Trout Lake Newswriters
Pat Arnold, 395-2233
Shirley Keran, 395-2559
Sandi Thygesen, 395-2318
Terry Scott, 395-2760
The Trout Lake Grange is holding an open house on Thursday, April 19, to celebrate 93 years of community service. The open house features exhibits and displays on local history and organizations. At 4:30 p.m., Washington State Master Terry Hunt will present service awards to members. All are invited to participate in this event for National Grange Week. It is early release at the school, so bring your kids and grandchildren to learn about the Grange.
Both Destination Imagination teams took fourth out of 10 teams at state. Both received special awards. The elementary team was awarded a DaVinci award for creativity for a plot that included both an Eskimo and a radioactive parrot. The eighth grade team received the Renaissance award in recognition of outstanding dramatic presentation.
Why did the eighth grade team not finish higher? The final rankings include three segments. Our team ranked very high on what might be called the content and drama segment. On this ranking alone, the team was one point out of first place. They ranked lower on two other segments, including the use of the improv item, in this case a whistle. Nevertheless, as reported in Shirley's column, the drama presented by this group was stunning in its impact, and the students showed a great deal of courage and talent in putting it together. The experience will surely stay with them for a long time.
At the community council meeting on April 11 three agenda items took most of the meeting. There was a report on the Economic Development Board decisions, which were published this week in The Enterprise. The Trout Lake Fire District received $30,000 toward a new fire truck. Whether the truck is new or used, the fire district must still come up with a large sum to complete the purchase. This truck will probably result in a decrease in insurance rates, at least in parts of the Valley. Again, I say, sounding like a broken record, if your residence is not in the fire district, join up. Or, as an alternative, find out what your share of the current levy would be and pay it.
In addition to the fire truck, the county funded a proposal for a scenic overlook along the Glenwood road. Sunnyside Road and the Glenwood road are scheduled for repaving this summer, and the county took this project off the EDA funding list and will complete it as part of the road improvements. The estimated cost of this project is about $8,800. The proponents of this proposal, including the community council, are grateful to the county for funding it as they did.
Another topic was correspondence and comments received regarding the Tipton motel project now going in next to the school. The county granted the motel permit on various grounds, including a judgment that the motel was like a private boarding school and therefore compatible with the school. Anyone interested in reading the county's (short) decision can call the planning department in Goldendale and request one.
The reference point for decisions on conditional use permits is the Trout Lake Sub-Area plan, which is a sub-section of the county's comprehensive plan. The current plan was adopted in 1995. A copy is available from the planning department. It charges a small sum for photocopying and postage, which seems reasonable enough. The county zoning ordinance contains definitions and regulations for the zoning underlying the plan and is also available.
The last topic was the proposal to install four diesel generators to produce electricity to sell to the PUD. One set of four is proposed for BZ Corner area, but another set of four is proposed for the 18.65-mile marker on Highway 141. The proposal is being considered under a "Special Use Permit" process, which is different from the standard conditional use process. The planning department would know if copies of the proposal are available. The project is being proposed by a group of people, one of whom is Trout Lake resident Rick Graves and is in response to the looming electricity shortage.
The next community council meeting will be May 9. The council will invite a member of the Economic Development Board to that meeting to hear more about how the board makes its decisions and what the future might hold. One question is whether the economic development funds must go only to public entities.
The Mt. Adams Ranger District has withdrawn a decision to implement a spray program for the Gotchen Area Spruce Budworm Suppression Project. The decision was announced in May 2000. However, in November 2000 data was reported from the Mardon skipper survey conducted last summer. The Mardon skipper is a butterfly listed as an endangered species, and survey data showed potential impact on the Mardon from the proposed spray material (Btk) in the locations to be sprayed. Additional surveys will be performed this summer. The Forest Service considerations and decisions on this matter make for really interesting reading. They welcome input on this quite complicated situation. Pat Arnold