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

On the subject, we should have a say

 

July 12, 2018



To The Eagle:

I do not know whom Prudence Diem was referring to in her July 5 letter to the editor when she stated “we still owe the county around $360,000 for hookups for Boege.” Certainly with her involvement with the Town Planning Commission she would know that hookup fees are the responsibility of the property developer or owner.

Fact, the town owes nothing to the county for the county’s Sewer Line Extension Project. If Ms. Diem is not aware of this fact then where did she get her misinformation from? Ms. Diem did not live in our community at the time the sewer line extension project was approved and completed by the county.

Fact is, the land developer asked the town to extend the sewer to his property or the developer would not build the development. The town said, “No, the town could not absorb the cost, the cost was the responsiblity of the developer.” The developer when to the county and asked the county to finance the sewer line extension cost and the county agreed to do so. It was the county’s intention to recoup whatever they could of their $360,000 investment by charging a $3,000 per lot development fee to be paid by the buyer at the time of lot purchase. The town at no time was to share in the sewer line extension cost.

The town and county entered into an Interlocal Agreement for the Sewer Line Extension. The county’s obligation was to provide funding for the design and construction of the sewer line extension. The town’s obligation was to oversee and manage construction of the sewer line, operate and maintain the sewer line, collect the $3,000 County Development Fee from the property owner when a lot was purchased and remit the collected fee to the county.

To reiterate, the town did not receive a loan from the county for any amount nor did the town agree to share the costs to the county for the sewer line extension. Sadly, the developer went off into the sunset leaving a “sewer line to nowhere.” Had the development been completed, lots sold and homes built, it would have been a welcomed benefit for the county and the town! The county would have increased their property tax base and the town would have added to their sewer customer base. Possibly the area will be developed in the future. The Interlocal Agreement and Town Ordinance passed for the Sewer Line Extension are available at Town Hall if anyone is interested in reading the facts!

I am also opposed to the town purchasing property at an inflated price of $68,000. Would a private buyer pay such a price for the property? The current use of the property is a parking lot. The town currently has available parking on Division Street that goes unused daily so I do not believe the town needs additional parking.

If the town has surplus dollars to spend in the amount of $68,000 why doesn’t the council spend the money on a useful purpose? Year after year I read of the Town Library seeking an extra couple of thousand dollars to help their budget only to be unheard, ignored or denied. Putting $68,000 into the Town Library cookie jar to be taken at $2,000 per year to bolster their budget would help out the library budget for the next 34 years. The library is the town’s brightest shining star, a genuine asset for all the citizens of our community, especially the children!

Or, in addition to helping the library budget why not put some of the $68,000 towards the town’s existing parks, trails, streets, sidewalks, etc. No doubt all could use some help with their budgets.

Over the past years the town in my opinion has made two other unwise purchases which are essentially surplus properties. One property located on 2nd Street remains vacant since its purchase and the other property located next to the Town Library parking lot remains vacant. The purchase of these properties to date has not been beneficial but more detrimental to the town taxpayers. Under town ownership the properties are removed from the tax rolls resulting in lost property tax revenue to the town. Revenue the town could use. I suggest a wise decision for the Town Council would be to sell the town’s unused surplus property and not buy more surplus property! The town would do well to get their surplus property back on the tax rolls.

Bob Rendler

Cathlamet

 
 

Reader Comments
(1)

Mack writes:

People and nearby workers don't park in the Division Street parking because of the pitch, pine needles, pollen and bird poo that end up on your car when it's parked there.

 
 
 

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