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

Port 1 commission tackles a variety of issues


September 21, 2017

By Diana Zimmerman

Commissioners at the Wahkiakum County Port 1 meeting discussed several issues last Thursday including how to deal with boaters who continue to power on, the coming dredging season, a vendor fair, and a security system to address thefts and vandalism at the port.

The three commissioners passed a resolution earlier this year that stated that the first time boaters power on at the launch ramp, they would receive a warning. The second time would result in a $100 fine, the third in a $250 fine, and finally the boater would lose access to the Columbia River at the Elochoman Slough Marina.

The resolution did not discourage enough boaters to heed the rules, which are in place to protect the ramp, so the commissioners made a few changes. The new resolution has done away with the warning. Boaters who power on best be ready to pay, because they will be fined $100 the first time they power on. If they do it a second time, it will cost them $250, and a third time, they will no longer be able to use the launch at the marina.

The commissioners authorized port staff to purchase and place echo blocks in the center lane from the ramp, hoping that might also help to deter powering on.

Talk turned to the annual Small Ports Seminar organized by the Washington Public Ports Association. Commissioner Bob Kizziar expressed an interest in attending and the other commissioners agreed.

The port has all their necessary permits for dredging, which will begin when the work window opens. The port is doing everything they can to be ready on day one. Meanwhile, one of the permits requires some mitigation, and the port will have some planting done near the footbridge at Strong Park. The work will be done by Wahkiakum High School students, led by teacher Jeff Rooklidge, and must be done by October 31.

Vandals ripped out a shower timer in one bathroom and took a coin box from another. A trailer at the rock pit was broken into, and several items were stolen from there and other places around the port. Someone had tampered with the gate on the commercial dock.

All this has moved port commissioners to purchase a security system for the entire campus, including the rock pit, the docks, the launch ramp, the office, and more. They have received one bid and are waiting for more. Meanwhile, they have asked the sheriff’s office to do more patrols in the area.

This year, Rob and Diane Stockhouse decided to discontinue the Friday Farmer’s Market. Paige Lake from the Chamber of Commerce approached the port about taking it on. According to Port Manager, Jackie Lea, the commissioners are interested but have many questions. They have plenty of time to work out details, as the next Farmer’s Market would not be until Memorial Day next year.

According to Lea, the Town of Cathlamet has approached the port about taking over the town dock. They have a lot to talk about before they make a decision.

“They are interested,” Lea said, “just not sure how it’s going to work out.”


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