Broader scope than previous efforts
The Twisp Town Council has a adopted proposed revision of the town’s comprehensive parks and recreation plan, which lays out a guideline for future park improvements and additional recreational opportunities.
The plan, much more detailed than previous versions, does not commit the town to any specific projects but rather suggests a wide range of potential improvements, subject to the council’s direction.
The Parks and Recreation Commission — a five-member volunteer advisory group — was directed by the Town Council to come up with an updated comprehensive plan for an integrated recreation experience within the town and connections beyond. The new plan expands dramatically on the existing 2014 plan.
- maintaining existing facilities and creating new ones where “appropriate and sustainable,” with recommended actions including hiring of a season maintenance person, organizing a volunteer work corps to help with maintenance, determining whether to repair or replace the band shell in Twisp Park, building an outdoor climbing/bouldering structure in Twisp Park, building a skate park and/or pump tack near Twisp Park or elsewhere, and developing river access points that may include signage, trail linkage, pocket parks and/or boat launches and ramps. The plan also advocates for building a recreation center to expand indoor options.
- developing new and existing trails systems and pedestrian connectors, in part dependent on establishing formal agreements for easements and rights-of-way where necessary.
- encouraging more year-round use of existing facilities, including development of a ski trail at the sports complex.
- developing a stable source of funding for rec facilities region-wide, which could include working with other local community groups to study creation of a recreation district.
The plan also includes suggestions for possible funding sources, and time lines for developing major projects. The plan also includes potential improvements at each of the town’s existing park sites. Those include Twisp Park, Maves Memorial Park and the sports complex.
For more information, go to www.townoftwisp.com/index.php/recreation/twisp-park-gallery.
Twisp Town Council meetings will continue to be held remotely until town staff is able to move into the new civic building now under construction. The new building will have expanded council meeting chambers, but may not be available for occupation before mid or late summer. For information about how to access the meetings, go to www.townoftwisp.com and click on “town notices & agendas.”
In other business:
- Public Works Director Andrew Denham reported that the town is close to having enough staff to operate the Wagner Memorial Pool this summer. At an earlier meeting, Denham had talked about the difficulty of finding enough lifeguards and other personnel. At last week’s meeting, he said that teen-age lifeguards will be joined by adult lifeguards this year.
Denham said town staff is putting together a workable schedule while continuing to make necessary repairs at the aging pool. “We’re getting it ready to go,” Denham said.
- The council put off decisions on two issues related to the Twisp Municipal Airport, in response to two communications from the Twisp Airport Advisory Board (TAAB).
In the first, the TAAB asked the council to reconsider the town’s intent to charge $900 a year for hangar lots at the airport (the hangars themselves are privately owned). In a letter to the council, TAAB member Clayton Chase said the increase from the current annual rate of $407 would be detrimental to the airport’s future economic development.
Chase said the increase would discourage new tenants, who might locate at other nearby airports where the annual lease rates are lower. He noted that no new hangars have been built at the Twisp airport since 2014.
At last week’s meeting, Chase told the council that “the market doesn’t justify a $900 a year lease” and a higher lease rate would probably keep the airport at 50% capacity.
Council members asked for more information about lease rates at other airports in the region. Public Works Director Andrew Denham noted that while most airports in the area receive some kind of federal support, the Twisp airport get only a limited amount of state funding.
The council also delayed a decision on a request by the TAAB to include the airport’s courtesy car (for visiting pilots) in the town’s insurance coverage pool. The Twisp Airport Improvement Club, a nonprofit that supports the airport through such activities as the annual pancake breakfast, will continue to provide and maintain a car but would like to have the vehicle covered by the town. The council asked for more information about how the courtesy car program operates.