Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Council acts on proposals for parks, streets, utility rates...

The Cathlamet town council adopted its 2022 budget, approved measures for park and sidewalk improvement projects and addressed other issues when it met Monday.

Council members rejected a bid for exterior improvements to the town hall. The bid came in two parts, one for $88,000 that included installation of a decorative mural and a second for $74,000 without the mural. The town’s architect estimated the cost at $56,000.

The council may call for bids again in 2022.

Planned work included improvements to siding and installation of lighting and awnings over doorways.

Council Member David Olson said he opposed cosmetic measures for the project, and Council Member Robert Stowe agreed.

Council Member Cece Raglin said she approved of the project but that she would like to see the project go to bid again.

The council voted 3-1 (Council Member Bill Wainwright was absent) to accept a contractor’s bid of $46,889 to make improvements to restrooms and the covered picnic area at Erickson Park.

Stowe voted against the measure.

“Once again, I think we’re putting the cart before the horse,” he said. “We have other things that need attention, not the covered picnic area.”

However, the other council members said the improvements were needed at the town’s biggest park.

“This is a project we’ve worked on for months, and we budgeted for it,” said Council Member Laurel Waller.

In a written report, Public Works Superintendent David McNally related efforts to repair a damaged fire hydrant and water in the Rosedale area. A truck damaged a hydrant at the corner of Jacobson Road and Douglas Street, he said, and repairs revealed connected lines were in poor shape and need replacing.

McNally wrote, “Began removal and reinstallation of the tee and valve that feed the fire hydrant that was broken after being hit by a truck . . .

“We arrived the following day to find a ¾” hole in the bottom of the A/C pipe shortly away from our coupling point that required immediate attention.

“After removal, it appeared the section of pipe was in serious decay and removal of the dirt around the pipe relieved the outside pressure against the pipe, allowing the problem to exacerbate.

“This is a constant theme with A/C pipe and the biggest reason we replaced a large section of it last year with the Columbia St. Waterline Project. The sooner we can replace the remaining stretches of A/C in the system, the better we’ll be for it.

“With the waterline problems now dealt with and the new tee and hydrant valve in place, we’ll be able to finish the installation next week with no further disruptions to the system.”

In other actions:

--The council voted 4-0 to accept a grant of $138,000 to help finance construction of curbs and sidewalks along school property on South Third Street.

--After much discussion, the council voted to accept an updated contract with the Wahkiakum County Sheriff’s Office for law enforcement services.

Discussion focused on a new measure that called for the sheriff’s office to enforce speeding in the Glengate subdivision off Columbia Street.

Stowe resides in Glengate and commented that the major issue he sees is people parking cars in areas that should be kept clear for response by fire trucks or other emergency vehicles.

Town Attorney Fred Johnson pointed out that law enforcement can respond to any violations and said concerns could be taken to the sheriff’s office.

The contract also calls for enforcement of any overtime parking violations along Main Street. The street formally had a 2-hour limit on parking, but that was ended about eight years ago.

Stowe abstained from voting on the contract.

--By a 3-1 vote, the council adopted its $7 million budget that included raises for employees. Stowe opposed, saying he had raised issues at previous meetings.

--At the recommendation of Clerk/Treasurer Sarah Clark, the council declined to act on amendments to ordinances setting sewer and water rates.

The town has had a rate study undertaken to modify rates with the goal of lessening inequality in the rates which showed that residences were paying more than their share and commercial establishments were paying less.

The council had approved at an earlier meeting adopting modified rates that included a basic charge and a consumption charge. However, Clark said that when she carefully studied the new rates, she saw that they were based on old data and wouldn’t accomplish what they were supposed to accomplish.


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