Council reviews Butler Lot costs, discusses Columbia Street speeds


January 26, 2023

Town of Cathlamet Mayor David Olson presented a breakdown on the total costs for the Butler Lot at the town council meeting last Tuesday equaling an amount closer to $450,000, not the $600,000 reported by a council member at the previous meeting, which was not disputed at the time.

The breakdown included expected costs for the remaining work, which includes electric vehicle equipment, a kiosk, flora, and other details.

The panel for the charging station was held up because of supply chain issues and is not expected to arrive until August.

“I sure wish we were done,” Olson said. “I just want to be absolutely clear that there is still more to do there. When it’s completed, I hope after such a long period of time, going back to 2018, that its a feature of the town that everyone can be proud of and that will be used by both locals and visitors alike.”

A future waterfront park is moving into focus after the town learned they would receive funding for a grant they applied for in 2020. Olson said he hoped to have the funding contract to present at a February meeting along with build options and preliminary build schedules from engineers at Gray and Osborne, Inc.

“This is going to have to go quite rapidly,” he said. “It’s funding a 2020 grant. Likely it will have to be built by the end of 2024.”

Speed limits and speed humps on Columbia Street were addressed as well. Olson shared a letter from Sheriff Mark Howie recommending that the speed limit be lowered to 25 mph from SR 4 all the way to Main Street.

Olson said he had also spoken to Wahkiakum County Engineer Paul Lacy, who recommended that the speed limit be lowered to 20 mph.

Because Wahkiakum County governs the speed limit on Columbia Street from SR 4 to Alder Street, the matter will be put before Wahkiakum County Commissioners.

A conversation about enforcement, cost of speed humps, signage, and whether to lower the speed limit to 20 mph on all city streets ensued, but nothing was determined.

The mayor also said he was talking to the operator of the cell tower in the Rosedale area about having a much broader conversation about the lack of wireless reception in the Westend.

“More towers in the Westend would help everyone,” Olson said.

Minette Smith, the Coalition Coordinator for the Wahkiakum Community Network spoke about the prevention program and shared information about a mentoring program, which will match volunteers with youth in the community in order to cultivate connections, provide guidance, and more.

The town council authorized the mayor to sign a cooperative agreement with the county for the operation of the pool, which the town owns, and for which the county has agreed to contribute up to $65,000 a year.

Olson thanked the county for their support and Public Works Superintendent David McNally for “great oversight of the pool.”

“It is an expensive item, but it is cherished here and people appreciate access to that pool,” Olson said.


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