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10/10/2012 1:04:00 PM
City hires Smith Syndicate to oversee Festhalle improvements

Ian Dunn

The Leavenworth City Council has approved a professional services agreement with Todd Smith of Smith Syndicate to oversee improvements to the Festhalle.

In the July study session, the council decided to move forward on addressing some needs or wants at the Festhalle, said Joel Walinski, Leavenworth city administrator, at the Sept. 11 city council meeting.

The first item identified was an ice machine, which has since been purchased and installed at the Festhalle. The second item identified was some noise or sound modification.

"This wouldn't be an acoustical study of the building, but it would be to add some type of sound baffling material so that we reduce some of the echo in the building," Walinski said. "If you look at sound modification and acoustical improvements, you are probably looking at three or four different phases as we move forward. We have a lot of cement walls and sharp corners.We can address those cost effectively and quickly."

Smith will be looking at this issue, he said, deciding on the best material to address the sound.

The third item identified is to improve the lighting at the Festhalle. Not necessarily the brightness of the lighting, but some type of atmosphere lighting that could be dimmed when there is a dinner or some other type of performance, other than Leavenworth Summer Theater.

"Now, all you have is all lights on bright or all lights off dark," he said. "Todd will provide us information on the level of light and recommendation. Then, we'll have to go get an electrical engineer to plan how that gets put in."

Another item has to do with additions to the Festhalle, an extension of the kitchen and upstairs area. This would also be Smith's charge, Walinski said, deciding on the best use of the addition, then coming back to the council with what a 30 percent plan would look like.

"The reason we go by 30 percent by the first quarter is so we have the information on how much it is going to cost," he said. "Then, we can look at that as the Festhalle comes up for refinancing, which could provide some funding to pay for that improvement. Is that something the council wants to do? You need that information before making that decision."

Councilman Peter DeVries said the most difficult problem will be the sound. He suggested looking at panels and spray-on acoustic material.

River Bank Improvements

The Leavenworth City Council has approved a resolution in support of efforts by the Washington Department of Natural Resources to restore banks along the Wenatchee River in Leavenworth.

"Basically, they have identified 15 sites along the Wenatchee River, on the city side, Enchantment Park, Blackbird Island, Waterfront Park, where they have found sites that are eroding and in need of engineering to restore these areas that are sloughing into the river," said Nathan Pate, city development services manager. "We want to retain our park system and retain the trail system we have established. Of course, we want to support native species and habitat for the critters that get into our park system."

The resolution, Pate said, creates a support system so DNR can pursue funding for their projects. Right now, he said they have funds for seven projects they hope to finish this year, planting and some shoreline restoration.

"These are things they can do in a short period of time, and are willing to pay for it," Pate said. "We do a resolution of support, then they can go after the bigger stuff, like an RCO grant, so we can have a full completion of these sites."

Councilman Elmer Larsen said this is good time to do the projects since water level in the river is so low. Councilman Bob Francis said these projects are long overdue.

"The banks have eroded and eroded," Francis said. "This will make it a lot more usable and nicer looking."

Ian Dunn can be reached at 548-5286 or

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