Council names Raglin to fill vacancy
February 25, 2021
On Feb. 11, the Cathlamet Town Council held a special meeting to fill a vacant council member position. Five year resident CeCelia Raglin was appointed to Town Council Position No. 3 for the unexpired term.
One other candidate was considered, Jeanne Hendrickson.
Former Council Member Paige Lake resigned from position No. 3, and Raglin will have to file in May and run against other applicants during the normal election period to continue in the position beyond this year. Position No. 5 and the mayor position will also be up for election this year.
Council Member Raglin is the great granddaughter of Victoria Freeman, an African American activist from Cowlitz County and granddaughter of Audrey Woods who helped start the Cowlitz Family Health Center. Raglin hopes to continue her family’s legacy of community involvement by applying her experience in business and representing target populations to her work on the council.
On Feb. 16, council members discussed the expansion of the sewer system beyond Boege Road to increase the town’s revenue. The town’s challenge is convincing enough property owners in the proposed area to hookup to the sewer in lieu of septic systems. Combined town and county hookup fees are an estimated $8,000. Jon Hilton of Gray & Osborne Consulting Engineers has been requested to create an actionable plan including a feasibility study and analysis.
Council members moved to approve a one-time adjustment to The Hotel Cathlamet’s utility account for the retroactive reduction of sewer equivalent consumer units (ECU) in the amount of roughly $1016 or 2 months of charges.
The hotel applied for the reduction in December due to a covid-19 induced decrease in occupancy. Council Member Laurel Waller agreed to remove herself from the virtual room during discussion and opted not to vote because of her ties to the hotel.
The council discussed the financial review of the town’s water and sewer operations to determine whether rates were being raised without statistical backing. The council agreed that a financial review of each system should be performed annually. No conclusions were made about rate adjustments. The Eagle reported on the swerve rate increase in Dec. 2020:
“A sewer rate increase was approved during the council’s November 16 regular meeting without staff recommendations. The justification for the 1.6 percent increase was to comply with an existing ordinance establishing an automatic hike as well as to offset inflation.”
The council passed a request-for-quotation (RFQ) from ARC Architects to perform on call work in 2021 including the development of the Butler St. Lot, electric vehicle charging station, Erikson Park restrooms, waterfront park, heritage site project, and Town Hall renovations.
Three ordinances were passed including an amendment to outdated municipal codes, town funding policies, and amendment to park rules.