The Winthrop Town Council has agreed to include funds in the town’s 2022 budget to help advance a Winthrop Kiwanis project to improve the town-owned pump track and adjacent ball field on Highway 20.
At last week’s meeting, the council heard from Kiwanis representative Rich Jones, who said the project — first detailed in 2020 as a Kiwanis “Fund A Dream” effort, which is largely funded by the organization’s annual Bite of the Methow event — will likely take several years. He said a first step is to provide water and electricity to the site, and asked for the council’s support.
Jones said the project is being developed in partnership with other local organizations including the Methow Valley School District. He said Kiwanis will also be asking for funds through the town’s Lodging Tax Advisory Committee (LTAC), which determines how locally collected hotel and motel taxes will be used to support and promote tourism-based activities.
Council member William Kilby, who represents the council on the LTAC, said a Kiwanis application for such funding would be appropriate, and the LTAC could consider it early next year. Council member Kirsten Vanderhalf said she supports the town’s participation in the project.
Council member Bill McAdow suggested that the town add $10,000 to its 2020 parks budget as a place-holder amount for the town’s participation in providing water and power to the site. That motion was unanimously approved.
Some of the Kiwanis project improvements would be for the ball field, in particular a larger backstop to prevent balls from flying onto Highway 20, which creates safety issue, Jones said.
Other improvements included in the Kiwanis plan outlined in 2020 include a batting cage and pitching mound; irrigation and additional plantings; walking trails connecting activity areas and continuing up the hill to West Chewuch road; upgrades to the existing pump track; a pavilion for shade, rain protection and picnic tables; a children’s play area with fun and safe rides; fitness stations; music play area; a water fountain and bottle-fill station; a centerfield door from the existing ball field to the batting cage and pitching mound area; patching and sealing the existing basketball court and skating/pickleball/hopscotch area; a doggie station and bulletin board for community events and announcements; and parking to include an RV pull-through.
In other business, the council approved an intergovernmental agreement with Okanogan County to provide some building inspection services to the town as needed, at an hourly rate of $120. The council also approved a special events request for the annual snowshoe softball tournament, scheduled for Feb. 19-20, 2022.