Wahkiakum County commissioners had a light agenda but still found plenty to do at their meeting Tuesday.
The board told members of the exeuctive board of the Cowlitz/Wahkiakum Drug Taskforce they would continue searching for funds for a contribution to the taskforce budget. Wahkiakum hasn't contributed for several years because of tight revenues.
Wahkiakum Sheriff Mark Howie praised the work of the taskforce, which is set up to target mid- and upper level drug dealers.
"The work that the taskforce does eliminates drugs that would be in our county," he said. "It takes mid- and upper level dealers out of our county. I fully support the work that the taskforce does."
Cowlitz County Sheriff Mark Nelson commented that taskforce members consider Wahkiakum County as a partner even if it can't afford to contribute. Taskforce members have always been able to depend on Wahkiakum officers when needed, he said, the taskforce will continue to work cases involving Wahkiakum activity. And, Wahkiakum officers often provide good tips and information for the taskforce from their own investigations.
"We're in this together," Nelson said. "We're in this for the long haul."
Commissioner Dan Cothren commented that he sees lots of signs of illegal drug activity in his job as forest security supervisor for Hancock Forest Management. He often sees vehicles and people who appear to be looking for places to conduct illegal drug activity in the woods.
"I feel real bad about the situation (Wahkiakum unable to contribute funds)," Cothren said. "We'll go back and look at the budget; we're looking for something. I definitely want to contribute.
"More and more, we're getting preyed on."
"Mark Howie has done a great job for you," commission Chair Blair Brady commented to the taskforce members. "The drug taskforce has done a good job. I wish we had money. If we find it, we will contribute."
In other business Nick Nikkila and Colleen Healy of the Wahkiakum County Board of Adjustment reported that the board had concluded appeals for 2012.
Twenty appeals were filed, Nikkila said; the board heard 13, and Assesssor Bill Coons reached agreements on the other seven.
The number of appeals was much less than the board had to deal with the previous year, they said. The board's expenses were also under budget, they added.