Closures ahead for ferry, Risk Road
May 5, 2022
Wahkiakum County commissioners on Tuesday approved two measures that will impact transportation routes.
On Monday, the ferry Oscar B. will go out of service from 6 a.m. to 12 noon for mechanical work.
County Public Works Director Chuck Beyer said the closure is needed for engine maintenance, repairs and replacement of recalled engine parts.
The board also approved a closure of Risk Road for replacement of the bridge over Nelson Creek. The closure was effective Tuesday and authorized to last until September 23.
The non-profit habitat enhancement group Columbia Land Trust has acquired grant funding to install a new bridge and redirect the stream into a more natural channel configuration, Beyer reported.
He added that the actual closure won't start until the contractor is on the scene.
The area and road have long been susceptible to flooding in wet, high water periods.
"It's been a real pain," commented Commissioner Dan Cothren. "We've been working with the Land Trust for years on that. I thank them for stepping up to the plate. We couldn't afford that."
In other business, commissioners approved staffing changes for Wahkiakum District Court and heard a presentation from Wahkiakum Community Network (WCN) about substance use prevention efforts for youth.
Judge Heidi Heywood explained that her court administrator had resigned. Her chief clerk is set to be promoted to the position, and the deputy clerk is willing to be promoted to that position. That leaves an opening for the deputy clerk position.
Because of longevity in employment, the projected salary costs for the promotions would exceed her budget, and she asked the board to appropriate an additional $3,196.41, which would be the maximum potential cost of the promotions.
Commissioners voted to approve the expenditure.
Program managers Ginger Hake and Heather Odom described WCN goals and programs, including a virtual offering that occurred later that day.
The network's goal is to educate youth about drugs, alcohol, tobacco and vaping use. Besides educational efforts, the program offers services such as free marijuana lock boxes.
The network bases its programs on analysis of surveys conducted every two years in schools and also on anecdotal reports.
One new finding is that more education is needed for adults, they said, and the speaker in Tuesday's webinar would show how to recognize signs of substance use in a teenager's bedroom.
"I've seen two of his webinars," Commissioner Lee Tischer said about the presenter. "Once you start watching, you can't turn away."