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

County board hears concerns about park


April 11, 2019

Tuesday's meeting of the Wahkiakum County board of commissioners covered a wide range of topics ranging from camping at Fairgrounds Park to a presentation of an updated county emergency management plan.

Skamokawa resident April Murdoch urged county officials to investigate the long term camping at Fairgrounds Park, located next to the Skamokawa Grange.

Murdoch said it appears campers have set up residence and have unlimited and unsupervised access to kitchen and other facilities on the adjacent fairgrounds.

There are other problems, she said, including a huge cat population, an abandoned vehicle, and vehicles coming and going at all hours, and she asked, are the fees campers are being charged going to cover the expenses they create.

Commissioner Gene Strong, the board's liaison to the county fair board, said he and the board are looking into the situation.

"They shouldn't have unlimited, unsupervised access to the fairgrounds," Strong said. "Most parks have a quiet time and limit access at night."

Murdoch also expressed concern about a Risk Road auto mechanic's operation that is accumulating vehicles, and Strong said he'd follow up on that concern.

Commission Chair Dan Cothren commented that the county's junk vehicle ordinance lacks teeth to deter some of the problems, and people are taking advantage of that.

"We're really getting dumped on," Cothren said. "If you want a dirty little county, we're getting there. People are bringing it (junk) in.

"You don't see it. There's some spots where if you had a drone, you'd see a lot. We've become a dumping ground. I think we're going to have to look at this junk car ordinance and put some teeth into it."

Commissioners adopted two proclamations.

One declared April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Susan Schillios, director of the county's domestic violence program, said the goal is to educate people about sexual assault and to prevent its occurrence.

"We want people to be able to recognize signs of abuse and know where to report it," Schillios said.

The other proclamation set the week of April 14-20 as Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, honoring the people in the sheriff's office who take calls for assistance from the public and communicate with officers and first responders.

Emergency Services Director Beau Renfro led commissioners in a review of the updated Emergency Action Guide.

In addition to going over the procedures for responding to emergencies, Renfro emphasized that commissioners, and other emergency responders, need to make sure they and their families are ready for an emergency so that they can perform their duties.


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