The Winthrop Town Council has endorsed a management plan, in conjunction with Friends of the Winthrop Library and NCW libraries, for operation of the popular community room at the library. The three entities will jointly manage use of the room, which hosts a variety of local groups as well as Wenatchee Valley College classes.
The library, which opened in June 2022, is operated by NCW Libraries, which provides staffing and all materials. The building is owned by the Town of Winthrop. FOWL is the nonprofit entity that raised most of the funding for the building and oversaw its construction before deeding it to the town.
The library was constructed so that the community room, which can accommodate up to 72 people, can be independently accessed after regular library hours. It is available at no charge for non-commercial activities, but cannot be used for private events such as parties.
Librarian Ree West told the council at its meeting last week that the terms of the operational agreement “make a limited public resource more equitable.” West earlier that some requests for use of the room have been turned away because of conflicting times.
In other business, the council:
• Tentatively agreed to an agreement with Winthrop Kiwanis to rent the large space in Winthrop Barn to the service organization for its weekly meetings at a rate of $1,000 a year, pending review by Kiwanis’ attorney. Kiwanis has been meeting in the smaller Henhouse Room but has outgrown that space.
• Heard from The Outdoorsman owner Lance Rider, who submitted evidence he said documents that employees of downtown businesses are taking up Riverside Avenue parking spaces that should be left available for visitors and shoppers. Rider has said in the past that employees who monopolize those parking spaces, which have four-limits during the day, are hurting the income of retailers on the street including his store.
Rider said some vehicles, which he said belong to employees of Three Fingered Jack’s, regularly take up spaces in front of his and other businesses.
Town Marshal Ty Sheehan said he had talked with Three Fingered Jack’s owner Seth Miles —who is a Town Council member, but was not in attendance at last week’s meeting — about amicably resolving the situation. Sheehan said he had the impression that a couple of Three Fingered Jack’s employees “are making a game out of it.”
Rider said he will bring a proposal to the council suggesting that the four-hour limit be reduced to two hours.
“It seems we can work it out without changing the law,” Sheehan responded. “We ought to be able to figure it out with a handshake and a smile rather than chalk tires and issue tickets.” But, Sheehan added, his staff would issue citations if necessary to enforce the parking restrictions.