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

County plugs away on dredge permitting

Committee working on shoreline plan


February 8, 2018

Will Wahkiakum County's eroding shorelines receive sand from Columbia River channel maintenance this year?

Wahkiakum County officials continue to address issues raised by permitting agencies in their effort to establish a 10-year beach nourishment program.

This week, the board of commissioners approved an addition of $25,650 to the contract with their consulting engineers who have been preparing the required reports and permit applications.

The latest, Commissioner Dan Cothren said Tuesday, is a plan required by the state Department of Ecology to mitigate wetlands impacts and monitor water quality.

"They wouldn't let us see the plan the Corps of Engineers is currently using for their dredging," County Public Works Director Chuck Beyer told the board of commissioners.

County officials and their consultants will soon meet with agency representatives to go over the wetlands, Cothren said.

"We're crossing all the T's and dotting all the I's and getting things done, slowly," Cothren said. "We have too much involved in this now, so we just have to keep moving ahead."

The county's cost of the permitting effort is now over $160,000, Cothren commented.

Meanwhile, the prosecuting attorney's office is addressing another issue--working with a property owner in the East Sunny Sands erosion control district who doesn't want to approve an easement for dredging crew access to their waterfront. The Corps requires participation of all property owners in a district so that the disposal area is large enough to be cost effective.

Shoreline management plan

In other business, the Wahkiakum Property Rights Advisory Board is making progress on editing the update of the county's shoreline management plan, said board member Lily Kolditz.

The county planning commission worked with a consultant last year and recommended approval of the update plan. Commissioners, however, felt the plan impacted private property owners too much and asked the Property Rights Advisory Board to edit the update.

A small group is reviewing the draft and will make recommendations on the wording, Kolditz said.

"We have the law," Kolditz said. "We've looked at other counties' plans that have different language that has been approved."

"We appreciate what you're doing," said Commissioner Brady. "We can't be held to any higher standard than anybody else."


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