Eatonville council honors slain officer

At its Aug. 23 meeting, the Eatonville Town Council remembered a law enforcement officer who nearly a century ago fell in the line of duty within town limits — the only such death in the history of the town — in passing a proclamation declaring Sept. 5, 2021, as Dolar LaPlant Day.

On Sept. 4, 1925, Marshal LaPlant — in only his fourth day on the job — responded to a call of a man walking down Center Street randomly firing a gun. LaPlant went directly to the suspect’s home and began talking with the suspect’s wife, at which point the suspect arrived on the scene.

LaPlant asked if he was the man firing the gun, to which the suspect indicated in the affirmative and then fired a shot from his pocket, striking LaPlant in the liver. LaPlant nevertheless was able to overpower the suspect and take him into custody.

LaPlant succumbed to his wound the following day.

“Marshal LaPlant did take to the call of duty, went and did his job and was unfortunate to be wounded and die from his injuries,” Mayor Mike Schaub said.

In other business, the council passed Resolution 2021-HH, regarding the length and cost related to cleaning up a long-abandoned landfill leased from Weyerhaeuser Co. that was used by the town for three decades. Starting in 1950, Eatonville leased the land from Weyerhaeuser and used it as a landfill. The site was closed in 1980. State regulations for shutting down a landfill were followed, but concerns always remained about the site’s condition and environmental impact.

The resolution passed by the council authorizes the mayor to execute an interagency agreement with the Washington State Department of Ecology to draft a remedial investigation work plan, perform a site reconnaissance, perform a geotechnical study, perform a remedial investigation, perform a feasibility study and draft a preliminary draft cleanup action plan. Work is to be completed by June 30, 2023, and not exceed more than $357,000, which Ecology will pay for after having reviewed and accepted the work.

The council passed a resolution for a draft to be prepared and presented at the next council meeting objecting to the draft Air Tour Management Plan that is being proposed for Mount Rainier National Park by the National Park Service and the Federal Aviation Administration. The objection is based on the proposed plan authorizing up to one air tour per year on a defined route.

Jonelle McCoy, Main Street specialist, was on hand to give a presentation about the Washington State Main Street Program that helps communities revitalize the economy, appearance and image of their downtown commercial districts. The program is managed by the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation.

“We can bring you best practices,” explained McCoy. “We can bring you examples from other towns who have done this work before. We can connect you with these folks.”

The Main Street Program relies on a community-driven, comprehensive revitalization program organized around four pillars: economic vitality, design, promotion and organization.


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