Port 1 votes to join development district


February 15, 2018

Diana Zimmerman

L-r, members of the board of commissioners of Port District 1, Bob Kizziar, Brett Deaton and Scott Anderson, hold a meeting in the Elochoman Marina office.

Commissioners of Wahkiakum County Port 1 voted on a resolution to support an economic development district and discussed other matters concerning the marina at last Thursday's meeting.

Bill Fashing, the director for the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments, has approached several civic organizations throughout the two counties seeking support for an economic development district. When asked to join at the January meeting, port commissioners requested more time to consider the matter.

The port is already a member of CWCOG and pays $994 in dues each year. Fashing is requesting another $250, but admitted he may ask for more in the future.

Commissioner Brett Deaton wondered if CWCOG would need to hire more staff to work on the economic development district.

"Short term, it will probably be done with existing staff," Fashing said. "I would like to get to the point where I have a full time person working on this but it's going to take some additional outside dollars to get there. That is my long term plan, to have someone who can spend a little more time on this and engage people a little bit more, and hopefully make a little more progress."

"We were a COG member while I was on city council," Deaton said. "All the other members, all the bigger cities with the bigger wants...I never felt we got our money's worth."

The commissioners voted 2-1 to pass the resolution supporting the submission of an application for the creation fo the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Economic Development District. Commissioners Bob Kizziar and Scott Anderson voted yes, and Deaton cast a no vote.

"It's a way to maybe help the community," Anderson said.

The port's expenses exceeded revenue in January, and they had a net decrease of $92,943.45.

"We've been doing some things," Deaton said. "Fishing season is coming, so we will make a little money for a couple months."

A section of the dike road is being dug up to bury a pipe for future dredge work. A new security system is being installed this month. Most of the docks have been pressure washed and a fuel dispenser has been repaired.

The port is going to begin charging dry campers more to park an extra vehicle. They also made some changes to their cancelation fees.

Deaton said that the mayor of Warrenton had approached him about renting the port's dredge. Anderson said that Port 2 had asked him about the dredge as well.

"I think we could come up with an idea of what the cost of running it is," Kizziar said.

After some discussion, it was decided that Kizziar would be the COG Port Representative, with Port Manager Jackie Lea acting as alternate. Assistant Manager Todd Souvenir will be the MRC Port Representative, with Administrative Assistant Mackenzie Jones as alternate.

The port will continue dredging until the last day of their work window, February 28.

The next port meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 8, at 5 p.m.


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