ILWACO — Ilwaco City Council moved forward on numerous projects and discussed several others at its Nov. 26 regular meeting.

Topics included the city’s 2019 budget, a recent fire in Long Beach, Sahalee Estates subdivision water and sewer improvements, whether to hold 4th of July fireworks, a boundary line adjustment approval, the city’s insurance plan, and the state fish and wildlife commission.

2019 Ilwaco Budget

The 2019 Ilwaco budget is scheduled to be adopted in December.

The council will hold a final public hearing on the budget during its Monday, Dec. 10 meeting. After the hearing, council will decide whether to adopt the city’s current drafted budget or to postpone a decision for later in the month.

A budget ordinance must be passed annually. Throughout the year, city council can make updates to the budget based on how money is spent. The budget acts as a guide for how city money is spent throughout the year.

The council held a council budget workshop before its Nov. 26 meeting, in which councilors Missy Bageant and Kristen Mathison discussed the budget with City Treasurer Holly Beller and Mayor Gary Forner. A public hearing on the preliminary budget was also held.

During the council meeting, the council discussed whether the current budget should be adopted as is. Bageant, Mathison and Forner voiced support on adopting the current budget.

“I don’t see anywhere else where we can pull from to get what we need,” Bageant said.

Apartment fire update

The council heard an update on a recent fire from Taletha Egleston, Peninsula Poverty Response’s resource and volunteer coordinator.

PPR is partnering with Ocean Beach School District to coordinate donations for the 16 households who are displaced due to the Beach Center Apartment fire, which happened Nov. 20. PPR is also helping those who are displaced find housing, Egleston said. See related story.

“We’re lucky that fire didn’t happen in the middle of the night,” Forner said.

Sahalee project

Councilors discussed whether to authorize Forner to increase the city’s contract by $51,539 for the ongoing Sahalee Estates subdivision water and sewer improvements project.

The city’s contract is with Big River Excavating. The council authorized Forner to enter into the nearly $2.6 million contract at its July 23 meeting. The subdivision’s original 1960s-era sewer system was failing, with storm water intrusions putting a strain on the sewage treatment plant.

The change order will cover costs for potholing; utility conflict resolution of existing buried utilities not shown on the map; water line repairs for existing non-located buried utilities; locating services for side sewer on private property; using a private locating subcontractor; and additional asphalt removal and roadway subgrade repairs.

The change order is divided into three sections, one of which was questioned by Councilor Matt Lesnau.

The first section is for $11,236 and covers potholing, utility conflict resolution and water line repairs.

The second item is for $6,228 and covers additional locating services for side sewer on private property, and the use of a private locating subcontractor.

The third item, which Lesnau questioned, is for $30,214 and covers additional asphalt removal and roadway subgrade repairs. The work was requested by the city for the benefit of widening the roadways and remaining consistent in road subgrades for the entire neighborhood, according to city documents.

“Item #3 seems like they’re doing things at the request of someone that was outside of the original scope of work,” Lesnau said. “If things are being added on that don’t need to be done then I think that needs to come to the council.”

The council agreed to ask for additional information about the change order before deciding to approve or deny it.

The raised cost would be covered by existing loan sources.


The council discussed whether to approve a $16,500 contract for 4th of July fireworks. Councilors ultimately decided to table a decision on the contract, as some councilors want input on whether the fireworks are valued by the community and the Ilwaco Merchants Association.

See related story.

Hanson boundary

The council approved a boundary line adjustment request to combine two lots within a single tax parcel at 2141 Nesadi Drive SW. The lots are in the R-1 zone.

The request was submitted by architect David Jensen, on behalf of Janet and Keith Hanson.

Neighbors Gregory Retzlaff and John Justh voiced concerns at the council’s July 23 meeting about whether the residence will impact neighborhood safety and cause erosion.

City Planner Sam Rubin recommended approval of the boundary line adjustment with the condition that the Hansons record the adjustment with Pacific County and provide a copy of the adjustment to the county assessor’s office. Once recorded, a copy of the adjustment approval must be returned to the city.

Lesnau voted against the boundary line adjustment.

CIAW insurance renewal

The council authorized Forner to renew the city’s insurance coverage plan for the annual renewal period beginning Dec. 1, 2018. The plan will cost the city $97,481, an increase of $6,779 compared to the city’s current plan.

The city’s insurance plan increases annually, said City Clerk Stephanie Davis.

The city’s insurance provider is Cities Insurance Association of Washington (CIAW). Broker services are provided by Propel Insurance. CIAW has worked as Ilwaco’s insurance provider since 2009.

State law allows cities to choose insurance providers without using competitive bidding. However, cities are able to request bids and choose a provider.

Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission

The council discussed supporting former mayor of Ilwaco Mike Cassinelli in applying for the state’s Fish and Wildlife Commission.

Forner will draft a resolution for the council’s next meeting so it can officially support Cassinelli’s bid, Forner said.

The commission is made up of nine members, consisting of three at-large positions, as well as three positions each for east and west of the Cascade Mountains.

“I think I can help the community and the state on the Fish and Wildlife Commission,” Cassinelli said. “I’ll work very hard for the community, just as I always have.”

Cassinelli serves on several boards and councils.

“You have all of our support,” Councilor Jared Oakes said.


Ilwaco City Council meets the second and fourth Monday of the month. The council’s next meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 10 at the Ilwaco Timberland Regional Library branch.

Meetings are open to the public.

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

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