Proclamation recognizes 50 years of Fire Protection

At Wednesday night’s Board of Trustees meeting, Mayor Pro-tem Eileen Waldow read a Proclamation of the town’s appreciation of 50 years of service by East Grand Fire Protection District No. 4, which had been established on April 18, 1969. Upon completion of the reading, the room was filled with applause for the District and its service.

Silver Stem Fine Cannabis approved to extend hours

Stan Zislis, owner and CEO of Silver Stem Fine Cannabis and Lindsey Gardner, Silver Stem’s license and compliance manager, addressed the trustees on the request they had submitted to extend the hours of operation to midnight. Recent changes in the Fraser Town Code applicable to retail marijuana businesses allow the extension of hours on a case-by-case basis.

Silver Stem is located on the second level of the Fraser Valley Shopping Center. Zislis pointed out the location is well lit, with good visibility from the road. Late night shoppers would not disturb any residents of the town. The transit service Black line has a stop in the shopping center. Zislis also mentioned the new Tap Room on the lower level plans to stay open until 2 am. “The proximity will benefit both businesses”, said Zislis.  

Zislis told the trustees that March had marked two years of ownership. They have had success with rebranding the shop and have had considerable growth of about 20% year over year. The extended hours would serve to increase revenue and sales tax generation to the town. “We fit the criteria. I respectfully request you grant our request”, said Zislis. He added that the extended hours would initially occur on Friday and Saturday nights, starting after Memorial Day. He would seasonally adjust hours and would maintain a communication plan that advised customers of the shop hours.

Trustee Soles asked Zislis if he’d had “any issues with folks going outside and burnin’ one”. Zislis replied that they have rules posted visibly within the business, advising customers of such things as consumption only in private settings. “We haven’t had any issues. We monitor the exterior of the premises and in 2 years, we haven’t had that.”

Trustee Quinn stated, “They run a good shop”.

Trustee Miller commented, “I’ve worked next door on the radio station and see that you have a lot of business”. He added, “you also did something about the smell” which had previously permeated the KFFR space. Zislis confirmed they had redesigned the ventilation system to eliminate the odors.

The trustees unanimously approved the request for extended hours. Zislis thanked them and stated that he would not make changes in hours right away. That he still had to make a staffing plan and marketing changes for what makes sense.

Service Line Incentive retooling discussed

Town Manager Jeff Durbin engaged the trustees in a discussion carried forth from the recent Water and Wastewater Committee meeting.

Manager Durbin explained that the service lines for water and sewer piece are the section of pipe that runs from the main into the house. It is the responsibility of the homeowner to maintain this section of pipe and repair or replace it when necessary. Manager Durbin noted that many residences, especially in the oldest parts of town, have clay and galvanized steel piping that erodes over time. ‘“A small leak can release an unbelievable amount of water”, said Durbin, adding, “leaks are everyone’s problem”. The state would not allow expansion of the wastewater treatment plant if the reason is due to infiltration.

About ten years ago, the town had approved a service line incentive program to encourage people to do something. The program offers the homeowner a $500 credit on the water and wastewater bill when work is completed, along with waiver of surety. The town also performs replacement of asphalt and concrete removed during the repair or replacement. Since the program was launched, Manager Durbin estimated that only five residents had taken advantage of the program.

The Water and Wastewater Committee had discussed how to retool the existing program to be more effective with the goals of repair and replacement and encourage people to go out and get this done. “It’s your pipe. If you don’t fix it, the town can come in and fix it and send you a bill, said Durbin. The ideal is that the homeowner complete the work themselves. “It is more time and cost efficient to encourage people to do this on their own.”

Leaks, outdated materials, and faulty lines that have frozen and bleeders (running water so the lines don’t freeze) are all causes for repair.

Manager Durbin told the trustees the homeowners could come forward and self-identify that they need service, or, the town could send letters to homeowners with a known need for repair.

The committee had proposed the new program would be available to Fraser residents for use to repair water or wastewater/sewer lines and also bury them deeper to prevent them from freezing. Ideas included offering a low interest loan to the homeowner to complete the work, or a percentage discount upon completion for those that pay directly, surety and permitting fee waivers.

The committee’s target is 10 sewer and 5 water line repair/replacement projects per year. “In ten years, that’s 150 service lines – a big dent goes along way in solving our problems”, said Manager Durbin. Applications would be criteria-based with leaks prioritized over burying deeper lines. The board of trustees would have to consider any extensive repair work.

Manager Durbin illustrated it as a ‘Carrot & Hammer’ approach. “You do have some responsibility to take care of your repairs/replacement.”

Trustee Barwick acknowledged that only five people had utilized the program in the last ten years. He advised that communication and outreach will be very important. “To be successful, it needs a lot of thought put in to how we roll it out.”

The trustees felt that a 10% discount should be availed to those that finance with the town at low/zero% interest and a 25% discount for those that pay in full/finance on their own. The discounts would be applied after the work has been completed.

Manager Durbin told the trustees he would put this together and bring it back for their consideration.

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