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

Port 1 commission to cover new leave tax


December 20, 2018

Wahkiakum County Port 1 Commissioners handled several matters at their December meeting last Thursday.

After some discussion, the commissioners agreed unanimously that the port would pay the employer and the employee portion of the Washington’s Paid Family and Medical Leave program for all employees. The program begins in 2020, but has to be paid into it for a year, according to Counsel Tim Hanigan.

“I think it’s a great investment in our employees,” Commissioner Bob Kizziar said.

There has been more interest in long term RV camping at the marina after one RV park in Longview was partially closed, according to Hanigan. He suggested that the port consider setting policies and guidelines for monthly RV camping during the off season. Commissioners gave the okay.

“We have to be careful with getting zombie RVs out there,” Kizziar said.

Conversation about vandalism in showers and restrooms continued. The port spent over $5,500 last year for repairs and supplies, which doesn’t cover the time and money it took to clean the spaces.

“I have no idea what to do there,” Commissioner Scott Anderson said. “I don’t like to keep paying non-traditional maintenance.”

“I’m not for shutting them down,” Lea said.

“I’m not either, but I’m starting to get that way,” Commissioner Brett Deaton said. “It may be something we have to revisit every month to see how it goes.”

In other business, Port Manager Jackie Lea suggested that they lower rates from $3.50 to $2.75 per foot for annual contracts on permanent moorage on A and C docks and commissioners agreed.

“$2.75 is better than empty,” Deaton said.

Administrative Assistant Mackenzie Jones is looking for a more user friendly and cheaper alternative for the port’s website. Commissioners gave her the go ahead to investigate options.

She is also making preparations for the farmers market, which will open in May. An early start will allow vendors, who begin filling in their schedules well before the season, a chance to consider selling their wares at the Elochoman Slough Marina.

After researching policies at other markets, Jones suggested that the port have a special rate for vendors who sign up before May 10 and commit to attending every market. There would be another rate for part time vendors as well. Vendors who take advantage of these options would be guaranteed prime spots.

Commissioners approved her proposal to change rates and Jones will be contacting all the venders on her list.

According to Assistant Port Manager Todd Souvenir, dredging will soon move from the channel into the marina. They have been slowed down a bit with maintenance.

“Other than that everything seems to be going smooth with dredging,” Souvenir said. “A few break downs are expected with the age of the dredge, but all the companies we have worked with have taken care of us and got it done quickly.”


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