Special election ballots due

Mail-in ballots for the Feb. 9 special election most be postmarked by Election Day.

Locally, the only ballot item is for the Methow Valley School District, which is seeking renewal of two property tax levies — one for maintenance and operation, and one for technological support.

If you have not received your ballot, contact the county auditor’s office at (509) 422-7240. The office, at 149 Third Ave. N., Okanogan, is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m, and on Election Day from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Ballots can be dropped off there, and replacement ballots can be obtained.

The county has two drop boxes that will be open until Feb. 9 — at the Tonasket City Hall/Library Complex, and at the Pateros Mall.

Sufficient first class postage must be attached to mailed ballots and they must be postmarked by the day of the election.

Comment on transportation district proposal

Twisp residents are invited to comment on a proposed Transportation Benefit District (TBD) at next Tuesday’s (Feb.  9) Town Council meeting.

The Twisp Town Council will take public comments, up to three minutes each, on the idea of creating a TBD as part of its regular meeting. The meeting begins at 5 p.m.

Town officials are considering creating the special district as a way to fund maintenance and repairs of Twisp streets, and to provide matching funds for grants.

State law allows a town or city to establish a Transportation Benefit District for transportation needs. A majority vote of the council allows the town to levy a $20 fee on vehicle registration renewals of citizens who live in the town limits.

The fee would be paid to the Department of Licensing and returned to the town.

The town has secured federal funding for a sidewalk and bicycle lane project on Twisp Avenue from Highway 20 to Lincoln Street, and along Highway 20 from Wagner Street to Airport Road. Both projects are scheduled to be completed this year.

State funding will pay for repaving Burton Street and Riverside Avenue this year as well.

However, town officials say additional funds are needed to fix potholes and make temporary repairs on other streets in town until permanent repairs can be made. A TBD would provide a means to fund needed improvements, according to town officials.

Information about the transportation district can be found by going to http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/ and viewing the Revised Code of Washington Title 36.73.

District 6 firefighters prep for stair climb

Seven firefighters from Okanogan County Fire District 6 will participate in the Scott Firefighter Stairclimb for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society next month.

Firefighters from around the world will come to Seattle on March 6 to participate in the event and raise funds for the cause.

The Okanogan District 6 team has a goal of raising $7,000 for the charity this year. The team motto is, “Climb. Conquer. Cure.”

The Scott Firefighter Stairclimb is a timed race up the stairs at the Columbia Center in downtown Seattle. Participants climb 69 flights of stairs — a total of 1,311 steps and 788 feet of vertical elevation — wearing 55-60 pounds of gear and their self-contained breathing apparatus.

Team members include Mark Crum, team captain, Jeremiah Fosness, Zachary Gurney, Josh Jankowski, Thor Johnson, Brian McAuliffe and Tiago Pacheco.

Support for the team’s fundraising effort can be provided by making an online donation by March 6 at: www.llswa.org/site/TR/Events/FirefighterStairclimb?team_id=64390&pg=team&fr_id=1500.

For more information, contact Jankowski at 996-3311 or (206) 650-4801.