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

Port 2 rejects laundry bids, parking pleas


Commissioners of Port District 2 on Tuesday rejected bids to construct a new office and public laundry at Skamokawa Vista Park.

In other business, commissioners rejected pleas from long-term campers to rescind parking restrictions that separate the campers from their log trucks and other vehicles.

Bids for the combination laundry/office building ranged from $478,044 to $599,432. The project includes building an office building, laundry and new septic system for the laundry. Broken down, bids for the laundry and septic system ranged from $163,872 to $252,997.

The totals were too high for Commissioners Brian O'Connor and Lee Tischer (Commissioner Lori Scott was out of town and unable to attend the meeting).

"I just can't see spending tax money like that," Tischer said.

"To recoup the money back would take too long," O'Connor said.

O'Connor commented that the four contractors who submitted bids said the septic system design was the most expensive system for which they had ever submitted bids. The design was based on maximum use of the laundry, with washing machines running 24 hours per day, seven days per week, they said.

After a vote to reject the bids, commissioners and Port Manager Janet Bryan discussed possible alternatives, including just installing a modular building for a new office and installing one or two washers and dryers adjacent to the restrooms at Vista Park. The number of washers would be limited so that the park's present septic system could accomodate them.

Commissioners asked Bryan to present some ideas for discussion at the board's June meeting.

The two commissioners rejected requests from long-term park patrons to ease parking restrictions.

Crystal Stacey said newly enforced parking rules were causing expensive problems for herself and her husband and three other parties who are long-term campers at Vista Park. The four parties have log trucks, smaller vehicles and trailers which they want to park near their camping trailers. However, park staff in April ordered them to park the trucks and extra vehicles far across the park. In addition, staff limited the number of small vehicles that could be parked near the camping trailers.

Thieves have gained access to the trucks and an equipment trailer in the remote parking area, Stacey said; they've had 75 gallons of fuel and vehicle lights and other equipment stolen, she said. This hadn't happened when vehicles were parked closer to the residences along the main entrance road to the park.

The campers had offered to pay for rock along the main entrance road, she said, so the trucks would be in a more secure location. Further the park would gain a rocked parking area when the campers moved on.

Finally, Stacey said, the parties would like to be able to have more than two vehicles at their camping spots, which is now prohibited. The cost of camping and paying for extra vehicles is expensive, Stacy said, costing $700 a month to stay in the park.

Commissioners O'Connor and Tischer were unwilling to change policies.

O'Connor commented that where the trucks were originally parked blocked views and would be in the way when the park fills with campers in the summer.

"It's a policy we've always had," O'Connor said.

"We didn't have it last year," Stacy said. "I've been here over a year and we've never had this."

"If this is going to be a problem, you may have to find another place to live," O'Connor said. "We're not going to change the policies."


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