County prepares budgets, road construction plans
November 17, 2022
It may be mid-November, but Wahkiakum County officials are making plans for 2023 budgets and activities.
The 2023 Preliminary County Budget will be available to the public next Monday.
On Tuesday, the board of commissioners will hold public hearings on annual road construction and six-year transportation improvement programs and 14-year ferry program, starting at 10 a.m.
On Nov. 29, the commission has scheduled public hearings for each of the county's four flood control zone districts starting at 10 a.m. This is a fifth Tuesday; there will not be a regular commissioner meeting; however, the board will set assessments for district accounts.
On Monday, Dec. 5, the commission will hold public hearings on revenue sources and final budget and levies for 2023 starting at 9:30 a.m. Budget information may be found online at https://www.co.wahkiakum.wa.us/AgendaCenter.
In their budget workshops, commissioners committed to appropriations for several community entities.
--The board approved of $13,000 to increase the hours of the Johnson Park custodian position to 30 hours per month and for utility funding. The board and Johnson Park representatives discussed electrical upgrades and gym heating.
--The board approved an appropriations for the Town of Cathlamet, $60,000 for operations and $5,000 for maintenance of the municipal swimming pool. They made no decision on a request for $3,000 to support the Cathlamet library.
--During the budget workshops, Port District No. 1 Manager Todd Souvenir requested an annual operating stipend of $5,500 for County Line Park. Following discussion, the board agreed to $4,000, with a two-year agreement. The water system upgrade is not being pursued at this time due to cost versus benefit.
--Representatives of the Wahkiakum County Historical Society requested $5,000 to help with fixed expenses. The commission approved $3,000 and also sent a letter to the Town of Cathlamet suggesting the town make a matching appropriation.
The 2023 annual road construction program lists a good number of projects, some for engineering and construction, and some just for engineering with construction targeted for 2024. A partial list of projects includes:
--Replacing a washed out culvert on Salmon Creek Road;
--Adding a paved shoulder for pedestrians and bicycles on Columbia Street;
--Engineering for two projects on East Valley Road--replacing the superstructure on the Wilson Creek Bridge, milepost 1.64, and replacing the North Fork Wilson Creek culvert with a bridge. Construction is set for 2024;
--Engineering improved road alignment and a new bridge over Clear Creek on the Elochoman Valley Road, milepost 6.5; construction is set for 2024;
--Designing a new, perpendicular alignment of the East Valley Road intersection with SR 4 in Skamokawa; construction is set for 2024, and
--Widening Eden Valley Road between mileposts 1.90 and 2.10.