County board handles varied topics
February 13, 2020
Wahkiakum County commissioners had a short but busy meeting Feb. 4, covering lots of ground. Some of the topics addressed were:
County staff are trying to arrange a meeting with the US Army Corps of Engineers dredging program staff to discuss projects on Puget Island and Grays Bay.
Commissioner Dan Cothren said Corps staff haven't responded to the request for the meeting to discuss beach nourishment on Puget Island and a proposal to unplug the mouths of Grays and Deep river to reduce flooding in the Westend.
Cothren added that Island beach nourishment depends on the amount of sand in the Columbia River shipping channel.
"If the volume is out there, that's what they're waiting for," Cothren said. "They have to wait for the flow to go down so they can survey."
Commissioners approved receipt of a $13,527 grant for the county fair to replace doors on the food booth and Lions Club booth buildings. The doors are worn and have become safety hazards, officials said. The county share of the project is $1,500.
In response to a question from fair board member Kay Walters, county Public Works Director Chuck Beyer said dirt from recent slides impacting county roads may eventually be placed on the horse arena.
The material is too wet at the moment and must dry out first, Commissioner Gene Strong added.
Commissioners voted to amend the speed limit ordinance for Crown Camp Road, lowering the posted speed from 35 to 25 miles per hour.
Area residents had requested the action, Beyer said, and a speed study showed that some traffic was going 45 mph on the narrow road.
Crown Camp Road resident Elaine Robinson asked if the county could replace missing signs warning of children at play.
Beyer responded that those signs are considered a traffic safety issue.
"We don't want kids playing on the road," he said. "It's almost a liability issue."
Commissioners also passed an ordinance authorizing the county to retain a small portion of sales tax collected in the county for use in programs for affordable housing or services for homeless persons.
The estimated collection will be about $3,000 per year, said Chris Bischoff, director of the county Department of Health and Human Services.
He added the collection isn't a tax increase; instead it retains money that would be sent to the state Department of Revenue.