Minutes from the June 2018 regular meeting

Manson Community Council Minutes
Regular Meeting on June 19, 2018

The meeting was called to order at 6 PM by acting Chair Kathy Blum with council members Kathy Miller, Jorge Valencia, and Jeremy Jaech also present. Kim Ustanik was absent.  Seven members of the Manson community signed the guest sheet, which is attached to these minutes.

After the flag salute, the minutes of the May regular meeting were approved on a motion from Kathy Miller, seconded by Jorge Valencia.

Jeremy Jaech asked community members attending the meeting if anyone would like to participate in the Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan Update being conducted by the county. Anyone wishing to participate should contact Jeremy.

Matt Charlton, superintendent of the Manson schools, briefed the council on enrollment and staffing issues at the Manson School District.  Matt noted that enrollment has declined from about 650 students last year to 586 at year end this year.  The forecast is for enrollment to further decline for a few years and then to modestly increase going forward, leveling out at 580 to 600 students.  Most of the students leaving the district are from the poorest and youngest families in the community.  Matt believes this is largely an affordable housing issue.

Matt said that as a result of lower enrollment he has reduced teaching staff by three positions, administrators by 0.5 full-time equivalent (FTE) people, and office staff by 1.5 FTE people.  Further reductions may be necessary as enrollment trends down.

Enrollment is impacted by the location of affordable housing.  If affordable housing is available in Chelan, more students may move there, and if affordable housing is available in Manson, we could gain some students.  Chelan School District is also seeing a decline, especially at the younger levels.

Matt is looking for housing for his younger teachers, which the MCC will post on its website.

Some data from Matt:  MSD has a $9M annual budget, of which $6M comes from the state, about $1.5M from the federal government, and the rest from the local levy.  The McCleary decision will increase state funding but cap levy funding, but is generally positive for the MSD.

Next on the agenda was Don Cullison who asked to speak to the council about soil contamination in the Manson area.  His full presentation is available for anyone who would like a copy by emailing him at phatberryfarm@gmail.com.  The MCC will also provide a link to the 2003 Washington Department of Ecology Area-Wide Soil Contamination Project, Task 3.12: Manson Area Data Analysis, which Don referenced in his presentation.

In summary, much of the soil in the Manson area has levels of lead arsenate higher than considered safe by state statutes, due to farming in the area between early 1900 and the 1940’s. Chelan County has been aware of these issues for many years but has not required soil analysis for new developments in the area.  Recently community pressure has caused more soil testing to occur and may be a precedent for future developments.  Don urged the council to demand required soil testing on proposed developments, and to demand that Chelan County take responsibility for the lack of oversight for past projects approved after the contamination levels were known.

Note that the council will post links to Mr. Cullison’s presentation and the underlying Department of Ecology website, but that these concerns are Mr. Cullison’s, and not necessarily concerns of the council, as no vote was taken on the actions proposed by Mr. Cullison.

Following Mr. Cullison’s presentation, members of the audience asked the council to research getting a crosswalk from The Village to the bus stop at the Red Apple.

Jeremy moved to adjourn the meeting.  Kathy Miller seconded the motion and the majority voted to adjourn.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:35 PM.

 

Signed by Jeremy Jaech

 

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