Dick Swart retiring from town council
Members of the Cathlamet Town Council handled a variety of business when they met Monday, including hearing that one of their members would resign effective May 1.
Council Member Dick Swart said he would resign his position effective 12:01 a.m. May 1. He is planning to do some traveling this year. At their meeting last month, council members authorized him to take a leave of absence and return to the position in the fall, but Swart said Monday he had decided against that.
"I thought it would be the best for the town if we didn't delay in getting someone else to learn the ropes," he said.
Swart has served as a member of the town planning commission, as mayor, and as a council member before and after being mayor. He had intended to retire when his term as mayor ended four years ago, but he was drawn back into town government. His total service to the town totals 10 years and two months, he said.
"I wish you all the best," he said.
In other business:
--The council said it would work with the Pioneer Community Association to connect a fire surpression sprinkler system in the Pioneer Community Center, also know as the Pioneer Church.
The center has had sprinklers installed, but they aren't connected to a water main. When it entered into a lease agreement with the town, the association said it would seek grant funds to complete the installation, but those grants haven't materialized, said Council Member David Goodroe, council liaison to the association.
Consequently, the center doesn't meet code for public safety for performances and most other uses, officials said.
In discussion, council members determined that the installed sprinklers meet safety codes.
However, said Fire Chief Fred Johnson, not all the necessary equipment is in place for the system.
If a back flow preventor and other equipment were installed, the system would be adequate for public safety, Johnson said, but it wouldn't be adequate to save the building, for the sprinklers don't go into the highest parts of the building.
Council members said the town would cover much of the costs of connecting to the water main, and the association would need to cover other costs.
Goodroe said he would meet again with the association and see what could be done.
--Goodroe, a member of the town's financial committee, reported that the town is preparing to sell some of its timber, and that could generate over $400,000 in new revenue.
--The council tabled action on a call for bids for a Propane supplier for town uses. The only bid came from Active Enterprises, which is affiliated with Mayor Dale Jacobson. The town's current supplier, APP Propane, didn't submit a bid. However, no suppliers were contacted directly to invite them to submit a bid.
Council members indicated that they would prefer to have more than one bid, and they authorized staff to make a recommendation of a course of action at the meeting next week of the finance committee.
Mayor Jacobson left the meeting room and took no part in the discussion.