Commissioners nix, for now, more participation in Cathlamet wifi
Salmon Creek Road closure set
January 21, 2021
Wahkiakum County commissioners on Tuesday by consensus declined to become partners in a project to create a public wifi system through the town of Cathlamet.
The Town of Cathlamet, Port District 1, Wahkiakum PUD and other parties have been working on the plan, and last fall, the county commission agreed to participate in funding, allocating the use of $12,406 in CARES Act funds to pay for all the hardware needed to make the project happen.
However, the board declined a request to join the town, port district and PUD in a governing board with financial responsibility for maintenance and operations costs. The proposal also included a system expansion to include River Street at a $3,000 cost for the county.
Commissioners said they wanted to limit their participation to the up front costs.
"We were going to pay up front costs to put it in, just a one time expense to put it in," said commission Chair Gene Strong. "That was how I understood it."
"That's my desire," said Commissioner Dan Cothren.
"The town was the lead on it," commented Commissioner Lee Tischer.
"If the town wants to come back, I'm willing to have a discussion," Strong said.
Cothren and Tischer agreed.
"I'll pass that on," Strong said.
In other business Tuesday, the board passed resolutions to set up a partial closure of Salmon Creek Road, which had one lane wash out at a culvert near milepost 2.2.
County Public Works Director Chuck Beyer said the road crew has set up warning signs; traffic will be limited to one lane at the site.
Work to replace the culvert and washed out roadway probably won't happen until the summer, Beyer said.
"Right now is not a good time with all the rain," Beyer commented.
The repair will require installing a much larger culvert that has served the site; the county engineer is working with the Department of Fish and Wildlife on permits for the repair.