Commission address infrastructure issues


February 25, 2021

Wahkiakum County's board of commissioners on Tuesday breezed through a short agenda focusing on infrastructure issues.

Commissioners voted to declare a state of emergency resulting from February storms. This clears the way for the county, Wahkiakum PUD and other agencies to apply for federal disaster funds.

"The county would have to reach a threshold of $11,000 in damage, and we'll easily do that," said Public Works Director Chuck Beyer.

Washington state would need to reach $9 million to qualify for federal assistance, Beyer said, and that shouldn't be a problem.

Beyer said the road department is addressing three slide areas. The county has closed the Elochoman Valley Road at milepost 8 where a hillslide is threatening to come down on the road.

One lane has washed out near the end of East Valley Road, which has been a problem area in the past.

However, Salmon Creek Road has been stable in an area which lost a lane to erosion earlier this winter.

Commissioners approved an amendment to a contract with the Columbia River Estuary Taskforce for technical assistance in applying for grant funding for two culvert replacement projects, one in the Deep River area and the other at Clear Creek on the Elochoman Valley Road.

In other business, commissioners approved an amendment to the state Rental Assistance Program, which will add $11,004 in funds to aid tenants struggling with rent because of covid-19 issues.

The county has already assisted eight different households with $24,209 already allocated, said Chris Bischoff, director of the county Department of Health and Human Services.

Commissioners also approved a recommendation from Consolidated Diking District No. 1 of Puget Island to appoint Kevin Vik to fill a vacancy on that group's board of commissioners.


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