Commissioners start 2022 budget


October 28, 2021

Wahkiakum County commissioners had an eye on the future when they met Tuesday.

The board breezed through the brief business on their agenda, took a recess, and then began three days of workshops with department heads and other parties to hear requests for 2022 budgets.

On the agenda for Tuesday's budget workshops were Assessor Bill Coons, Cathlamet Public Works Superintendent David McNally, Extension Agent Carrie Backman, court Clerk Kay Holland, Cathlamet Librarian Carol Blix, Noxious Weed Supervisor Andy Lea, Wahkiakum Chamber of Commerce Director Stacey Lane, Public Works Director Chuck Beyer and Building Inspector/Planner David Hicks.

On the schedule for Wednesday's workshop were Health and Human Services Director Chris Bischoff, Sheriff Mark Howie, District Court Judge Heidi Heywood, representatives from the Johnson Park board of directors, David Olson and Frans Eykel from the Wahkiakum County Historical Society, and IT manager Josh Holt.

The Thursday schedule includes Prosecuting Attorney Dan Bigelow and Port District 1 managers Jackie Lea and Todd Souvenir.

Sheriff Howie opened the meeting by introducing two new deputies, Preston Ward from Clark County and Jeran Keoh from Castle Rock.

During the business session of the meeting Tuesday, commissioners approved an agreement with Hancock Forest Management for emergency use of KM Mountain logging roads during heavy Grays River flooding.

The board also approved payment of a share of painting the Hanigan Building which houses some sheriff's department staff, and the approved contract to provide funding for tobacco and vaping prevention education.

Commissioner Dan Cothren announced the state Department of Natural Resources will hold a public hearing next Wednesday, 7:30 p.m., in the River Street Meeting Room, Cathlamet, to gather input on a proposal to transfer encumbered county trust timber into conservation status. The county would be compensated for move, Cothren said, adding that the land in question has severe slopes and wouldn't ever be logged.


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