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Quincy, Washington
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February 27, 2014     The Quincy Valley Post-Register
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February 27, 2014
 

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2 LOCAL NEWS THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2014 Post-Register Nc,00 long to go now fill FitzSimmons/Post-Register While a public open house is still a couple months away, crews working on the new Quincy Community Health Center facSty have removed most of the plastic tenting that had been protecting the construction project for several months. Crews removed about 36,000 square feet of plastic, which will be reused by the stucco contractor on his next job, said Graham Goldy, co-project manager for the health center. The stucco siding and stone veneer took about 10 weeks to complete. Crews this week were to continue working on the center's beautiful new pergola at its entrance. The project is on schedule, with a move-in date set for early April, Goldy said. District chief resumes coming in BY KURTIS J. WOOD sports@qvpr, com The Quincy School Distrct has received some 16 viable can- didates who have sent in resumes for the superintendent's po- sition, The application deadline is Friday. Board President Tricia Lubach expects a few more applications to come in. "We have a number of very strong candidates," she said at Tuesday's board meeting. The board and its consulting firm will screen applicants March 4 and preliminary interviews are scheduled for March 12-13. The board also has a 21-person Interview Observer Board in place, which will observe the interviews and give its input. Two community forums at 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. on March 18 will follow. The public can meet the finalists at that time. The board expects to hire a replacement for retiring Super- intendent Burton Dickerson by the end of March, Lubach said. On Tuesday, the school district also recognized its certificat- ed and classified employees of the year. The District Employees of the Year for 2013-14 were teacher Claudia Wiggins and dis- trict office assistant Peggy Hinkins. Wiggins is a student support and behavior specialist with sev- eral years of experience in her position. With the district eight years, Hinkins is an executive assistant to Carole Carlton, director of student achievement, and the AE- SOP coordinator. Apartme00lt complex draws mixed feelings in George BY TAMMARA GREEN writer@qvpr, corn George city planner Darryl Piercy is frustrated by a lack of communication with Catholic Charities, which built St. Martha's Plaza, a 51-unit apart- ment complex in the small communi- ty, and increased the city's population by 50 percent in only three years. At last week's city council meeting, Piercy said he was under the impres- sion Catholic Charities would be in regular contact with the city to help find ways to ease the impact the pop- ulation growth has had on the small town. They have not, he said. The city has discussed in the past a rise in crime in recent years. It makes sense that an increase from 500 to 750 people is one of the main reasons for the spike in crime, Piercy said. "It's not necessarily caused by the people living there," he said. "When you add 200 people to George, it's bound to have an impact on city ser- vices." Piercy wants to see a healthy shar- ing of ideas and agood discussion. "I thought this was a fair conversa- tion to have," he said after the meeting. "I wanted to know what they could be doing to assist the city with programs. I also felt we needed to reassess the impact this project was having. We agreed to have these conversations. You need to make these evaluations from time to time. It was worth the effort." Last week, Holly Anderson, assis- tant manager with Catholic Charities; Bryan Ketcham, director of housing services for Catholic Charities; and Pete Chittenden of Coast Real Estate Services attended the council meet- ing to give an update on the project. Chittenden told the council the- orga- nization initially struggled with some management issues, but it replaced the on-site manager and has resolved -those issues. Catholic Charities argues they are not responsible for the spike in crime in the city. And they are open to creat- ing programs that aid in crime preven- tion within the community. "We still maintain a good relation- ship" with the city, Ketcham said this week. "The conversation came out of the frustration of a growing commu- nity. We are not in a position to make payment to the city for law enforce- ment. We may explore payment in lieu of taxes; however, the law determines what that would be. Most likely it would add up to less than $1,000. We can and will explore that." George public works director Joe Schons had a different take on the matter, as he has maintained a healthy and cohesive relationship with the or- ganization's management, he said. In 2011 St. Martha's Plaza went through a change in management, and city records show that 911 calls orig- inating from St. Martha's Plaza sig- nificantly dropped with that change, Schons said. In fact, crime was in- creasing in the six years before the apartments were built, he said. In 2011, city records show 911 calls coming from St. Martha's totaled 32. In 2011, there were 110 total calls in- side the city limits. In 2012, 911 calls coming from St. Martha's dropped to nine, while 68 came from inside the city of George, according to the city. "You can't assume all the crimes in town are coming from Martha's," said Schons, who added St. Martha's Plaza is in good condition and aesthetically looks good. Catholic Charities in 2011 paid the city $40,000, which helped the city bring in a security contractor in 2011, Schons said. When St. Martha's was being planned, an environmental impact statement was completed. It had a de- termination of nonsignificance, mean- ing the city determined there were no major impacts on services, public health and safety, water, sewer and utilities, Schons said. 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