County commissioners busy before Thanksgiving
December 5, 2019
Wahkiakum County Commissioners handled a variety of issues at their meeting Nov. 26.
Commissioners approved a contract with InSight Medical Group, PA for the provision of telehealth-based professional mental health and psychiatry services, at the request of Chris Bischoff, Director of Health and Human Services.
They also approved Auditor Nicci Bergseng’s request to hire a new deputy auditor II at Step 3.
They approved a contract amendment with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to increase transportation dollars in the amount of $4,128 for Wahkiakum students who travel to the Beaver Creek hatchery and work on a project to raise hatchery fish.
Wahkiakum County Extension Director Carrie Backman requested 20 more hours for the Afterschool 4-H Coordinator, which commissioners approved, but her request for a pay class change for the WSU Extension Grants Coordinator position was denied.
“I was just asking for her to get paid on par with the current pay rates with similar positions,” Backman said. “It seems like folks are being hired into similar positions at a higher rate than what she is getting after nine years.”
“We have some other stuff that needs to be jumped too,” Cothren said, who asked to hold the matter into the new year, when they could address the issue collectively.
Public Works Director Chuck Beyer presented several matters for approval. Lakeside Industries, who was paving for Dollar General, had been asked for an estimate to finish the rest of North Jacobson Road, 262 feet of additional paving. They gave an estimate of $9,950, which commissioners approved.
They also approved an interlocal agreement with Cowlitz County for road striping and signage,
“Paul Lacy and I asked Columbia River Estuary Study Taskforce for an Intergovernmental Agreement proposal to work on grant applications for the Deep River tide gate replacement and habitat restoration from East Deep River Road up, centering on the tide gates on East Deep River Road, where we have one failed one, looking at the habitat above and hopefully improve the drainage above, Beyer said.
The commissioners approved the agreement.
After a brief recess, the commissioners met with some members of the Wahkiakum County Fair Board to discuss a budget supplement.
“We have numerous fund raising events,” Becky Thacker, a member of the fair board said. “For some of the events held in the youth building for the last six years the funds generated by those events has gone strictly back into improvements and renovations on that building. So there are certain events that funds are not put into the general operating budget, they are designated for specific projects. The public seems to like that, when they know what their donations and their fund raising monies are going to.”
The fair board was asking for more money to help with operations, including more hours for the fair manager.
“We’ve increased the wage, but not the hours,” Cothren said.
Commissioners decided to move $5,000 from Johnson Park to give the fair a total of $10,000 to help them get through April, 2020.