Wagner Pool opening delayed
Opening of the Wagner Memorial Pool in Twisp has been delayed to June 19 to allow time for lifeguard training. The pool had been scheduled to open on Saturday (June 12), depending on adequate staffing.
The pool was closed in 2020 because of COVID restrictions. The Town of Twisp, which owns the facility, and the nonprofit Friends of the Pool have been working to come up with a plan for re-opening the popular pool for regular swimming programs and for the Methow Valley Killer Whales swim team.
For information, visit www.townoftwisp.com/index.php/recreation/wagner-memorial-pool.
Watershed Council hosts experts
The Methow Watershed Council plans to host two experts in a meeting on June 17 to answer questions on water banking following an appropriation of $2 million to bank water rights in the Methow Valley.
Guests will include Trevor Hutton of the Washington state Department of Ecology’s Water Transfer Working Group and Paul Jewell, policy director for land use, water, natural resources and environment at the Washington State Association of counties.
To submit a question for the experts, email email@example.com no later than Friday (June 11). The meeting will include a short question-answer-period. The meeting agenda and other information will be published June 14.
The Washington state capital budget sets aside $14 million, with $2 million dedicated to the Methow Valley, to buy water rights and place them in water banks to keep them within their basin of origin.
The money dedicated to the Methow itself was in response to concern from area stakeholders that the majority of demand for water rights in the Methow was coming from out-of-area corporations, such as one project proposed by Crown Columbia LLC., that would seek to move water rights downstream.
The money is being administered by Ecology. Applicants for funding must be a public entity or an organization such as a nonprofit in partnership with a public entity.
Methow Valley organizations have previously discussed the need to work together in a focused, organized way to make that money go as far as possible.
Winthrop annexes three properties
The Winthrop Town Council unanimously approved the annexation of three single-family residential properties on Johnson Lane into the town limits at their regular meeting Wednesday (June 2).
The three properties are contiguous, or touching, Winthrop town limits and are near the town tennis courts, behind the Winthrop Library. Two of the lots are .25 and .24 acres and the third is 1.28 acres.
The town’s Planning Commission previously recommended the town approve the annexation petition.
Winthrop updates critical areas ordinance
The Winthrop Town Council agreed at its June 2 meeting to update the town’s critical areas ordinance, as required by the state Growth Management Act (GMA).
The GMA requires municipalities to identify critical areas and adopt regulations to protect them as part of their comprehensive plans.
According to the town, critical areas could include wetlands, aquifer recharge areas, frequently flooded areas, fish and wildlife conservation areas and geologically hazardous areas, including areas with hazards of erosion, landslide, mines and seismic or volcanic activity.
Updating the critical areas ordinance was delayed due to the pandemic, Town Planner Rocklynn Culp said
“With COVID we got a little sidetracked. We’re getting this box checked,” she said during the June 2 meeting. “Basically the state has tied it to eligibility for grants so we have to get it done.”
State agencies had an opportunity to give input on the draft regulations for 60 days, between March 23 and May 22 of this year, and a public hearing was conducted on April 27. The town also completed a State Environmental Policy Act checklist and issued a determination of nonsignificance.
Culp noted there are few critical areas actually within the town’s limits.
The critical areas regulations also include mitigation requirements if a project impacts a critical area. A written mitigation plan must be submitted listing the anticipated impacts to a critical area and proposals for compensating for or minimizing the damage, and monitoring the site, among other requirements.