Guidelines on short term rentals and recreational vehicle use in Douglas County during COVID-19
- Written by Tiana Rowland
Effective April 14 2020, the Douglas County Commissioners are limiting the use of Short Term or Vacation Rentals and recreational vehicles until May 4, 2020 or until the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order is lifted.
The Douglas County Commissioners find that people coming to Douglas County for recreational purposes avoiding the COVID-19 emergency directive and recommendations in other communities are negatively impacting the public health, safety, and welfare in Douglas County. Additionally, these actions are negligent in complying with Governor Inslee’s Proclamations 20-25 and 20-25.1 by not staying home. An influx of people living in recreational and other vehicles, as well as short term and vacation rentals, creates traffic, sanitation hazards, trespass, and other public safety problems further exhausting law enforcement and first responder resources.
The Douglas County Commissioners are directing all use of recreational vehicles for camping, sleeping or occupancy to cease unless occurring on owner’s own property. Furthermore, all short term/vacation rentals are hereby directed to close, whether compensated or not.
The Douglas County Commissioners are committed to the health and safety of their community and as such strive to ensure the continued operability of all emergency services. The Board believes that limiting the influx of visitor during this emergency will help reduce the strain on community resources and protect Douglas County.
Chelan Fire and Rescue welcomes seasonal firefighters
- Written by Mark R. Donnell, Fire Chief, Chelan Fire & Rescue
Firefighter/EMT Stephanie Preheim and Firefighter/EMT Mitchell Matthews will be joining the Chelan Fire & Rescue Team as seasonal firefighters for the 2020 Fire Season.
The addition of these two seasonal employees will give our community the additional staffing needed to accommodate the seasonal call volume increase during our daily peak operating periods.
Both Stephanie and Mitch are active members within the Chelan Fire & Rescue organization and have been filling available stipend shifts working as a third firefighter over the past several months.
Stephanie and Mitchell also have their IFSAC Firefighter I/II and Hazmat Operations and Wildland Firefighter Type 1 or 2 certifications in addition to being credentialed Washington State Emergency Medical Technicians. These are nationally recognized certifications which are added benefits to the organization and the community we serve.
The seasonal firefighter positions are being funded within our 2020 budget using funds that were allocated for our current firefighter stipend program.
The seasonal firefighters will start May 1st and complement our daily staffing working alongside our career and volunteer members in providing service to the community. Welcome Aboard Firefighters Preheim and Matthews!
Cascadia Conservation District offers free on-site chipping of branches
- Written by Amanda (Levesque) Newell, Education & Outreach Specialist, Cascadia Conservation District
Spring is a great time to get work done around your property, including wildfire preparedness. Consider using our spring chipping program instead of burning debris piles.
Burning your piles can lead to air quality issues and is a safety concern if fires were to get out of control.
Registration is open for our chipping program until May 1 here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GKTNND9.
Chipping will take place in late May. You don’t need to leave your property, just stack your branches on the street or driveway and our contract chipping crew will take care of it!
Chelan County amended COVID-19 response resolution clarifies rules and fines
- Written by Gregory Kennedy
The Chelan County Board of Commissioners have released a new resolution in response to questions from citizens who stated they were not clear about declarations stated in Resolution 2020-38.
Summary of the April 9, 2020 Leadership Response Team conference call
- Written by Mark Donnell, Chelan Fire & Rescue
Summary of the April 9, 2020 Leadership Response Team Conference Call
Submitted by: Mark Donnell, Chelan Fire & Rescue
Kent Sisson, Chelan-Douglas Regional EOC: Kent restated continued frustration from inability to obtain PPE (personal protective equipment) through the State due to changing guidelines and lack of coordination. Chelan county did receive needed ventilators and were able to return 40 back to the state due to lower-than-expected patient counts. Kent stated that he believed our latest PPE order might bring in some needed PPE but that long-term care facilities have been moved into the Tier 1 category which will impact the EOC’s ability to distribute surgical masks which are in low supply numbers.
Kent stated that the Sheriff’s Office was working with property owners regarding the recent declaration from the Chelan County Commissioners regarding vacation rentals and using education strategies before implementing enforcement.
Kent reinforced the need for the community to keep our focus on social distancing and the need for all essential services to focus on those infection control measures as it appears to be having a positive effect in controlling this current outbreak.
Barry Kling, Chelan-Douglas Health District: Answered questions regarding the number of patients testing positive in the Chelan/Manson area and referred to current information posted on the Chelan-Douglas Health District website: https://cdhd.wa.gov/covid-19/#case-count.
Barry was also asked about the drive-through testing process in place at Confluence Health and whether or not patients tested were given instructions about self-isolation until test results were returned. He was able to get an answer from Confluence during the conference call and it was affirmed that patient instructions were being given for those being tested.
Barry also offered to work with Kristi Morris form Columbia Valley Community Health to reach out to the Okanogan County Health District to assist in infection control measures to packing facilities in Okanogan County.
Barry reiterated that even with all of the news coming from Washington State that we may be at or near the top of the infection curve, it is extremely important to keep our social distancing processes in place for our area, as the eastern part of the state is about 1 to 2 weeks behind the curve for the Puget Sound. We need to keep sending the message out to our community about staying home, maintaining social distancing, and practicing effective infection control as these things appear to be working.
Chris Foreman, Chelan County Sheriff’s Office: Reiterated that patrol officers are working more towards educating the public regarding essential businesses and the vacation rental declaration rather than enforcement. Chelan County Sheriff has a dedicated number 509-667-6985 for the community to report violators with one deputy assigned to this task
Kristi Morris, Columbia Valley Community Health: Stated that they currently have 5 patients who have tested positive and 9 patients with results pending.
Kari Grover-Weir, USFS: USFS is starting to staff up for the upcoming fire season while working within the confinements mandated with social distancing. Mike Asher (CCFD #8 – Entiat) inquired whether or not the USFS was moving towards an earlier implementation of the seasonal burn ban similar to those released today by DNR. No decision is in place at this time.
Mike Steele, Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce: Gave updates from the business community in regards to unemployment benefits and the business community grant program. Currently over 200 businesses in Chelan County have applied with participation from business owners in the Chelan and Manson communities. Mike also stated that many in the business community are concerned about the recovery of business in our area and the possibility of what social distancing might need to be implemented when this current situation is over.
Mike gave an update on residential construction being an essential service and what the definition and guidelines for this would look like. There are a number of municipalities and counties looking at reviewing this issue and making recommendations for changing the current designation.
Mike also recommended adding the CEO from Chelan Fruit to the Leadership Response Team as a resource for working with the growers in the area, for purposes of educating and enforcing social distancing and infection control measures to safeguard worker health.
Debbie Conwell, Manson Chamber of Commerce: Gave a brief update on the community support program for Manson.
Bob Goedde, City of Chelan: City of Chelan and its citizens must follow this directive the Chelan County Declaration on short term rentals as we are in Chelan County and fall under their jurisdiction on this issue. The city is also seeking clarification on owners of second homes and where to shelter in place. There have been concerns from the community that people who own second homes are travelling back and forth and not sheltering in place as is the intent of the current stay-at-home policy
Mike Asher, Chelan County Fire District 8 (Entiat): CCFD # 8 has sufficient stock of PPE to handle current call volumes. Is concerned about the impact that current social distancing will have on partner agencies’ ability to respond for a potential busier-than-normal fire season. Fire Chief Mark Donnell spoke to the conversation he had with Bob Plumb (Chelan County Fire Marshal) about the possibility of starting the burn ban earlier this year (May 1st). Mr. Plumb indicated that he was working with the county commissioners and fire chiefs in coordination with the County Director of Community Development to put this in place.
Brandon Asher, Chelan Fire & Rescue: Updated team on recently implemented infection control measures put in place at Station 71. PPE stock is sufficient although disposable gowns and surgical masks are at critical lows. EMS call numbers for March are down but CF&R has had 19 fire or fire-related events since March 1st. All predictions are that we will be experiencing a busier-than-normal fire season.
Douglas County Treasurer’s tax relief plan in response to COVID-19
- Written by Jordyn Giulio, Douglas County Records and Risk Manager
In the interest of public safety, the Douglas County Treasurer has opted to maintain the April 30 deadline for property taxes and assessments. In our largely rural county, many of our small hospital and fire districts, as well as other valuable districts that provide services to the public are often supported by property taxes alone.
To respond to the economic impacts stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Douglas County Treasurer is encouraging property owners who are financially able, to pay first half or full year property taxes early to fund essential services needed now and in the months to come. However, the Treasurer’s Office understands that some taxpayers will be unable to make the April 30 deadline for their payments.
The Treasurer will be offering two tax relief plans for homeowners and small business owners who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The first option is a grace period extension. A taxpayer that enters into this plan will pay 50% of their first half tax and/or assessment(s) payment by April 30, with the remainder of the first half payment due on or before May 29 and will not be assessed interest or penalty. The second option is an 8-payment plan. The Treasurer office will assess the statutory monthly interest to the first half payment, but waive the state penalty. The balance will be divided into eight (8) payments, with the final payment due November 30. The second half tax due date of October 31 will remain unchanged.
In the event the pandemic persists into late 2020, the Treasurer will consider offering similar plans for the second-half 2020 taxes and assessments.
Applications for both plans are available on the Treasurer webpage at http://www.douglascountywa.net/elected-offices/treasurer or a paper or email copy can be obtained by contacting the Treasurer Office at (509) 745-8525.
You can also download the forms here:
Chelan Fire and Rescue Commissioners Meeting Agenda 4-15-20
- Written by Carol A Kibler, Administrative Office Manager, CCFD
The CFR Board of Commissioners will conduct the meeting via google hangout. The public is welcome to listen to the open public meeting by calling #351-888-7591 no access code is needed.
Proposed Chelan Fire and Rescue agenda pending Board approval.
Regular Meeting Call to Order:
Revenue and Expenditure Report: February 2020 / March 2020
Payroll: $111,849.11 February 1-29, 2020 Paid: 03-05-2020 / $117,566.60 March 1-31 Paid: 04-05-2020
Vouchers for February 1-29, 2020 General Account: Vouchers #746238 - 746259 for $20,171.83; Vouchers 746260 – 746280 for $19,400.87; Vouchers 746282-746290 for $3,502.45.
Vouchers for March 1-31, 2020 General Account:
Vouchers for February 1-29, 2020 Capital Account: Vouchers 17106 - 17107 for $2,054.17; Vouchers 746281 for $2,235.97and Voucher 17108 for $53.18.
Minutes: February 10 & 19, 2020 and March 23, 2020
Fire Chief Report:
2020 Budget & Financial Report
Emergency Response Report / Operations / Community Risk Reduction
Assistant Chief Report:
Volunteer Recruitment & Retention / Training
Firefighters Association Report:
Long Range Planning
Resolution 2020-02 Surplus - Laptops
Resolution 2020-03 Delegating Authority to Declare an Emergency
Resolution 2020-04 Surplus – 1987 Ford Water Tender
Resolution 2020-06 Surplus Items Structure Helmets and Boots
Resolution 2020-07 Surplus 1992 Seagrave and 2000 Nav/IH
Incident 2020-129 Illegal Burning Billing
Incident 2020-186 Out of District Brush Fire Response Billing
Board for Volunteer Firefighters:
Douglas County pre-existing home sales agreements proceed during the COVID-19 "Stay Home Stay Healthy" Governor proclamation
- Written by Tiana Rowland M.Ed., CMC, Clerk of the Board, Douglas County
On April 8, 2020 the Douglas County Board of Commissioners passed Resolution CE No. 20-26B & TLS 20-22B, Proclamation of Pre-existing Home Sales Agreements Proceed During the COVID-19 Stay Home Stay Healthy Governor Proclamation.
This proclamation allows pre-existing home sales that also have building permits in place to proceed to build completion as an essential activity under the Governor of the State of Washington’s guidance, subject to restrictions. Both the purchase and sale agreement and the building permit must have issue dates on or before March 27, 2020. The restrictions are as follows:
- An affidavit stating there is an existing Purchase and Sale Agreement or Real Estate contract and previously approved building permit prior to March 27, 2020 must be provided.
- An authorization letter will then be issued by the Douglas County Planning Department.
- Property viewings, inspections, appraisals and final walk-throughs shall be arranged by appointment only, and be limited to two people at each occurrence. Inspector may require additional measurers as required by the building inspector.
- County authorization must be posted on site.
- All persons on site must observe social distancing guidelines and applicable health and worker protection measures.
- This proclamation may be rescinded or superseded any time at the direction of the Douglas County Board of County Commissioners.
Full documents can be read here:
Swanson Gulch Brush Fire 4-7-20
- Written by Mark R. Donnell, Fire Chief, Chelan Fire & Rescue
On 4-7-20 at 5:41 PM, Chelan Fire & Rescue crews were dispatched to a reported brush fire in the area of 752 Swanson Gulch Road.
Arriving crews found an approximately ¼ acre wind driven brush fire that had moved into several large debris piles.
13 personnel from Chelan Fire & Rescue, working with several area residents, were able to get the fire under control within an hour and remained on scene to mop up until 1950.
The property owner was not burning at the time of this incident and the cause is still under investigation.
Chelan Fire & Rescue would like to remind our community that we are already experiencing an unusually active fire season this year and to please use caution when burning.