The Lake Chelan Sailing Association (LCSA) went before the Chelan City Council on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, to discuss extending the marina use facilities agreement and partnership between the Chelan Parks and Recreation Department and the LCSA through 2017.
The LCSA is a non-profit sailing club that provides low-cost access to sailing on Lake Chelan, sailing courses, which are free during certain times of the year, and boater education and safety courses. In addition, LCSA holds work parties to clean the shores of Lake Chelan, they host races, classes, cruises, and the Lake Chelan Regatta which takes place every September.
Sara Lolos, a board member and spokesperson for the LCSA, gave a short presentation and emphasized the club’s services to the community of Chelan.
“We are here for the community and we don’t charge the community for boater’s education, we offer it free of charge,” Lolos said. “We offer public benefit through an engaging program that promote[s] safety and a healthy lifestyle.”
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Lolos continued, “Even if you can’t afford a boat, boater’s insurance, or membership to the Yacht Club, you can still learn how to sail and spend a day boating on Lake Chelan with your family.”
Lolos asked the Council to allow the Parks Department and City of Chelan to partner with The LCSA in a long-term agreement. Early on in her presentation Lolos stated, “The Lake Chelan Sailing Association began as a partnership with The Chelan Parks and Recreation Department. It hasn’t felt like a partnership, probably because the future of LCSA has felt very uncertain. We can’t even plan a year in advance, because we don’t know if we will have an agreement with the city next year.”
Through the partnership with the Chelan Parks and Recreation Department, LCSA vessels are stored at the Chelan City Marina on Manson Hwy, adjacent to Don Morse Park, granting them easy access to Lake Chelan. Parks and Recreation Director Karen Sargeant carefully investigated the matter through community contacts, worked with the LCSA board members, and examining past agreements between 2005 to the present.
Sargeant found that past agreements between the LCSA and the City were sometimes 1-year agreements and sometimes 2-year agreements, without much information as to why the length of the agreement varied. The LCSA is seeking a longer term agreement of at least two years in length.
“The Parks department is not against The Lake Chelan Sailing Association,” said Sargeant. “This whole situation came about because of boat storage. Boat storage, looking back through my research, has been the bone of contention the entire time. It’s just a matter of finding something that’s going to be a win-win for everybody and will solve the issue.”
After hearing Lolos along with two other representatives of the LCSA, Russ Jones and Ed Isenhart, and in hearing Sargeant’s analysis, it was decided unanimously by the council to authorize Mayor Mike Cooney to negotiate with The Lake Chelan Sailing Association at his discretion regarding a renewal of partnership. Those negotiations would also include length of the partnership and storage of the LCSA’s vessels. Cooney urged the LCSA to meet with him the following week for discussions.
(By Branden Allen)