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Council considers event application process


In the 2013 annual audit, the State Auditor’s office (SAO) recommended that the city of Arlington align the city’s special event process with the airport’s special event process to ensure that the process was consistent and fairly applied to all users of all city properties.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) made the same recommendation in a separate audit.

City staff has been working since early 2015 to address issues raised by auditors regarding airport processes and procedures, and this Monday, after discussion at last week’s workshop meeting, city council was scheduled to select from two options: In one proposed ordinance the airport commission would make decisions about fees for events based on benefits to the community and in the other proposed option, city council would make the decisions.

Under the current city code, special events may be required to pay for city services. Each event is evaluated on a case-by-case basis, weighing the amount of city services required against the economic and community benefit of the event.

Events on airport property must go through this process twice — once with the city and again with the airport staff and commission, according to council documents.

The options are an effort to realign the process so that all events are treated the same.

At last Monday’s workshop, Mayor Barbara Tolbert, who is executive director of the Arlington Fly-In, recused herself from the discussion.

Council members Mike Hopson, Debora Nelson and Sue Weiss all questioned allowing the airport commission to make decisions on waiving fees that would impact the city budget.

Council member Marilyn Oertle wondered how the community benefit would be measured.

There were also some questions about whether the process applies to both aviation and non-aviation events.

Things are complicated by FAA rules and regulations on airports, which obligate the city to make the airport available “to all types, kinds and classes of aeronautical activities without unjust discrimination,” and to ensure that proposed uses are consistent with the approved airport plan.

The city is also required to keep the airport self-sustainable.

Other council action

• Council was expected to vote on bringing back an assistant city administrator position that was first created in 1998 and eliminated in 2014 during a reorganization.

Administrator Paul Ellis explained that an assistant was needed to cover for him when he is out of the office.

• Council was expected to approve an interlocal agreement with Arlington School District for use of a portion of Weston High School for an Advanced Manufacturing Training Education Center.

The agreement outlines the obligations of the city with respect to electrical equipment improvements that need to be made at the school building, which is owned by the city and leased by the district. AMTEC North will provide access to specialized manufacturing training that supports local businesses.

• Council was expected to reappoint Dawn Boyden to the library board and Skip Smith and Maxine Jenft to the cemetery board.

• The cemetery board, along with staff, have proposed a marketing plan for the Arlington Cemetery, including discounts on packages of common burial items as an incentive to purchase items all at the same time.

• At this Monday’s meeting Paramedic Gregg Haddick was to be sworn in and the city was to honor the school Superintendent Kris McDuffy, who is leaving for Edmonds.

Arlington City Council meets in the city’s Council Chambers, in the Police Station at 110 E. Third St. in Arlington.


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