Tuesday, May 28, 2024

City Council looks to move into Phase III of Wastewater Collection Project


The Leavenworth City Council met for their biweekly regular meeting on Tuesday, March 28 in City Hall. The meeting opened with some comments from public citizens voicing concerns about changes in housing policies and prices. The concept of a moratorium for bed and breakfasts has come into conversation a few times within some of these meetings, and some of the residents in Leavenworth are strongly opposed to this suggestion. The main discussion point in this meeting was phase III of the wastewater collection and treatment facility improvements project. This project has been ongoing and funded by a 19.5-million-dollar grant loan package for the USDA rural development program. As a critical response to a constant increase in visitors coming to Leavenworth, public works is working actively to maintain the cleanliness and functionality of the wastewater treatment process. Phase I for this project was the overall upgrade of the facility and specifically removing phosphorus during the water treatment. Phase II continued with the south interceptor and phase III, the current ongoing project, has been separated into three specific responsibilities. This meeting discusses lining 12,000 feet of sewer in need of rehabilitation, which is critical to the overall ability to treat water within the city. Engineers for this project have estimated a total cost of 1.7 million dollars, however, the city received a bid from Allied Trenchless for 2.2 million dollars. This process is set to be non-evasive and should not disrupt any flow of day-to-day activity for the public. With this being a top priority for the city, the proposal was passed, and the project will move forward with the appropriate funding needed. The city also approved the purchase of a Nissan Frontier for the Parking Department. This new truck will help transport parking materials such as cones, meters, barriers, etc. The Council was also reminded to begin thinking of transitioning into purchasing electric vehicles for city use, rather than continuing to buy fuel cars. Leavenworth is capable of being electric-friendly, therefore the Council acknowledges the need for more electric cars in the city and will think forwardly of upcoming purchases for this reason. All parking meters on Front Street have been removed to accommodate for a continuous effort to make the street a non-vehicle zone. This is one of the many steps that is necessary in creating a more European feel within the town and on Front Street. The Council has decided to add retractable bollards at the ends of Front Street, as opposed to the large orange barriers that currently reside in these spots. This will allow for easier access to emergency vehicles and delivery trucks that need to reach business on the street but will also create a more aesthetically pleasing scenery for the street. There is no current timetable for this addition, however, there was an understanding that this will take place in the very near future. The Hotel/Motel tax for the city in December was found to be a record breaking high for Leavenworth. The previous highest grossing December was a total of $473,000, but this last December brought in $552,000. A large increase was also shown to take place in January, beating that month’s previous record as well. This data only solidifies the knowledge of Leavenworth receiving more visitors, but it also gives a sense of the economic value the city has been able to generate during these winter months. Retail stores have also received an uptick in sales lately, which has allowed businesses to flourish here in town. The Ski Hill Drive sidewalk project will reportedly impact on the amount of street parking available in the area. This project will eliminate about 40 street parking spots that were mostly used by people visiting the city and create larger sidewalks and bike lanes for people in Leavenworth. Residents of this area were asked about their use of the parking spots, and mostly all of them were not occupying any space on the street. This made the project idea one that can move forward without worry or doubt. The meeting adjourned after these discussion points and the Council will reconvene on April 11.



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