June 3, 2021
Wahkiakum County's board of commissioners handled a variety of business at their meeting Tuesday, including:
--Rebecca Hompe and Wendy Edwards of the Wahkiakum Animal Advocates Group (WAAG) described the growth and activities of the group and expressed a desire to develop a relationship with the group, the county and the Cowlitz County Humane Society.
The group of volunteers has started a variety of programs ranging from trapping and neutering feral cats to establishing a pet food pantry and financial support for people needing to spay or neuter their pets.
They said they'd like to see the county expand its contract with the humane society so that Wahkiakum residents may leave stray animals there.
Commissioners were supportive of the program.
"I've had to use your group, and it worked very well," said Commissioner Dan Cothren. "The sheriff's office needs support with animal calls."
Sheriff Mark Howie commented that the group has been helpful, and board Chair Gene Strong agreed.
--Commissioners approved purchase and installation of two additional security cameras on the outside of the courthouse. They would fill in blind spots that have seen some vandalism or bad behavior, said Judge Heidi Heywood, chair of the courthouse security committee.
--The board approved a contract amendment with the Washington State Department of Transportation for $280,000 to cover additional ferry operating costs.
The state subsidizes ferry operations, but the funding is capped, and there are cost over runs.
Commissioners said they appreciated the work of District 19 legislators to get the appropriation approved this year.
Cothren said county officials would meet with legislators this summer to work on a strategy to increase state funding for the ferry.
"The state has to realize this little county can't continue to cover these costs," Cothren said.