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

Council okays waterfront expansion for brewery, hears speed limit ideas


October 24, 2019

The Cathlamet Town Council acted on a variety of issues and revisited the ongoing dispute over parking at their regular monthly meeting on Monday.

After going over project details, the council approved shoreline development and conditional use permit for River Mile 38 Brewery.

Brewery representative Rex Czuba said the building would be along the waterfront of the Elochoman Slough Marina; it would have a patio deck, and overall seating would be more than double that of the present quarters. The deck would be open to the public during business hours.

Port District 1 will construct a viewing deck nearby, said Manager Jackie Lea. It will be close to the shoreline and open to the public at all hours.

Wahkiakum County Building Inspector/Permit Coordinator David Hicks said the brewery's structures need to be 25' away from the ordinary high water line, and the port's observation deck would need to be 10' away from the line.

Czuba said the permit next needs review and approval from the state Department of Ecology and Wahkiakum County Board of Commissioners. Then construction could begin.

In other business:

--The council declined to act on a motion from Council Member Laurel Waller to increase stipends for council members and the mayor. The increased stipends would have gone into effect following the next election for each position.

--The council asked staff to prepare a request for proposals for landscaping services including maintenance of parks and other areas. Public Works Director Duncan Cruickshank said several firms had expressed interest in contracting for the work.

--Council members discussed a desire to lower speed limits on some streets. Waller suggested lowering the speed limit on Main Street from 25 to 20 miles per hour and installing a stop sign at the intersection of Main and Broadway streets for traffic headed toward Puget Island. Mayor Dale Jacobson also suggested lowering the speed limits on 2nd and 3rd streets to 15 mph. As Main Street is part of a state highway, the Washington State Department of Transportation would have to be involved in action to lower that speed limit and install the stop sign. Cruickshank said he would raise the issue with WSDOT staff.

--Council Member David Olson reported he will work with Town Attorney Fred Johnson to update the town's franchise ordinance. Olson, an attorney, managed the City of Portland's franchises. The current ordinance is out of date, he said.

The meeting closed with public comment, and business owner Lacey Vik asked the council to re-open the Butler Street lot to ease parking congestion on Main Street: People who once parked in the lot now park on Main Street, she said, taking up spaces needed for business customers.

She asked council members why the lot had to be closed once the town purchased it; she was told that insurance concerns and no handicapped parking were major reasons.

"This is a classic example of a lack of transparency," said Bill Wainwright. "If we're going to promote the town, we have to do everything possible to encourage people to do business here."

That comment drew a sharp response from Council Member Jean Burnham.

"You mention respect and responsibility," Brunham said. "When are you going to reimburse the town for the money spent defending the council against your frivolous recall?"

Discussion grew heated at that point, and the mayor adjourned the meeting.


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