SOUTH BEND — The Pacific County Commissioners briefly met March 23, dealing with matters including temporary closure of a county road and a lease agreement for stockpiling oyster shells.
Commissioners Lisa Olsen, Frank Wolfe and Michael Runyon were in attendance, along with County Risk Manager Kathy Spoor and Assistant Marie Guernsey. New Public Works Director Robert Kimble was also present for the meeting. In-person meetings are still closed to the public, so public viewers were present via Zoom.
Honoring years of dedication
One of the first agenda items for each meeting is honoring the years of service for county employees who continue to serve the county years down the road. The meeting honored Cindy Howard for working 15 years in the assessor’s office and Eva Kanick for working 10 years in the Pacific County Sheriff’s Office.
“Thank you, Eva, for all your service to the county,” Olsen said. “She was at South Bend PD for a lot of years before that, and she’s a familiar face. [Cindy] is looking at retiring soon. She and I worked together for a long time.”
Heckard Road closure
Commissioners were presented with a request to temporarily close Heckard Road from April 5 through April 30 for an improvement project. The project was initially scheduled to begin in October 2020 but was pushed back to this spring. The federally funded work will involve making improvements to the intersection of Heckard and Camp One roads in the Willapa/East Raymond area.
“This is just a request to temporarily close Heckard Road as the contractor gets there and commences construction on the intersection project we have going on,” Kimble said. “We met with the contractor [and] we made sure the dates we’ve offered before the board for consideration meet its schedule and provide any necessary buffer they may need with anticipation for weather delays or anything like that.”
Kimble noted that his agency has informed the Willapa Valley School District of the looming closure so they can plan accordingly. The agency notified a list of individuals of the project also including residents in the area. Olsen and Wolfe voted to approve the request, with Runyon abstaining.
Travelers through South Bend often notice a large pile of oyster shells next to the defunct Alder Mill. Pacific Shellfish LLC submitted a request to lease the county-owned property to continue stockpiling oyster shells and for the temporary storage of dredging spoils. The lease would run from May 18, 2021, through May 17, 2026.
“This is an ongoing lease that we have with what used to be Coast Oyster where they stockpile the oyster shell next to our Alder Mill site,” Spoor said. “They have provided us our insurance certificate. I don’t know if there is going to be any more dredging. The last time that we renewed this, they were doing some dredging and needed a place to temporarily store their spoils. If that comes up again in the next 5 years, this will allow them to do that.”
Commissioners unanimously approved the request.