desireable.

Finally, Popke reminded the city that maintenance is an ongoing challenge, particularly in light of the February storm.

PLATEAU OUTREACH MINISTRIES

Offering a report was Elisha Smith-Marshall, who has worked for POM for four years and recently took the reins as executive director.

“POM had a very busy 2018,” Smith-Marshall said.

She noted that the city provided nearly $139,000 in emergency assistance vouchers during 2018, to be used by Plateau families in need; she added that almost $82,000 was distributed to people within Enumclaw city limits, or almost 60 percent of the total.

Additionally, Smith-Marshall said, the city allocated $7,500 for rental assistance to seniors within the city limits and POM provided $8,600 in rental assistance. Also, POM used $12,000 of the $15,000 allocated by the city for utility vouchers in 2018. She explained that only one voucher is issued per individual or family and case managers assist in developing a plan to help those in crisis.

“Please know that when clients walk away from case management they leave with the knowledge that they live in a city where they are supported by a community that cares for them at their most vulnerable time in life,” Smith-Marshall said.

ENUMCLAW CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Troy Couch, the Chamber’s chief executive officer, explained that city funding has allowed the Chamber to hire a manager to staff the Visitor Center, organize volunteers and provide information to those looking to either visit or move to Enumclaw.

“We have visitors from all over the world come through our Visitor Center,” Couch said.

He also addressed the Visit Enumclaw tourism website, showing how it is used to promote local restaurants, hotels and other businesses in Enumclaw.

KING COUNTY LIBRARY SYSTEM

Tandra Solvey, the local Teen Services librarian, addressed the $1,000 the city provided in 2018 through its Lafromboise endowement. Half of the total, she said, was spent on tabletop board games that are used to promote “intergenerational engagement” at the Library. The library hosts a monthly event aimed at bringing families together.

The city has provided $1,200 for the current year, Solvey said, and money will support Escuela de la Vida(Spanish language programs on meaningful topics) and Community Connections, a program meant to inspire adults to connect with each through shared interests. Half of the total has been requested by the Children’s Librarian for “break-out boxes” for youngsters.

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From left to right: Plateau Outreach Ministries Director Elaine Olson, Outreach Case Manager for Veterans and Seniors Lisa Napolitano, and Director Elisha Smith-Marshall stand outside of their nonprofit’s office. The trio work together regularly to help lift up the vulnerable populations in Enumclaw, Black Diamond and Covington.
                                Photo by Danielle Chastaine
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