By Ann McCreary
A public hearing will be held on May 23 regarding the intent of the Twisp Public Development Authority (PDA) to sell the majority of the property known as TwispWorks to the nonprofit TwispWorks Foundation.
Two of the buildings on the current property will be retained in ownership by the Twisp PDA. The remainder of the property currently known as TwispWorks will be transferred to the TwispWorks Foundation.
The campus will continue to be used as a center for civic, business, recreational, cultural, educational, arts and heritage activities and events.
The mission of the TwispWorks Foundation is to increase economic vitality in the Methow Valley through agriculture, education, technology, arts and culture—the same mission as the Twisp PDA.
Amy Stork, TwispWorks executive director, said the sale to the nonprofit organization will involve transfer of a $1-million loan from the PDA to the TwispWorks Foundation. The loan was given to the PDA by a private, anonymous donor with the understanding that it would be forgiven after 10 years if the property is developed and used for the purposes stated when the PDA was created.
“The public will see no change” in the activities of TwispWorks as a result of the sale, Stork said.
The board and administration of TwispWorks decided last year to seek the change to a nonprofit corporation because it would provide more flexibility to carry out programs and improvements on the campus.
As a public development authority, TwispWorks must comply with regulations governing activities of public and government agencies, such as competitive bidding, despite the fact that most of the donations given to TwispWorks come from private sources, Stork said.
As a private, nonprofit organization, TwispWorks will be able to negotiate agreements that would make development faster and less costly, Stork said.
The two buildings that will remain in the PDA have solar panels on their roofs that were installed as part of the TwispWorks Community Solar Project, which is required by law to be part of a public property.
Stork said most members of the current PDA board of directors will join the TwispWorks Foundation board after the sale of the property, and a smaller board will oversee the PDA.
The public hearing will be held by the PDA board of directors at 10 a.m. in the TwispWorks conference room at 502 S. Glover Street. Anyone desiring to present oral or written comments may do so at the hearing. Comments may also be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or in writing to P.O. Box 517, Twisp, WA 98856.
Written comments received prior to 5 p.m. on May 22 will be entered into the record and provided to the board of directors.