It’s been an unusual winter thus far with less precipitation than normal, temperatures alternating between warmer than expected down into the teens and 20s and, of course, our fair share of wind. A big benefit of this crazy weather has been the lack of snow in town. This has resulted in safer driving around our community and precluded the need for our Pubic Works crew to plow snow, thus far at least. Of course, we all know weather conditions can change pretty quickly around here and there’s still plenty of winter left so we may not have seen the worst yet.
As we welcome the New Year it’s a good time to recap a few of the events of 2013 as we look towards the future.
We experienced a fair amount of change in our staff at City Hall over the past 12 months with Steven Hasson, our new City Clerk/Treasurer/Administrator, and Richard Lafayette, our new Public Works Field Supervisor both coming on board. Steven and Richard have worked diligently to ensure our city continues to run smoothly while they learn the numerous duties and details their jobs require.
Your City Administrator is very busy developing short and long range strategies designed to maintain the viability of our city’s sewer system. Our biggest maintenance issue is Lift Station #3. We are working with our city engineer to determine the best way to keep the lift station operational while seeking outside loans and grants to replace our three lift stations. Current estimates are in vicinity of $500,000.00.
We encourage all our citizens to join us at City Council meetings to provide input and learn how the city government is addressing the issues.
Unless you’ve been out of the country for a while you are probably aware the city has been working to create a Public Development Authority (PDA) for the express purpose of applying for a retail marijuana store license. There are a number of reasons we have undertaken this effort. Foremost among them is our belief a PDA will place more emphasis on fulfilling the goals of I-502 rather than focusing solely on the financial bottom line. Those goals include public health and safety, substance-abuse prevention, research, education, health care funding and law enforcement services.
At 10:30 AM on Monday the 28th of October the City Hall received a frantic call from a resident who said something unnaturally large was moving rapidly away from their residence and taking their child’s blue wading pool. Annette Taylor, who responded to this report, assured the caller the City would promptly look into the matter.
As we head into November it’s quite likely you’re hearing about our City Council weighing the pros and cons of getting into the marijuana sales business. To set the record straight I’d like to provide an update and invite you to join us at the first council meeting this month which will begin at 7pm on Tuesday, November 12th.
At the Tuesday, September 24 North Bonneville City Council meeting there was a discussion about the possibility of creating a special purpose district to operate a retail outlet in North Bonneville for the dispensing of marijuana and related products. This Council conversation was prompted by the recent voter approved passage of I-502, a measure which allows for the licensing of marijuana businesses throughout Washington State as well as knowledge the Washington State Liquor Control Authority intends to permit two  of these dispensaries in Skamania County.
Fall has most certainly arrived. As I sit typing these words, Gary, Bryan and Richard are removing a fallen tree blocking Garrison Drive just west of Pioneer. A second, smaller tree fell just southwest of the big one but fortunately didn’t hit anyone or any streets, cars or buildings. Thanks go to our Public Works crew for working in the pouring rain to keep our streets open and safe.
- The State Auditor’s office will initiate our annual audit starting September 3, 2013.
- The City received three  proposals for use of hotel/motel tax proceeds – these submittals will be given to the newly formed tourism committee for their review.
- The City Council approved a contractual arrangement with Ken Craig of Shota Woodcarving to construct a main entry sign and a welcome kiosk map that will enhance the City’s visibility and promote business development. The signage will be funded through hotel/motel tax proceeds.
As we head into August we’re taking time to look back and ahead at the same time.