ILWACO - Following the recent news of PACE's upcoming nutrition services closure, PACE Board Chairman Walter Deege was in attendance at Monday's Ilwaco City Council meeting to further explain the condition of the non-profit organization.

During public comment, Deege stated that PACE paid approximately $36,000 to continue operating nutrition services in a temporary location during the Ilwaco Community Building renovation because there were no funds available from the city. He added that private donations have decreased, as well as meal donations have decreased from an average of $2.50 per meal to 98 cents per meal.

"The letter writing campaigns - which I'm sure you're aware of - was not helpful," he added.

Later in the meeting, Ann Saari noted that the city was not able to assist financially because PACE is a federally designated 501(c)3 non-profit organization. She explained that the library's temporary relocation costs were paid because the city is required by law to provide housing for the library.

The city council's agenda was consumed with several discussion items, which included an update on the Master Business License program and resolution requests for completion of the community building and the fire hall.

New addresses ahead? Fire Chief Tom Williams presented a resolution request to rename Robert Gray Drive and correct the addresses on Redwing Way. He suggested the name change to improve emergency response, eliminating any confusion between Robert Gray Drive (a portion of Loop 100) and Captain Gray Drive in Vandalia. He suggested renaming Robert Gray Drive as Loop 100 SW or possibly 2nd Street SW.

Williams also advised changing the house numbers on Redwing Way to 6000s, so that all Vandalia house numbers would be in the 6000s and 7000s.

In council reports, Will Greene stated he is working on grant applications that could fund a new phone system for the police department and sectionalize the water plant.

Referring to a news article that stated the country is facing the biggest tax revenue drop since 1932, Mike Cassinelli handed his council paycheck back to Mayor Doug Hubbard in hopes of cutting costs for the city.

"I'm asking you not to pay me for the rest of the year and ask fellow councilmen to consider doing the same," Cassinelli explained.

Among staff reports, Fire Chief Tom Williams noted that the Ilwaco Volunteer Fire Department is celebrating its 122nd anniversary this month.

Saari, of the Ilwaco Library Board, reported that she is "actively working on the landscaping project" for the community building. About $3,400 has been raised for the project, which has been estimated to cost $15,000 to $20,000. Donations are still being accepted to help defray the landscaping costs. She encouraged the public to "spend freely" at this Thursday's art walk, which will benefit the landscaping project and the Peninsula Players. She added that there is also an open seat on the library board. Those interested in the position may submit a letter of interest to Ilwaco City Hall.

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