Commission rejects island sale request
November 18, 2021
Wahkiakum County commissioners said no to declaring a county owned island surplus property and quickly handled other items of business when they met Tuesday.
A private citizen approached county officials, wanting to purchase a 4.5 acre island owned by the county at the upper end of Birnie Slough, Puget Island. To sell the islet, commissioners would have to declare the land surplus to county needs and offer it in a public sale.
Commissioners felt selling the island wouldn't be in the public interest and that it should be available for recreation.
"I have an issue with people buying up land and putting up [private property] signs," said Commissioner Dan Cothren. "We need to keep areas open for recreation."
"That's a very good point," agreed Commissioner Lee Tischer. "I'm kind of with you. We need that land to recreated."
Commission Chair Gene Strong added his agreement.
"You've got enough with the timber companies selling off these little parcels," Cothren said. "I keep talking myself into saying no."
Tischer moved to not go forward with the sale, and the motion unanimously.
In other business, commissioners approved a contract for public employee benefits, the $15,000 county share of the cooperative extension agent's salary, a renewal of the online food handler testing program, and a contract increasing Medicaid based behavioral health services by $470,000.
Commissioners also met as board of supervisors for the county's four flood control zone districts and approved budgets and assessments for 2022.