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

Commissioners seek accord with holdouts for beach nourishment


April 20, 2017

The success of Wahkiakum County's effort to replenish sand on eroding beaches at Cape Horn and Puget Island depends, in large part, on obtaining permits to do the work and easements from landowners so dredging crews can work along their waterfronts.

On Tuesday, county commissioners said the permitting process is nearing completion, but they still don't have all the needed right-of-entry easements.

Commissioners have set up four flood control zone districts, one at Cape Horn and three on Puget Island. For a district to be authorized as a dredge spoils site, all landowners in the district must sign an entry easement.

In response to questions from landowners on Tuesday, commissioners said there are still some holdouts.

Commissioner Dan Cothren said there is one on the Cape Horn flood control zone district (FCZD), and Commissioner Mike Backman said there are still a few on Puget Island who have questions and haven't committed to sign easements.

Cothren said the Cape Horn holdout seems adamant in his opposition, but Backman was confident the Islanders would sign.

What would happen if someone refused to sign, asked Cape Horn resident Trish Schroyer.

"So because of the holdout, it will damage the rest of the Cape Horn property owners?" she asked. "There's one home that is really close to the cliff. Rocks and large trees are falling off."

Cothren declined to say exactly what the county would do if a holdout refused to sign.

"The county has a lot of money in this thing," he said. "We're committed to moving forward."


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