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

Council adopts budget, raises utility rates, receives liaison assignments


December 21, 2017

Rick Nelson

Judge Heidi Heywood, right, administered oaths of office to recently elected town officials, l-r, Council Member Sue Cameron, Mayor Dale Jacobson, and Council Members Laurel Waller and Tanya Waller.

The Cathlamet Town Council adopted the 2018 budget, raised utility rates, swore in new members and handled other business at its Monday night meeting.

Budgets total $3.9 million. Sewer and water utilities make up the major portion.

The water operation and maintenance fund totals $706,307.14; the water cumulative reserve totals $70,000, and the water revenue bond redemption fund totals $128,802.

The sewer operation and maintenance fund totals $88,116.82; the sewer cumulative reserve totals $440,335.51, and the sewer revenue bond redemption fund totals $414,942.

The budget also shows a cumulative reserve of $698,000.

In an effort to build reserves for water and sewer fund, the council approved a 2.9 percent increase in utility rates.

However, Clerk/Treasurer Kerrie McNally reported, insurance for the sewer system increased over $14,000.

"The rate increase will cover our insurance increase and give us $4,000 for operations and maintenance," McNally said.

"It's a wash; we gain no traction (to build reserves)," said Mayor Dale Jacobson.

Full-time town employees received a 2.5 percent cost of living increase. The salary for the mayor is $250 per month, and for council members, $50 per month.

Town attorney Heidi Heywood, also the county's district court judge, donned her judicial robes to issue oaths of office to winners of the fall election.

New council members are Laurel Waller and her daughter, Tanya Waller. Sue Cameron was elected to a position she has held by appointment, and Jacobson was re-elected mayor.

Jacobson announced his liaison appointment for council members. As he is still employed and doesn't have time to cover all aspects of town operations, he assigns council members to cover different departments and programs.

"Nobody likes what they get, but that's what I want," he said. "I wish you luck, because they're all designed so you learn, and they change every year. The responsibility is to contact staff in charge of that particular program and learn from them and report at meetings."

Liaison assignments of the council members are:

Rick Nelson

Mayor Dale Jacobson presents certificates of appreciation to Bernadette Goodroe, seated, left, and Jean Burnham, right, who ended their terms on the town council Monday.

Ryan Smith--water and sewer, parks, clean air agency and timber;

Sue Cameron--Port 1, Council of Governments, Chamber of Commerce, town planning commission;

Laurel Waller--fire department, EMS, law and justice, Wahkiakum PUD, and wholesale water contract;

Tanya Waller--library, community center, Volunteer Fire Fighters Board, and

Richard Swart--Wahkiakum County Marine Resources Committee and one other.

"This would be an area of focus for evey," said Laurel Waller. "It doesn't imply other areas are off limits?"

"Yes, pretty much," Jacobson replied. "If you have particular questions, you can put them to me, if it's outside your particular liaison assignment and I'll pass them on to the liaison."

Waller said she wanted further conversation with Jacobson because of her strong interest in water and sewer issues.


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