Commissioners, land trust OK work
Wahkiakum County Commissioners and the Columbia Land Trust agreed on terms Tuesday for current and future projects.
Commissioners approved a resolution closing Kandoll Road this week for paving and armoring of the road's shoulders. Grays River freshets have eroded the road, which crosses an old farm which the land trust is returning to wetland habitat.
Public Works Director Pete Ringen said the land trust could meet the conditions he would place on the road work. Their engineer needed to put his professional stamp on both specifications and a memorandum with details for the road construction, Ringen said.
Land trust representative Ian Sinks said the engineer would stamp the document, and he added that the land trust had obtained a bond for 25 percent of the estimated project cost. The land trust would provide the bond and a 24-month warranty on the work, he said.
"With these other steps, I feel good about the road closure," Ringen said.
Sinks and the commissioners discussed Elochoman Valley projects.
Sinks reported that a land trust employee was doing grading and other work to complete a project near SR 4. Commissioner Lisa Marsyla commented that she remembered being told by the employee that the work was completed last year.
Sinks said he would look into the matter; perhaps the employee meant the task list for the year had been completed, not the whole project.
It may be possible that either the land trust or the County Road Department could do some work to clear the nearby Nelson Creek drainage, Sinks said.
Beaver dams are blocking the stream, and Sinks said the state Department of Fish and Wildlife has said it would issue permits to remove the beavers.
"If we can get a permit, we'll do the maintenance," Sinks said. "But if we remove the dam, they'll be back, in hours, or days.
Ringen said the county road crew used to do maintenance work for the stream channel, but that practice was stopped. He said he's not sure that it's a legal use of the County Road Fund.
However, the county could work with the land trust under the right circumstances.
Commissioner Dan Cothren commented the creek bed would be good salmon habitat, but the beaver dams prevent fish from accessing the area. He recommended Sinks find funding for channel enhancement work.
Sinks said the project might not have a high priority with the Lower Columbia Fish Recovery Board, which funds salmon habitat enhancement projects.
"I'm willing to look for funding," he added.
A public notice for the closure of Kandoll Road may be found in the Public Notices section of this issue.