Commission okays early interest saving HVAC loan payoff
December 23, 2021
Wahkiakum County commissioners on Tuesday headed into the Christmas holiday on a happy note.
Thanks to Treasurer Tammy Peterson, the county will save around $186,000 in interest payments on a $1 million loan used to finance recent renovation of the courthouse HVAC system.
Peterson told the board of commissioners that when she reviewed terms of the loan, she wondered if it could be paid off early. When she investigated, she learned of the potential savings on interest payments.
The county has the funds to pay off the loan, she said, so she recommended the move. Commissioners agreed and voted to do so. The approximate payoff will be $957,929.55.
"I'm glad you looked at that," Commissioner Dan Cothren said to Peterson. "The savings is huge."
Commissioners Lee Tischer and Gene strong echoed Cothren's comments.
"Yes, thank you," they said.
In other business, commissioners authorized the expenditure of approximately $10,652 for installation of security cameras at the County Road Department shops at Rosburg and in the Elochoman Valley.
Officials hope the cameras will allow them to address theft, vandalism, illegal dumping and other issues the shops have experienced.
"I know they've had problems at the Rosburg shop in the past," said Tischer, a retired road crew employee. "The Rosburg shop is not fenced in."
Commissioner Cothren reported that officials from Pacific, Skamania and Wahkiakum counties and the state Department of Natural Resources are preparing to push legislation next year to address the counties' trust timberlands that have been closed to logging because of endangered species habitat conservation.
The legislation would enable the counties to purchase new timberland which could produce revenue for county funded activities.
The group held an online meeting last week, Cothren said, and viewed a video the DNR had filmed last summer in Cathlamet with officials from the three counties explaining the importance of the timberlands to their counties' revenues.
The video will be shown to legislators when the next session starts in January.
Cothren said the goal is for Wahkiakum County to acquire an additional 7,000 acres. The county already has approximately 12,000 acres of trust timberland which are managed on a sustained yield basis. Approximately 3,000 acres have been closed to logging for habitat conservation.
"When you get more land, you can do a lot of things," Cothren said of the potential boost in revenue.
And in still other business Tuesday, the board adopted a resolution to maintain current commission district boundaries, after finding from US Census data that there had been no significant change in district populations, and they approved a contract with the Town of Cathlamet to provide $55,000 for a share of swimming pool operations and another $15,000 to be used for pool repairs.