The Winthrop Town Council has approved its half of a $50,000 contract with Beckwith Consulting Group of La Conner to take advantage of a Housing Action Plan Implementation (HAPI) grant from the state Department of Commerce.
The grant will fund a study of the area’s housing needs and potential strategies for meeting those needs. Winthrop and The Town of Twisp are each the recipients of a $25,000 HAPI grant and are pooling their funds to hire Beckwith to conduct the study. The Twisp Town Council approved its $25,000 contract agreement with Beckwith earlier; the Winthrop council took action last week.
An informal group of representatives from both towns earlier met to review applications for the consulting contract that were submitted by three firms. That group unanimously selected Beckwith.
In a memo prepared for the Winthrop Town Council meeting, Town Planner Rocklynn Culp said that Beckwith “offered a skilled team that has worked on many housing plans … They did extensive research on the economy and housing situation in the Methow Valley, which was reflected in their proposal.” Beckwith “offered a clear-cut scope of work that can be accomplished in the short timetable available with the grant funds,” Culp said.
The Winthrop council also adopted Okanogan County’s Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan, which was recently approved by the county commissioners. The detailed plan, which is required by state law, addresses floods, earthquakes, landslides, climate change, severe weather, volcanoes, hazardous materials and pandemics in its 795 pages. It also includes a chapter on wildland fire, but that topic is treated in more detail in the Community Wildfire Protection Plan, which the county has just begun to update.
The council also adopted a policy for the rental of chairs and tables from the Winthrop Barn, with conditions for their use.