APPROXIMATELY 100 LOCAL VETERANS and family members accepted the invitation of the Clatskanie American Legion and Auxiliary to attend a free Veterans Day dinner Monday evening at the Legion hall. Members of Boy Scout Troop 241, including Justin Gwinner and Lakota Wilson (at far left), served as the color guard and assisted with serving the meal. Guest speaker was Don Weber (center), district commander of the American Legion, who retired as a major from the U.S. Army after 41 years of service, including two tours of duty in Afghanistan. Weber showed slides and spoke about some of his experiences in Afghanistan, the culture, and the numerous mercy missions his unit conducted to help the people of the war-torn country. Chief Photos by Deborah Steele Hazen
by Deborah Steele Hazen
After much delay, and the fortuitous location of used equipment in good condition, the Clatskanie City Council awarded the bid for the wastewater treatment plant’s headworks construction project at its meeting Nov. 6.
The project, once estimated to cost $725,000, is now expected to cost between $200,000 and $220,000 thanks to the fact that the city was able to purchase used equipment in good condition from the City of Wilsonville.
Bids for the installation of equipment and related work came in somewhat higher than had been projected by the engineering firm of Curran-McLeod, City Manager Greg Hinkelman and Public Works Director Ray DiPasquale reported to the council.
The low bid was from Stettler Supply Company of Salem for $169,975, and the council voted unanimously to award that bid. There were four other bids with the high bid at $292,278, Hinkelman said.
DiPasquale explained that local contractors did not bid on the job.
The work entails constructing a flume to redirect the inflow to the plant to run through the new screen purchased from the City of Wilsonville. The project consists of concrete and pipe works as well as installation, including electrical, of the screen apparatus.
The project is being funded by the city’s “enterprise zone fund” of approximately $450,000, which came from a reimbursement of property taxes by Georgia-Pacific after the addition of a paper machine at the mill did not meet the employment requirements for an enterprise zone tax exemption. The City of Clatskanie received a portion of the reimbursement because it is one of five sponsors of the Lower Columbia Maritime Enterprise Zone along with Columbia and Clatsop counties, the Port of St. Helens and the City of Rainier.
While the work has been needed for several years – and city crews have been required to perform additional maintenance to sustain the operation of the wastewater treatment plant – funding for the new headworks screen at the higher cost was not available.
DiPasquale’s location of the used equipment cut the cost by over $500,000.
At a previous meeting, the council transferred $200,000 from the enterprise zone fund to the capital improvement projects fund to pay for the headworks project. Because the contractor’s bids came in higher than expected, DiPasquale said it is possible that an additional $20,000 from the enterprise zone fund may be needed to complete the project.
Tichenor Street Sewer Repair
In regard to another public works project, the council awarded a bid for the Tichenor Street sewer line replacement from the Clatskanie People’s Utility District substation to 7th Street for $114,975 to Big River Construction Inc. of Astoria.
The only other bid received was from Advanced Excavating of Longview for $249,715. The job had been estimated at $95,000.
“We are seeing a decline in contractor bidding. In the past, we have frequently used Kynsi Construction and A&M Excavating,” Hinkelman wrote in his report to the council. “Neither chose to bid. As a result, we are seeing higher bid proposals.”
Hinkelman said he would be presenting a revised capital improvements project list to the council at a future meeting, suggesting that funds be shifted from a planned geo-tech investigation of Bellflower Street to cover the extra amount of the much-needed Tichenor Street sewer line repair.
DiPasquale also reported on the repair of two water leaks elsewhere on the city’s system.
Also at last week’s meeting, the council approved the renewal of its agreement with the Clatskanie Park and Recreation District regarding the lease of the Clatskanie City Park for $1 per year to the district, which manages and maintains the park facilities.
Citizen Concerns About Parking, “Scrap Yard”
At the beginning of the meeting, the council and city staff had a lengthy discussion with citizens who were concerned about the parking of a large van on Poplar Street which hadn’t been moved for approximately three weeks.
It was noted that city ordinances allow for citations to be issued if a vehicle remains unmoved on a city street for over 24 hours.
While acknowledging that the case in question was “extreme” and “needs to be dealt with,” Clatskanie Police Chief Marvin Hoover urged the council to review the city ordinances regarding parking in order to address genuine nuisances, but not harass residents who must park vehicles on the street because of a lack of off-street parking at the community’s numerous older residences.
The van was moved the day after the council meeting.
Citizens also again addressed the unsightly “scrap yard” at the intersection of Van Street and NE 5th Street, which has been a previous topic at council meetings.
After prolonged discussion, the council asked city manager Greg Hinkelman and city attorney John Salisbury to address the issue.
Jail Concerns Expressed
Mayor Diane Pohl expressed disappointment over the failure of the Columbia County Jail operating levy, and the predicted closing of the jail sometime within the next year. “We will be in effect a lawless county,” she said.
“There are some things you have to arrest for,” Hoover noted, such as domestic assault, violation of restraining and stalking orders. “Those arrests are going to create a hardship for the city. We can put them in one holding cell, but then someone has to stay there with them,” taking patrol officers off the streets and/or increasing personnel costs. “What Pandora’s box are we going to open up if we release a prisoner and they go back and assault the victim again.”
No Gas Tax in Clatskanie
Councilor Ron Puzey reported that he had heard several citizens complaining that gas prices are higher in Clatskanie because of city gas taxes.
There are no city gas taxes in Clatskanie. One was proposed to help with the costs of street maintenance, but it was turned down by voters.
Giving residents an opportunity to jumpstart their holiday shopping activities locally this Saturday is the annual Clatskanie Tigers bazaar at the high school and Beaver Homes Grange holiday bazaar in Goble.
More bazaars and holiday shopping festivities are scheduled in the coming weeks as the Christmas season approaches.
“Early Bird” Drawing for Shopping Promotion
The “Holiday Spirit Spectacular” shop local campaign sponsored by the Clatskanie Chamber of Commerce is also currently underway.
Shoppers are encouraged to ask for a “SPIRIT” punch card at any of the 30 participating Clatskanie businesses, which will be marked for every $10 spent at each business. In the case of financial institutions, the Clatskanie People’s Utility District (PUD) and the City of Clatskanie, customers will receive one box checked off for every transaction – maximum one per day.
Shoppers who have already filled their punch cards are invited to turn in their cards for an “early bird” drawing for a Thanksgiving turkey provided by Clatskanie Safeway, to be awarded on Monday, Nov. 25.
Completed cards may be dropped off at the Clatskanie PUD office, 465 E. Columbia River Highway, to be eligible. All cards received by 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 25, will go into the drawing for Thanksgiving turkeys. All cards received by 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 27, will go into the final drawing for Clatskanie Chamber Checks – which may be used like cash at local businesses – including entries received prior to Thanksgiving.
Businesses participating in the Clatskanie Chamber of Commerce Holiday Spirit Spectacular Shopping Spree are: Clatskanie Floral/Carla’s Closet/Latté Da, Wauna Credit Union, Ixtapa, Clatskanie PUD, Clatskanie River Inn, M&N Workwear, Jim’s Garage, Hi-School Pharmacy, The Bag Ladies Yarn Shop, Sporty’s, Colvin’s Pub & Grill, Johnson Family Feed, Singing Dog Jewelry, Radio Shack/Clatskanie Market, Clatskanie Subway, The Hair Place, Hazen Hardware, City of Clatskanie, Discounts & Deals, Cronies, Clatskanie Builders Supply, State Farm Insurance, Quilted Dandelion, Quality Auto Parts, Fultano’s Pizza, Sterling Bank, Clatskanie Mini Storage, US Bank, Bundy’s, and The Clatskanie Chief.
Details are included as follows for each holiday bazaar event.
Clatskanie Tigers Bazaar on Saturday
This year’s Clatskanie Tigers holiday bazaar is on Saturday, Nov. 16, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Clatskanie Middle/High School in the commons, 471 SW Bel-Air Drive.
A variety of handcrafted items and holiday gifts will be for sale.
Proceeds from the bazaar will go toward the Tigers baseball team spring trip.
For more information contact Ryan Tompkins at 509 654-4517.
Beaver Homes Grange Bazaar Saturday
Beaver Homes Grange in Goble will present its annual holiday bazaar on Saturday, Nov. 16, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Homemade items, flea market finds and more will be included for sale. A soup and sandwich lunch priced at $5 will be served between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
The grange is located at 31105 Beaver Homes Road. Turn onto Nicolai Road from Highway 30 at Goble and follow the signs.
For further information contact Mel Brady 503 556-3565, or Monica 503 560-3348 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Holiday Gift Fair in Cathlamet Nov. 23
A holiday gift fair will be held on Saturday, Nov. 23, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at St. James Family Center in Cathlamet.
A variety of gifts will be available for purchase including jewelry, paintings, jams, smoked salmon, dream catchers, wreaths, Christmas decorations, collectibles and antiques, as well as unique teddy bears made from recycled fur.
Homemade lunch selections and a bake sale featuring Scandinavian goodies will be offered.
A children’s “Christmas store” will be open for children under age 12 to purchase gifts for family members. Every item is priced $1 or less and assistants will help young shoppers choose and wrap their purchases.
Local author Irene Martin will offer her new book, The Family That Never Threw Anything Away, for sale at the gift fair and will be on hand to sign copies of the poetry book.
Proceeds from the gift fair will benefit the St. James Family Center early childhood education and assistance programs. The center is located at 1135 Columbia Street in Cathlamet. Follow signs from State Route 4 in Cathlamet.
Rainier Senior Center Bazaar Dec. 7
A Christmas bazaar to be held at the Rainier Senior Center on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. will benefit the senior center.
Santa will visit at the bazaar from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Those who come are invited to bring their cameras for free pictures with Santa.
Vendors will offer homemade items for sale and the senior center will have food available for purchase including nachos, hot dogs, chili dogs and pies sold whole or by the slice. A quilt raffle is also planned.
Hospice Bazaar in Longview Dec. 7
The annual holiday bazaar and bake sale to benefit Community Home Health and Hospice will be held in Longview on Saturday, Dec. 7, at the hospice center at 1035 11th Avenue in Longview from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
There will be raffles, vendors, Christmas carolers and baked goods. Proceeds will benefit hospice’s charity care and volunteer programs.