By Laurelle Walsh
The Winthrop Town Council has approved a proposal by Methow Salmon Recovery Foundation to erect a public information sign near the Methow River access area behind the Winthrop Barn.
Chris Johnson, president of Methow Salmon Recovery Foundation (MSRF), presented council members at the Sept. 16 meeting with a proposal to build a covered structure that would house a river recreation safety sign, similar to three already erected at Twisp Ponds, Old Twisp Highway and Witte Road. The signs are intended to signal that public access is available at that location and to provide river safety and restoration information to river users, Johnson said.
The signs, originally designed by King County Parks and Recreation, are the same as others erected by the Yakama Nation at popular river put-in and take-out sites; however, MSRF’s signs are placed under a covered structure with an installed bench, Johnson said.
The graphics “give a consistent statewide message that is recognizable by river users,” Johnson said. “We want people to be engaged with the river but we also want them to be safe,” he said.
Johnson said his organization would like Winthrop’s sign to be placed near where people unload rafts in the Barn parking lot and the river put-in area. Any additional recreation information the town would like could also be included, Johnson said. The proposed signage is consistent with existing park planning, town planner Rocklyn Culp told the council.
The council approved the sign proposal pending determination of the structure’s location.
The public hearing scheduled that evening for an amendment to the Fresh Greens conditional use permit was postponed at the applicant’s request, Winthrop Clerk Michelle Gaines told council members.
Fresh Greens owner Austin Lott requested the postponement when he learned that the mayor and one council member would not be present for the Sept. 16 hearing, according to Culp. A new hearing date has tentatively been set for Oct. 21, she said.