"We don't do water."


February 8, 2024

As is sometimes the case, the public comment portion of the weekly meeting of the Wahkiakum County commissioners wound up as the main event. Several residents of Oneida Road came to the commissioners meeting directly from the recently-concluded Port Utilities District meeting Tuesday morning.

Corbett McMaster said that there were about 25 people at the PUD meeting and that the board had told them to take up their issues with the commissioners. McMaster said that they are paying approximately $2,000 in taxes for 10 acre parcels that they cannot build on because there is no water.

The fire department, which will cease deliveries of water soon, has suggested that the homeowners buy a fire truck to haul the water themselves. McMaster said that this “would not work for them.”

Another Oneida Road homeowner, Ron Thielen, said that he was concerned that the value of his house would be reduced if the water problem was not solved. Mr. Theilen said that the federal government should be able to set aside money for rural development if they are spending money in foreign countries.

The commissioners were sympathetic to the homeowners but did not offer a solution.

Commissioner Dan Cothren agreed that “the water down there is no good.”

But speaking on behalf of the county government, he added, plainly, “We don't do water.”

Most of the other issues were procedural.

Several positions at Health and Human Services were classified at a higher rate to improve employee retention. A new sheriff's deputy was granted a raise due to his 15 years of experience. And a used snow plow was purchased for $20,000 to replace a county plow that cannot be repaired.

The public works department asked for and was granted permission to shut down the ferry “Oscar B” Feb. 12 from 5 a.m. until 9 a.m. for engine repairs.


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