Economics, housing among board's topics
The regularly scheduled Board of Wahkiakum County Commissioners July 1 meeting was moved to Wednesday, July 2, last week.
“Just for your own amazement,” said Kent Martin, after providing some numbers on fishing in the area, “of the last six Alaska permits that have left this area, four went to Alaska and one to a guy in Idaho. Only one stayed here, and that went to a guy in Astoria.
"Those six permits I would guess probably amount to a local income of $300,000-400,000 a year brought back into this community. It’s a huge drain and it’s been minimized. It makes me angry to see people in these rural communities taken advantage of and then to be told that sportsmen coming in from Vancouver, Olympia or Tacoma are doing us a favor.”
Sue Cameron, Chris Holmes and Chris Weiler brought the commissioners up to date with the co-location and housing projects that Health and Human Services has been working hard on. They’ve looked at a few properties and are hoping to see some more. A wetland study was recently completed on the land they currently occupy, and of the section that they are not utilizing, only a 50 x 75 foot portion is viable for building. They will continue to consider other options.
The most promising piece of land belongs to a Seattle Catholic Diocese. The six acres are just west of the new sewer plant and there have been discussions with the local congregation.
“Their advisory board said they would be interested,” Holmes said, “and they would talk to the diocese. The project fits their mission statement and the diocese have their own housing authority. They’ve built in Kelso and in Woodland. They have skill in funding and development. They might be great partners for multistage planning.”
“We’re really excited,” he added.
The commissioners approved the language submitted for a plaque that will be mounted on the new ferry, the “Oscar B.”
Commission Clerk of the Board Marsha LaFarge worked with Peggy Pedersen and Gary Bergseng on the project.
The county received $41,546.35 from the State of Washington for the PUD Privilege Tax. The commissioners authorized Treasurer Tammy Peterson to distribute the funds to the Town of Cathlamet in the amount of $4,896.57 and $35,649.78 to the Current Expense Fund.
The contract with Stanley Sanitary to haul the recycling was renewed for another year.
Building and Planning administrator Chuck Beyer reported that five quotes had been received to paint the fairground stage and T-building. The commissioners moved to approve the lowest quote by Ken Gomes in the amount of $9,500 plus taxes, while acknowledging that there may be additional charges.
Commissioner Dan Cothren reported that there would be a elk hoof rot booth at the Cowlitz County Fair in order to keep people informed about the issue.
The next county commission meeting will be held on July 15, when representatives from Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell’s offices will be on hand.