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

Cathlamet pool will open, virus permitting


The Cathlamet Town Council covered lots of ground when they met Monday, with topics ranging from CARES Act funding and swimming pool to maintenance of town parks.

The town will receive $25,000 in CARES Act funds which can be used in a variety of ways to respond to the covid-19 pandemic. Council members said they were unclear of specifics governing their use.

"I haven't looked at the fine print, but in most instances, the council has some discretion," said town attorney Fred Johnson, adding he would be happy analyze the specifics for the council.

Town staff are planning to open the swimming pool in mid-June, said Clerk/Treasurer Sarah Clark, depending on a successful advance in recovery from the pandemic.

"We still intend to open by mid-June as long as covid stays away and we move to Phase 3," Clark said. "We'll still need social distancing and there's a lot more work to be done."

The council spent considerable time discussing the town's Capital Improvement Plan, with former Public Works Director Duncan Cruickshank joining his successor David McNally to comment.

The list in worthy improvements is long, Cruickshank said.

"The problem is that you haven't any money set aside to accomplish them," Cruickshank said. "The issue that the public has to pay the bill."

The water system serves many people outside the town limits, he said, and suggested the town seek participation in improvements from out of town consumers such as Wahkiakum PUD, the town's largest customer.

In response to a question from Council Member Bill Wainwright, Cruickshank listed some of the more pressing issues for the water system. Work needs to continue on leak detection, and leak detection equipment would be valuable, and top priorities--the deteriorated line near the River of Life church should be replaced, and the town will need to replace the computer controller at the water plant.

The council also spent considerable time discussing maintenance needs at town parks and public recreation areas.

Wainwright displayed photos of needs ranging from rotting facia and semi-private restrooms at Erickson Park to Strong Park pathways damaged by tree roots.

McNally and Council Member Laurel Waller said they have already been working on the issue and had prepared a report which apparently had just been distributed.

McNally added that upgrading restrooms at Erickson Park is the top priority. Public Works will be able to do some work, he said, other work would have to be contracted.

"I hope Public Works, the mayor and clerk/treasurer will put together a plan so we have confidence that something is going to happen," Wainwright said.


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