Town council: The rest of the story
Updated with correction
March 12, 2020
Composing last week's edition was too easy. On Thursday, we learned why: We had omitted the section of the town council report that was jumped off Page 1. Here it is, and, on March 12, with a correction about a council workshop.
Council members discussed changes to the town's ordinance banning pit bull dogs in the city limits but took no action.
Town Attorney Fred Johnson previously reported the ordinance needs to be updated because of new state law which allows exceptions for breed specific bans if the dogs have passed certified obedience training.
Council Member Bill Wainwright has asked for the addition of rottweiller dogs because they and pit bulls perform most of the attacks on humans recorded in the US.
Johnson said the law requires a clear definition of what constitutes a rottweiler breed.
"I've done a lot of research and know more about rottweilers than I want to know," he said, "but I can't yet come up with a definite definition of them."
He said he would continue working and try to have a definition at a subsequent meeting.
Wainwright commented that adding rottweilers to the ordinance is just the tip of the iceberg. The town will need to move into licensing and enforcement, he said.
"We have a leash law, a dangerous dog ordinance, and a nuisance dog ordinance," said Council Member Laurel Waller. "I think we shouldn't need this one. If the dogs are on a leash, we don't need this."
"You have a valid point," commented Council Member Robert Stowe. "However, we need to protect the town."
Work on the ordinance will resume at a later meeting.
The council also addressed:
--Proposed changes to ordinances governing rental of rooms--Waller and Council Member Paige Lake request the changes, for the ordinances were developed before the rise of Air B-n-B rentals in which a person, rents rooms in houses to visitors. Currently, ordinances on sewer service make it too expensive to operate an Air B-n-B in town.
The council agreed to hold a workshop on the issue during their April 6 meeting. The early version of this story incorrectly said the workshop would take place before the regular meeting.
--Draft changes to the town's comprehensive plan--Bill Fashing of the Council of Governments presented an update of the plan but cautioned he wanted to go over it himself and simplify it.
Council members agreed to meet with him in small groups to provide comments.
Wainwright added that he wants the plan to mesh with Wahkiakum County's comprehensive plan for coordination in parks and recreation and economic development.
--Filling former sewer lagoons--Wainwright commented that filling of the town's old sewer lagoons is proceeding very slowly and the town should aggressively seek fill for them.
Mayor Dale Jacobson said he has been seeking fill; the dirt excavated for construction of the new Dollar General store went in the lagoons. However, the town has worked with Port District 1 and agreed to take fill as the port dredges the Elochoman Slough Marina and Elochoman Slough.
"We want to leave room for that sand," he said. "We're expecting more there."
Waller commented that the council needs to have a meeting to discuss the lagoons and water front park development that is based on them being filled.
"We do need to leave a place for the port to place dredge spoils," she said.
"My fear is that in three years, we'll be sitting here asking ourselves what we're going to do," Wainwright said.
Discussions will continue.
--Electric charging stations--The council agreed to submit an application for installation of two charging stations for electric vehicles at the town's Butler Street property.
Council Member David Olson said the effort joins plans by other governmental entities to install charging stations at Skamokawa Vista Park, Johnson Park in Rosburg and the Elochoman Slough Marina.