By Laurelle Walsh

The balky Winthrop Barn entrance doors are not as bad as was portrayed in a Sept. 25 Methow Valley News story, Winthrop Auditorium Association president Kris Strand told the Winthrop Town Council last week (Oct. 2).

“I don’t believe there is a safety issue at this point,” Strand told the council. “There is no danger of anybody being stuck,” Strand said in reference to remarks made by auditorium association member Carl Miller at the Sept. 18 council meeting.

“No staff or board member would allow a dangerous situation to exist,” said Strand.

The Barn association is asking the Town of Winthrop to replace the push-bar hardware on the building’s main entry doors because the existing hardware is unreliable and sometimes requires vigorous pushing to open the door, he explained. “In the future it could be a safety issue if not dealt with,” Strand said.

Town council members considered three estimates for replacing door hardware: the first from D&R Glassworks of Omak using International brand hardware for $1,859.71; and two from RRRaceway of Carlton using Vonduprin hardware, one for $2,615.23, and the other for $4,844.35.

Council member and building contractor Rick Northcott, who had independently researched replacing the door hardware, called the higher-priced Vonduprin hardware “the Cadillac” of door hardware and would inevitably last longer, whereas the International was “the Chevy.”

RRRaceway owner Ron Race wrote in his estimate that the higher-priced Vonduprin push bars would be “better for the amount of traffic and better for emergency egress.”

Strand said that the one-year-old entrance doors and two other sets of exterior doors are misaligned and need to be adjusted before any hardware is replaced. He told the council that D&R Glassworks would adjust the doors Thursday (Oct. 3).

Town council members agreed to revisit the issue at their next meeting after the doors are adjusted.

In other town business, Winthrop resident Jessica Sheehan was appointed to fill the vacant Position 2 on the Winthrop Town Council.

Sheehan, a stay-at-home mother of three who is married to Twisp police office Ty Sheehan, said she and her family had recently moved into town after 17 years living elsewhere in the valley.

“I’d like to contribute and make whatever difference I can make,” Sheehan said.

She will be sworn in at the Oct. 16 council meeting.

Sheehan said she  would be interested in a longer-term position if one arises.

Position 2 expires on Dec. 31, 2013. The council position is on the November ballot, with one candidate – Michael Strulic – running for the seat.