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Shelton Mason County Journal
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June 5, 2014     Shelton Mason County Journal
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June 5, 2014
 

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+: Page A-2 - Mason County Journal - Thursday, June 5, 2014 Officials: Wage increase will affect Mason County STAFF REPORT news@masoncoun com Mason Cmmty elected offi- cials and business leaders react- ed this week to the Seattle City Council's historic vote Monday to raise the city's minimum wage to $15. Mason County Commission- er Tim Sheldon said increasing Seattle's minimum wage will be detrimental to small busi- nesses. "The franchises and corpo- rate entities will absorb it eas- ily," he said. "But the small businesses, it'll drive them out." Commissioner Randy Neath- erlin said Seattle's decision will likely affect Mason County. "I don't know how it can't," he said. Sheldon, also a state senator for the 35th District, said he ex- pected the Legislature to review bills to expand the minimum wage increase. "The liberal Seattle legisla- tors will try to enact it state- wide," he said. Commissioner Terri Jeffreys said the move will hit restau- rant and hospitality industries hardest, and said if local gov- ernment discussed a similar increase, it would be because of action by voters. "It would probably be a citizen initiative that would bring that to any public agenda," she said. Shelton Mayor Gary Cronce said such a measure in Shelton would be "devastating to the plight of the poor." With businesses being forced to pay workers $15 an hour, the price of fast food and second- hand items will go up, Cronce said. That might increase the crime rate because people will steal things they can no longer afford, he said. "The rich will always be able to take care of themselves," Cronce said. Heidi McCutcheon, executive director for the Shelton Mason County Chamber of Commerce, said in an email that the issue is complex, adding that the $15 minimum wage equates to near- ly $20 an hour for employers af- ter taxes and fees. "When a person is faced with a decision to work for Green Diamond setting choke on a sharply sloped hillside out in the weather for $17 or to work at a warm, dry restaurant for $15, it's easy to see where this could lead," she said. McCutcheon said skilled workers typically invest thou- sands of dollars in degrees or certification for a specific field, with a higher wage offsetting some of those education costs. "It really isn't just about $15 an hour," she said. Stephanie Rowland, presi- dent and CEO of the North Ma- son Chamber of Commerce de- clined to comment on the wage increase. m Reporters Natalie Johnson, Gordon Weeks, Lloyd Mullen and editor Adam Rudnick con- tributed to this story. Pool advisory committee will raise money for repairs Group: Using other pools unfeasible for schools By GORDON WEEKS gordon@masoncounty, com The Shelton School Dis- trict's swimming pool advi- sory committee plans to raise money to repair the district's pool after determining other regional pools can't serve as alternative sites for students. In its report presented to the district's school board May 29, the committee rec- ommended keeping the pool open for district and commu- nity use, while budgeting and planning for repairs in the summer of 2015. The group also recommended increas- ing the pool budget by $560 per month to accommodate increased use, and to not in- crease pool user fees now. The committee's long-term recommendations include establishing a maintenance schedule beyond 2015 to avoid deferred maintenance, and talking to Mason County commissioners about possi- bly including the pool into a county parks district. The district says it will cost $354,000 to make repairs at the pool. The Shelton School Dis- trict's immediate need is to resurface the pool and buy a new concrete lid in the pool maintenance room, the com- mittee reports. Future needs include updating the interior and exterior, dealing with the Qualit ! Women's Clothing& 25% Colored  Journal file photo Shelton freshman Jacob Schreiber, left, senior Ryder Phelan and senior Dalton Green dive into the Shelton pool in January during a team practice. The Shelton School District's swimming pool advisory committee plans to raise money to repair the district's pool, after determining that other regional pools can't serve as alternative sites for students. boiler that heats the pool, and updating the facility to meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards. Committee member Matt Kirsch presented the commit- tee's report during a Power- Point presentation. Kirsch outlined the op- tions for using other pools on the Squaxin Island Tribe res- ervation and The Evergreen State College, and then dis- missed both as unworkable. The Squaxin Island Tribe's pool floor's 3.5-foot depth covers less than half of the area of equal depth in the Shelton pool, Kirsch said. That means less than half the pool space to provide safe, adequate swim instruc- tion, he said. The Squaxin Island Tribe pool has four lanes, so it can- not host swim meets, and has no diving tank, Kirsch said. The water temperature is 86 degrees, whereas recommen- dations for swimming are for 78 to 82 degrees, he said. Like the other options, the travel time is too long for high school students who take and teach lessons, Kirsch said, At The Evergreen State College pool, only three lanes would be available during practices because the rest of the facility is open for school and community use, Kirsch said. The only time the pool would be available to the stu- dents is from 5 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., REAL ESTATE he said. The Washington State Pa- trol Academy pool in Shelton also is unable to accommo- date the district, Kirsch said. Among the concerns and issues with those pools is that bus transportation would have to be provided for all grade levels, and probably would reduce the turnout for each activity, including the boys and girls swim teams and the third-grade pro- grams, Kirsch said. The committee's report also listed the costs to build a pool similar to the current fa- cility. Comparable pools were constructed last year and this year in St. Helena, Montana ($4.6 million), San Jose, Cali- fornia ($6.7 million), Prince William, Vermont ($10 mil- lion) and Lake Park, Illinois ($9.1 million). The P0oi Advisory Com- mittee will Oversee the fund, raising efforts for the pool repairs. The proposals in- clude selling naming rights and banners to businesses, seeking individual donations, hosting fundraising events, selling products such as T- shirts and wristbands, pur- suing grants and reaching out to civic and fraternal or- ganizations. Shelton School Board President Brenda Hirschi praised the committee::for do- ing "a great job. It looks very thorough." But Hirschi al.so:pointed out the district, has other maintenance challenges in the district Outside the pool. . *' - 306 W. Railroad Ave PO Box 70 Shelton, WA 98584 www.JohnLScottShelton.com 360-426-3319 Meet Realtor Cherie Depoe Cherie is a hometown girl with extensive knowledge of our beautiful area. Her deep roots have given Cherie vast understanding of the town's history. She proves to each of her clients to be very hard working and dedicated, always keeping her clients' interest first. One of Cherie's greatest traits is being extremely willing to explore all options. 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