The Cathlamet Town Council on Tuesday voted to offer the Helping Hand Food Bank a site in Erickson Park to locate a new building for the food bank.
Helping Hand administrators had requested the town lease a lot at the corner of 2nd and Beal streets, near the Elochoman Slough Marina, so they could site a new building.
They had made a similar request last spring, and after town sponsored community meetings, a proposal went to the council to site the new food bank in Erickson Park near the tennis courts.
There was public opposition to the proposed site, and when the issue came up for council action, no one seconded Councilmember Dick Swart's motion to approve the lease, and the matter died without further discussion.
On Tuesday, Councilmember Ruth Doumit moved to reconsider that earlier motion. She said she hadn't understood there would be no further discussion, and she now had a different idea.
"My motion is to get this out so we can talk about it," she said.
The council passed the motion to reconsider, and Doumit proposed offering a location in the park near the southwest corner, between the parking lot and the community garden. The site would be convenient to clients, she said, and its location at the side of the park wouldn't interfere with park activities.
Councilmember Wally Wright said he wasn't opposed to the park site, but he was opposed to the 2nd and Beal site the council had intended to consider Tuesday. That site, he has said, should be kept free for parking or other use in the event that the nearby Cathlamet Fire Station is used as a disaster response center.
Councilmember Steven McNicholas eventually voted in favor of the park site, but he warned that there would likely be an adverse public reaction, for many members of the public had opposed the earlier proposal for the park. He suggested the council offer a backup site, and Wright suggested using town right-of-way at the intersection of 3rd and undeveloped Beal streets.
Swart moved to work with the food bank for a lease of park property, and McNicholas's suggestion became an amendment added to the motion, which passed with a unanimous vote.
Brown said he will now start preparing applications for grant funding for the new building.
In other business Tuesday:
--The council, by consensus, denied a request from a local businessman who wanted to lease part of the town maintenance shop to equip and open a brew pub. Town officials said vacating the area would be a hardship for their operations.
--The council met in executive session to consider acquisition of real estate, and upon reconvening, by a 3-1 vote, authorized Mayor George Wehrfritz to look at the potential of acquiring property through sale or trade for town property. Voting in favor were Doumit, Wright and McNicholas, and against, Swart.--The town signed a contract with Pacific Tech Construction for the renovation of the old town hall and library building.