ATVs not allowed in Winthrop

The operation of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) on public roadways within Winthrop town limits is prohibited unless and until the town passes an ordinance approving such use, according to Winthrop’s attorney, Scott DeTro.

This explanation of Washington state’s HB 1632, which has been in effect since last July, was made in response to a request by Marshal Rikki Schwab for clarification of the town’s ATV rules. At the Winthrop Town Council’s July 16 meeting, Schwab asked permission to post signs prohibiting ATVs on town streets, to help her with enforcement.

Council members were unable to come to an agreement on the town’s policy at the meeting, and opted to table Schwab’s request.

The issue will be re-addressed at the Aug. 20 Winthrop Town Council meeting, when council members will consider drafting a town ordinance on ATV use.

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Winthrop Town Hall basement flooded

Last Wednesday afternoon’s (July 23) torrential downpour sent a flood of water into the basement of Winthrop Town Hall, soaking the floor and leaving water stains 6 to 8 inches up the walls.

Water rose above the 6-inch curb in front of Town Hall, flowed over the boardwalk and down the steep concrete stairway into the Winthrop Marshal’s Office, said Winthrop Clerk/Treasurer Michelle Gaines. Gaines also photographed a cascade of water gushing into the basement through the old building’s stone foundation.

Reserve officer Ken Bajema reported water standing at a depth of 4 inches across the floor on Wednesday evening, according to Gaines.

Boxes of town records and other important items are being stored in a PODS container behind the Winthrop Barn until damage can be repaired and the basement dries out, Gaines said.

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Fire district levy on November ballot

Okanogan County Fire District 6 commissioners have agreed to place a measure on the November ballot asking voters to approve raising the property tax levy to fund a new fire station in Winthrop.

The commissioners sent the resolution to the county auditor last Wednesday (July 23), and have until Aug. 5 to “clean up” the language and adopt a title for the ballot measure, Commissioner Roy Reiber said. The measure will propose adding $0.17 to the current levy rate of $0.61 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. The new rate would increase taxes from $122 to $156 per year on a $200,000 home. If approved, the levy will be in effect for 20 years.

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Pearrygin re-opens after fire

Pearrygin Lake State Park will re-open on Thursday (July 31), after a two-week closure due to the valley-wide power outage and fire activity.

Day-use areas and campgrounds will be back to full operation, and campsite reservations will be honored, according to Park Manager Rick Lewis.

People who had reservations during the closure will receive full refunds, Lewis said. Call the reservation line at (888) 226-7688 for more information.

“People should be aware that burnout activity will be occurring in the hills above the park,” Lewis said. Helicopters may also be filling buckets from the lake for aerial firefighting, he added.

Alta Lake State Park remains closed until further notice.