Council discusses waterfront park plans, Julia Butler Hansen House
April 20, 2023
Should an amphitheater be included in the first phase of development at Cathlamet’s planned Waterfront Park?
Members of the town council debated that question at their April 17 meeting, but decided no.
At a previous council meeting on March 20, the group had approved removal of several elements from the park’s design: a wildlife viewing outlook, fire pit, and lighting. The council deemed the revision necessary due to inflation. The cost of materials has nearly doubled since the grant design was originally submitted to the state Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) in 2020, and the project’s budget could no longer fund the planned design.
An amphitheater was included in an updated 2022 design and grant proposal submission; however, the 2020 design & grant submission was the one which received approval from RCO. Building an amphitheater during Phase One would provide a community gathering space and performance venue, suggested Mayor David Olson.
After debate, the council concluded that they had higher priorities – electrical wiring infrastructure and public restrooms– for additional design elements should state funding become available. The council will continue discussion of the park design at a May meeting.
In other business, the council approved funding half of the expense ($2,500) of hiring a consultant to prepare an application in support of listing the Julia Butler Hansen House on the National Register of Historic Places. The other $2,500 for the consulting fee will be paid by the Wahkiakum Chamber of Commerce. Once listed, other funding is likely to be available to support preservation of the historic Main Street home.