Right-of-entry permits ready to distribute
Wahkiakum County commissioners are ready to address one of the major remaining hurdles to establishing a 10-year program for replenishing sand on eroding beaches.
The US Army Corps of Engineers Seattle office counsel has approved the long-awaited final wording to right-of-entry easements that landowners need to sign to allow dredge crews to work on their shorelines.
In the dredging operation, the dredge pumps sand and water through a pipeline to the beach, where bulldozers spread the sand along the shoreline.
Acting as the board of commissioners for the county's four flood control zone districts, county commissioners said Tuesday they would sent revised entry easements to land owners who haven't already signed an easement.
About half of the 110 landowners have returned early easements distributed last year. Commissioners pulled the early version, however, when some landowners feared the language would allow dredging crews to go anywhere on their property and do anything they want. That started a long process to revise the problem wording.
Commissioners said they would send easements to landowners in the coming week with a cover letter explaining the situation.
"We're trying to simplify it as much as possible," commission Chair Blair Brady said Tuesday. He explained that staff would fill in blanks calling for property parcel numbers and high water mark description.
Commissioners will request a quick response. Signatures on the permits must be notarized, and commissioners will offer to take a notary public to resident's homes to witness signatures.
"We'll go knocking on doors as needed," Brady said.
Commissioners are concerned that some property owners will feel they don't need new sand on their beaches and will decline to sign the easments.
However, all property owners in a zone will need to sign permits, Brady said, or the Corps won't set up a dredging program.
"Not signing is not an option," Brady commented.
"I'll contact some people next week," commented Commissioner Dan Cothren.