The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Council OK's pacts, sewer rate study

 

January 19, 2017



By Rick Nelson

Members of the Cathlamet Town Council covered a lot of ground at their monthly meeting on Tuesday.

Among many items of business, the council approved agreements with the Wahkiakum Chamber of Commerce, Wahkiakum County and Port District 1, and they presented a schedule for a consultant's analysis of sewer system finances.

The council approved a contract with the Chamber. Council members in December had expressed concern that the list of deliverable services was too vague. Council Member Sue Cameron subsequently met with Chamber officers who showed her the detailed reports of activities they submit to the state Department of Commerce.

"I believe it is important to continue to support the Chamber and would recommend signing the contract, particularly if we can see deliverables like this," Cameron told the council. "These reports are sufficient, I believe, as I would hate to construct a different set of deliverables."

Other council members agreed and voted to sign the contract.

Council members also approved a contract with Wahkiakum County for reimbursable funding for operation of the town swimming pool. In December, Council Member Ryan Smith had pointed out that language in the contract appeared to permit the county to reclaim all money given to the town if the town didn't spend the entire allocated amount.

Town Attorney Heidi Heywood reported that the language has been changed to state that the county may recapture any unspent funds from the allocation.

Council members were happy with the change and voted to sign the contract.

The council approved a request from Port District No. 1 to allow the port to plant trees and native plants on town land along Birnie Creek.

Port Commissioner Scott Anderson presented the request, saying the port needed the land for mitigation activities in order to obtain a hydraulics permit for dredging the Elochoman Slough Marina.

With the agreement, the port will be able dredge the marina basin this winter. Dredging of Elochoman Slough will have to wait till next winter when smelt, a protected species, aren't found in the vicinity.

Clerk/Treasurer Kerrie McNally announced that the town has received a federal grant to undertake a study of sewer system funding needs. Financial analysts have said the sewer account is underfunded.

The consultant, a private, nonprofit organization called Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC) will begin a financial analysis and hold a public meeting March 20 to present findings and gather public input.

Other public meetings will be scheduled, and final reports and recommendations are due September 1.

With the retirement December 31 of Fred Johnson as fire chief, Mayor Dale Jacobson has named Vernon Barton as chief of the Cathlamet Fire Department. Jacobson has also named Assistant Chief Beau Renfro as town fire marshal.

 

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