Commissioners hear a variety of complaints


November 3, 2022

Wahkiakum County commissioners heard complaints from citizens and took care of several business items when they met Tuesday.

An unidentified woman told the board that the county health department sent a letter declaring a trailer on her property a health risk and asking her to enter into an agreement to clean it up.

The trailer, she said, is not a flat bed trailer as cited, but it is a dump trailer with sides and containing cardboard and similar debris that will be hauled to a dump.

"I feel the health department is targeting me," she said.

Another man joined the conversation and added his complaints about the health department. He is a food vendor who works events and fairs, and the county's fees and food service regulations have made it too expensive to operate in the county, he said.

Another man raised a third complaint. The Elochoman Valley road is often flooded during winter storm events, and failed culverts in the county road make the problem worse.

The speaker said he has talked to state officials and consultants who said the problem could be improved if the culverts were replaced.

Because the county knows that the culverts are inadequate, it could be liable for damages, he said.

"This is all on the county," he said. "You guys have been notified."

"Thank you for your information," said board Chair Gene Strong, adding commissioners would talk to Public Works Director Chuck Beyer and County Engineer Paul Lacey about the situation.

In other business Health and Human Services Director Chris Bischoff reported his offices will be closed Dec. 5-9 to relocate. The health department is moving to the department's Elochoman Road campus, and the mental health staff will move to the Hope Center near the elementary school in Cathlamet.

Sheriff's department offices will move in to the vacated space in the courthouse annex.

Mental health program director Julie Johnston reported the department will host its Living Well program Nov. 18 in the Hope Center. Presenters will offer assistance with Medicare and health insurance enrollment; and blood pressure checks and flu shots will be available, and there will be representatives of other programs and services.


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