Wahkiakum County commissioners handled varied business when they met Tuesday, with issues ranging from fair premiums to ferry channel shoaling.
County fair officials have delayed mailing premium checks for the board of commissioners to discuss premium payments, said Commissioner Lisa Marsyla.
Last year, as a cost cutting measure, commissioner agreed to end funding for premium payments for adults but not for youth. Because of the reduction in premium funding and an increase in the number of youth entries, the premium dropped from 32 cents per point to 19 cents this year, Marsyla said.
Marsyla said she didn't realize last year that this would occur.
"I thought the kids would be whole," she said.
The county budgeted $14,720 for premiums in 2011 and $7500 in 2012.
"The fair board hopes to come up with $10,000," Marsyla said; the money would be transferred from unexpended funds.
"We can't guarantee anything," said Commissioner Blair Brady. "The reduction was a matter of surviving and keeping a fair going.
"My concern is, is that going to affect the ability of keeping the fair going."
Commissioners said they would discuss the matter again next week.
Puget Island resident Corbett McMaster asked the board of commissioners to try to find a way to help Puget Island residents drain their land in the winter.
McMaster and his neighbors have purchased lots on a subdivided site of a former dairy farm on North Welcome Slough Road. The properties are connected to the system of ditches which Consolidated Diking District No. 1 operates on the island.
McMaster said there was no provision made for ditches or drainage in the subdivision as approved by the county years ago and the diking district doesn't feel it can expand the ditches onto private property without increasing its assessments to all landowners.
Such a provision should be included in the subdivision law, McMaster said.
Commissioners said they would set up a workshop with diking district commissioners and Island residents to discuss the situation.
"I think we need to do something so that it doesn't happen in the future," said commission Chair Dan Cothren.
"Most of this is diking district business, not Wahkiakum County's," said Commissioner Blair Brady. "We can try to fix it for the future."
Commissioners approved a request from Treasurer Marlena Silva for budget transfers to cover extra staff time for foreclosures and other work.
The part-time staff member will need extra time to accomplish foreclosure work, she said, and he'll be needed to cover for vacation of the deputy treasurer.
Commissioners approved a $2000 transfer in the treasurer's budget for the extra time.
Commissioners said they would follow up on a request from Public Works Director Pete Ringen to lobby for US Army Corps of Engineers dredging of the channel used by the ferry Wahkiakum.
The Oregon side of the ferry's channel has long had shoaling problems, Ringen said, and now sand is filling around the Puget Island landing.
The channel needs to be realigned, Ringen added, because of the extension of the new ferry ramp and to prepare for the larger ferry to be built next year.
"It's a federally authorized channel," Ringen said.
"We're at risk to not be able to use the ferry at low tide," said Commissioner Brady. "We're there."