The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Parking lot comes with horrendous cost

 

January 12, 2023



To The Eagle:

The Eagle recently announced that the Butler St parking lot’s first phase of construction is complete and partially ready for use. Town taxpayers though need to understand the horrendous cost they’ve incurred for this project:

· Past Mayor Jacobson had the town pay over $60,000 to “a friend” for this literally contaminated lot. This was twice the then current appraised market value ... assuming it wasn’t contaminated.

 About two years ago, current Mayor David Olson made developing the Butler St lot his personal agenda, and pushed hard to have it also include a charging station (for tourists). Even though these EV charging station costs were partially offset with a grant, it still added significantly to the overall development costs.

 The initial development costs were “ballparked” at $200-$250,000. We’re currently at $600,000 (including the purchase price) and more costs will be incurred this spring before completion.

· Before the recent development, the Butler St lot provided the town 20+ parking spots. Now, after spending almost 2/3 of a million dollars, we’ve managed to decrease the available parking there in half, with a max of 10 vehicles, one of which is only for charging EV’s.

Also, it’s important to note:

· A year ago, $600,000 is close to half of what the town’s total available, unallocated capital was (net of transfers and reserves).

· At that time, the town’s consulting engineer also commented that many of our underground pipes were likely beginning to fail, but was unable to even begin estimating how badly.

· Last year, it cost over $1.0 million alone just to fix the Columbia St/ Olive Rd intersection’s underground repairs.

Bill Wainwright

Cathlamet

 

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