‘49er Days music to be staged on hay wagon at the park
The show will go on at ’49er Days this weekend, even though the stage used for live music in Mack Lloyd Park was torn down.
Marva Mountjoy, ’49er Days organizer, said musicians will be staged on a hay wagon where the band shell once stood.
Town of Winthrop staff removed the band shell because it was decaying and in disrepair. City officials had known for years the stage deck was hazardous and needed to be fixed, but they were surprised to find the shell along the back of the stage was beyond repair.
“The band shell was taken down because it was rotten and was going to fall down,” Winthrop Public Works Director Jeff Sarvis told the Town Council at its May 1 meeting.
Sarvis said he hoped to have a new stage deck finished before the next major event in the park, the Methow Singletrack Celebration and Brewfest, June 21 – 23. Council approved the Brewfest’s special event application at the May 1 meeting. The shell itself won’t be replaced until next year at the earliest. This year’s town budget does not include money for a new shell—an expense that no one anticipated.
Mayor Sally Ranzau, who took office after the November 2017 elections, bemoaned conditions in Mack Lloyd Park. Her staff also repaired the three flag poles in order to return the U.S., Canadian and state of Washington flags to their posts.
“It’s kind of sad how Mack Lloyd Park has, through the years, gotten into disrepair, just through the town not paying attention to it,” Ranzau said at the meeting.
Not quite a year and a half in the position, the mayor wasn’t necessarily pointing the finger at herself or the other relevant town leaders in the room for neglect of the park. The longest-tenured council member, Ben Nelson, was appointed in April 2017. Sarvis, the public works director, took the job in July 2018.
Also at their May 1 meeting, council members voted unanimously to support a sales tax measure that would appear on Okanogan County ballots in November. With voter approval, the measure would create a 0.2 percent sales tax to pay for new communications equipment for first responders. The tax hike would amount to 20 cents on a $100 purchase in the county.
Winthrop adds its name to a growing list of jurisdictions that support the measure, including Twisp, Pateros, Oroville, Aero Methow Rescue Service and Fire District 3. Fire District 6 Chief Cody Acord, who was at the meeting, said the district was still considering whether to back the tax proposal.