Ilwaco OKs six-year capital facilities plan

Gary Forner

ILWACO — The City of Ilwaco is a step closer to getting started on numerous city projects.

At its Nov. 13 meeting, Ilwaco City Council approved the city’s six-year capital facilities plan. The city’s planning commission, ordinances, and speed limits were other focuses of the night.

Ilwaco City Council adopted its six-year capital facilities plan, which the city uses to prioritize projects and determine when to apply for project funding.

The plan has been updated annually since February 2012. The most recent update lists projects the city expects to complete between 2019 and 2024.

Proposed projects for 2019 include improvements to Ortelius Drive, Willow Street, the Howerton Overlay, the City Center Reservoir and painting the community building. Other major projects of following years include an extension of the Discovery Trail, and improvements to Vandalia Street, Cooks Hill, and the Hilltop Middle School route.

Councilors discussed appointing a council member to the city’s planning commission. Jon Chambreau, the commission’s chair, requested one of the councilors serve as an “ex officio” member of the commission.

The potential appointment is intended to enhance communication between the council and commission. The selected councilor wouldn’t have a vote on the commission.

The planning commission reviews project applications before the city council makes a final decision on the project.

Chambreau noted the commission functions in an advisory role but isn’t in communication with the council. He anticipates the commission will be involved with more projects than ever before in the coming months.

Appointing a council member to the commission will require Mayor Gary Forner to draft an ordinance which amends the Ilwaco Municipal Code. The council approved letting Forner move forward with drafting an ordinance for the appointment.

Council member Matt Lesnau suggested the council’s first workshop in 2019 be dedicated toward working on code revisions because the council has multiple codes in need of attention. The other councilors voiced support for Lesnau’s idea.

Council member Missy Bageant suggested the council look into improving communication with other city branches such as the city’s parks and recreation commission.

The council will make an official decision regarding who is appointed to the commission at an upcoming meeting.

The council heard from resident Jim Deane, who voiced concerns about one of his neighbors breaking the city’s noise ordinance. He said one of his neighbors has an old refrigerator which runs constantly and can be heard from several yards away. Deane requested the council review its noise ordinance, as the fridge is allowed under the ordinance. Mayor Forner said the council would review the ordinance.

Deane also said he’s noticed people sleeping outside near his property. He suggested having someone drive through the city at night to deter people from sleeping in the road near his property.

Resident Michael Mathis urged the council to add additional signage to prevent drivers from speeding through the city along Highway 101. Mathis contacted the Washington State Department of Transportation and learned adding signs would cost about $10,000 per sign.

Councilors recently approved changing the speed limit from 45 mph to 35 mph at the city’s Seaview border. Mathis suggested signs should be added to the other city entrance.

There are grants which could cover funding, Mathis said.

Council member Jared Oakes thanked Mathis for bringing a solution to the council.

The city’s holiday lights will be put up soon, city treasurer Holly Beller said.

She also said Black Lake will be sprayed for no charge, which will benefit cranberry farmers.

Ilwaco City Hall employees are still waiting for dead rats to be removed from the ceiling above their workspace, Mayor Forner said. The city is waiting on asbestos test results before work gets started to remove the rodents.

The city had over 700 trick-or-treaters on Halloween, said Ilwaco Fire Chief Tom Williams. A family from Beaverton celebrated Halloween in Ilwaco, Forner said.

Ilwaco City Council meets next at 6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 26, in the community room, next to the Ilwaco Timberland Regional Library branch.

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

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