ILWACO — Will approving a street vacation serve one resident and harm future city development?

At its May 13 meeting, Ilwaco City Council tried to determine whether to approve a proposed street vacation. The project has received opposition from neighbors and concern from the council.

Councilors also discussed engineering contracts, the city’s growth management act and timber harvesting.

Proposed street vacation

The council discussed a proposed right-of-way vacation on parts of Third and Fourth Avenue, located between Main Street and Eagle Street. Several neighbors oppose the project because they fear they would lose property value and become landlocked.

Neighbors Daliah and Daniel Lundquist notified the council that the project’s legal documents refer to Fourth Avenue as Fourth Street, which could cause confusion when calling 911. Councilors decided to take care of the naming issue and talk to the city’s attorney before making a decision on whether to approve the vacation.

Neighbor Rich Marshall and Councilor Kristen Mathison talked about their opposition to the project.

“This impacts other people and the community’s development,” Mathison said. “I’m not in favor of changing a grid system that’s already laid out so a property owner can build a shed. I don’t think we should limit future opportunities.”

Councilor Matt Lesnau said he leans toward approving the Third Avenue vacation but not Fourth. If the city approves the vacation, liability will be left to property owners.

Gray & Osborne

Councilors approved two contracts between the city and Gray & Osborne. One contract provides the city with on-call professional engineering services for 2019.

The second contract pays Gray & Osborne $5,350 for water and sewer services in the Sahalee neighborhood. The contract covers adding a new lift station into the wastewater system.

Councilors tabled a third contract between the city and Gray & Osborne. County government requested Ilwaco do a study to see if the city’s wastewater treatment facility can accept commercial septage. The county previously partnered with Warrenton for septage services.

Approving the project would cost Ilwaco at least $21,694. The county hasn’t guaranteed the city would be reimbursed for the money. Both Ilwaco and Long Beach government have said the cities don’t want to or can’t take commercial septage.

Seaview Sewer District may be used for commercial septage instead. County leaders will meet on May 23 to make a decision.

Growth Management Act

Councilors approved a proposal and an ordinance for the city’s growth management act. The city is required to update its comprehensive plan by June 30, 2020. The city will work on updating its plan for the remainder of 2019 and part of 2020.

During the process, the city will hold public meetings on the plan, conduct city studies and update city policies. The city will pay its city planner, BergerABAM, up to $41,599 for project planning services.

Timber harvesting

Councilors approved a timber-harvesting contract between the city and Hampton Tree Farms. The city expects to earn about $239,829 from the harvesting season. Douglas firs will be harvested for $405; western hemlocks for $310; red alders for $280; sitka spruces for $200; and pulp for $5 per ton. Tree prices are based on per 1,000 board feet.

The project should “increase diversity and resilience on the watershed property, increase daylight to the water plant and generate revenue for the city’s water fund,” according to the city.

Proclamations

The council recognized two proclamations; for National Safe Boating Week and Emergency Medical Services Week.

National Safe Boating Week is May 18 to 24. Long Beach City Council acknowledged the week at its May 6 meeting.

“The Coast Guard estimates that human error accounts for 70 percent of all boating accidents and that life jackets could prevent nearly 85 percent of boating fatalities,” Mayor Gary Forner said.

About 650 people die each year in boating-related accidents, according to the Coast Guard. The week is meant to increase safety and fun for recreational boaters.

EMS week is May 19 to 25. The week has the theme of “beyond the call.”

“The members of emergency medical services teams are ready to provide lifesaving care to those in need 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said Medix paramedic Brian Roth. “Access to quality emergency care dramatically improves the survival and recovery rate of those who experience sudden illness or injury.”

EMS services include physicians, nurses, medical technicians, paramedics, firefighters, educators and administrators.

“The members of emergency medical services teams, whether career or volunteer, engage in thousands of hours of specialized training and continuing education to enhance their lifesaving skills,” Roth said.

Other news

  • At a May 6 special meeting, councilors awarded a project bid for Ortelius Street improvements. The bid went to Big River Excavating for $329,622. The bid exceeds the city engineer’s project estimate by $15,444. Clark & Sons Excavating bid for the project for about $15,000 more than Big River.
  • Councilors received a two-month lease extension for 152 First Avenue N. Ocean Beach School District leases the property and will do so until Aug. 31.
  • The city partners with BergerABAM for planning services. BergerABAM recently joined WSP USA Inc. The change won’t affect the city’s planning services.

The council’s next meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. on May 25. The meeting will include a public hearing on a proposed variance for former mayor Mike Cassinelli. Council meetings are held at the city’s community room, 158 First Ave. N. The public is welcome to attend.

Alyssa Evans is a staff writer for the Chinook Observer. Contact her at 360-642-8181 or aevans@chinookobserver.com

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