Gold Bar celebrates its heritage despite lawsuits

GOLD BAR, Wash. - The city of Gold Bar has had its fair share of legal troubles lately, which leaders say is draining its budget.

In fact, one of the town's biggest events - Gold Dust Days - almost didn't happen because of it all.

"This is what Gold Bar is all about - we're really Mayberry," says the city's mayor, Joe Beavers.

"It's about making memories for families and children," adds Debbie Copple, director of the Sky Valley Chamber of Commerce.

As one event-goer put it, "This is about a community of good people and gold and just having a good time."

But the annual festival almost didn't happen because the city could not contribute the usual $2,000 to $3,000 for the event. Instead, volunteers stepped up to the plate.

"They came together, more stepped up with cash, made it happen - better than last year," says Beavers.

"Its nice to see it continuing 'cause it's nice to have," says event-goer R.V. Palmer.

City leaders say attorney fees and lawsuits are making the city go broke, officials say.

"Problem is, looking at $90,000 in litigation fees this year," says Beavers.

"The city is having to ask its residents to assess an additional levy tax to keep for another year because of these lawsuits," adds Copple.

Some residents, like Ann Block, are blaming the officials themselves for the mess. She has filed several lawsuits against the city.

Another woman who filed a lawsuit and doesn't want her name used accuses the city of hiding records.

But Mayor Beavers says, "There is zero illegal things going on, as far as I am concerned."

Despite all that is going on behind the scenes, Sunday was a day for many to smile and share memories with their families because, after all, they say that is what Gold Bar is about.

The mayor is calling this year's event a success and says Gold Dust Days will be back next year.