Contributions may include labor, materials, equipment

By Ann McCreary

The Town of Twisp will receive $18,700 worth of in-kind services from Lloyd Holdco LLC to help build a recreational trail under an agreement approved by the Town Council last week.

The agreement, which has been under discussion for almost a year, was created to compensate the town for the withdrawal last year of a promised trail easement along the Methow River on property owned by Lloyd Holdco.

The in-kind services can include materials, labor, equipment, construction or maintenance of the trail, which the town hopes to begin building next year.

Prices for the services and materials will be determined through negotiations between Lloyd Holdco and the Twisp public works director, and agreed upon in writing in advance of any work, the agreement states.

It also allows Lloyd Holdco to pay cash in lieu of the work, and provides that Lloyd Holdco will give the town a check for $18,700 by March 2017. The check would be held by the town, and cashed “in the event that Lloyd is unable to provide the pre-agreed upon in-kind work and materials according to the schedule provided by the Town.”

The in-kind services or money could also be used for other town projects that receive funding from the state Recreation and Conservation Office, which has provided a grant of about $200,000 for the trail project.

Lloyd Holdco, a family-owned business, had promised to donate an easement that would allow a segment of the trail to follow the former route of Wagner Road, running north from Highway 20 along the Methow River.

The easement would have been on property owned by the Lloyd family that is part of a 110-acre parcel originally proposed as an industrial/business park development. The town vacated Wagner Road in the 1990s at the request of the Lloyds as part of the plans for the industrial park, which was never developed. The property is now zoned for residential and commercial development.

The family withdrew the easement due to security concerns, said Bob Lloyd, who has represented the family in the negotiations on the in-kind services agreement.

Lloyd resigned in September as a member of the Twisp Town Council to avoid a conflict of interest after his company, Lloyd Logging Inc., won a large construction contract with the town.

Former Twisp council member Dwight Filer, who had previously expressed concern that the agreement did not adequately protect the town’s interests, said those concerns were alleviated last week after he discussed the agreement with Mayor Soo-Ing Moody and council member Hans Smith.

Filer wanted to be sure the town retained the ability to use eminent domain to acquire property for a trail along the riverfront on the Lloyd property, and was concerned that wording in the agreement might eliminate that option.

“After my talks with Hans and Soo, I am confident that the agreement is good for the town.  If it had been my decision, I would have removed the language that said the town would take no further action to acquire a trail right of way. It still seems odd that it is included in this agreement. However, it should be no hindrance in the future based on my discussions,” Filer said.

The town plans to construct a trail for non-motorized use that would begin at the Twisp Park and run south along the Methow River on donated easements and rights-of-way.

It would continue on town sidewalks and streets to the bridge over the Methow River. Plans had called for it to cross the bridge and head north for about one-third of a mile along the river on the Lloyd property, but the trail will now end at the bridge.

The town does not have a detailed design for the trail yet, and is waiting for final authorization from the Recreation and Conservation Office to move forward with further planning.