July 9, 2018

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The council meeting was called to order by Mayor Struck at 5:30 pm followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. Members present: Councilor Buchanan, Councilor Williams, Councilor Neve, Councilor Davis, Councilor Little, Police Chief Eastham, City Supervisor Houk and Clerk/Treasurer Roberts.


A motion was made by Councilor Neve to approve the Agenda, Consent Agenda and the minutes of the June 25, 2018 regular meeting. The motion was seconded by Councilor Willliams. Vote: Ayes-5, Noes-0, Absent-0

Vendors – Check #44215 thru Check #44251 - $96,446.65

Payroll - Check #24457 thru Check #24470 - $96,275.33 Including Direct Deposit




Councilor Williams made a motion to move Ordinance #1533 – Utility Tax Increase (2%) to a second reading. The motion was seconded by Councilor Williams.

During discussion Councilor Neve reiterated her desire to keep the utility tax increase at 5% instead of lowering it to 2% and continuing the slow and painful inevitability of the tax not creating a reserve to help protect current expense in the future. Councilor Little explained that he had talked to his circle of citizens and they felt like that 2% was doable as opposed to the full 5% on a fixed income. Councilor Davis felt like the city should work on the 2019 budget first and table any tax increase until after the 2019 budget was adopted. Councilor Buchanan also was opposed to any tax increase. Mayor Struck asked that the council look at the 2nd quarter budget report (page A) which shows the beginning fund balance in current expense as of January 1, 2018 of $89,759, the revenues at the end of June $549,761, the expenditures at the end of June $567,356 which leaves an ending fund balance of $72,164 as of June 30, 2018. That is a 19.6% decline for the half year in revenues. Councilor Buchanan again expressed his desire to cut a position from the police department. He believes that the department is overstaffed and that there needs to be some belt tightening. Councilor Little responded that in his opinion the city is not over staffed in the police department. Councilor Williams also spent some time speaking with citizens and he also received the same feedback that people felt that 2 to 2 ½% would be an acceptable increase. Councilor Little pointed out that the utility tax increase has not be raised since 1992 – it is 2018! The city has to keep up with the times!

Vote: Ayes-3, Noes-2, Absent-0 
(Ayes – Councilor Williams, Councilor Neve, Councilor Little. Noes – Councilor Buchanan, Councilor Davis)


Citizen Steve Rogers from 510 W. Second Street feels like there needs to be a community discussion about fireworks.

Mr. Rogers then spoke regarding a 42’ tugboat that the Willapa Harbor Sea-Scouts are looking to find a place to moor. He wanted the city council to consider permanent moorage at the city’s recreational dock. He mentioned all of the good things happening in South Bend and what a great public draw the tugboat would be. Mayor Struck explained that she and Clerk/Treasurer Roberts had worked at length on this very issue with South Bend Superintendent Jon Tienhaara last year. The city’s recreational dock was funded by a grant and the contract associated with that grant specifically prohibits permanent or long term moorage at the recreational dock. There is an appeal process that would allow for 9 months of moorage each year and it would have to be appealed each year, but Mr. Tienhaara didn’t want to pursue it. This is out of the city’s hands. The funding agency is Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office and they made it very clear that the city was obligated to abide by the contract unless they wanted to pay the grant ($562,148) back. Mr. Rogers was frustrated by this answer and asked Mayor Struck if she would mind if he spoke with the state legislators to see if they could help facilitate a change to the contract. Mayor Struck advised she was fine with that.

  • Police Chief Eastham reported that traffic has been a bit of a pain due to the start of the road construction on Highway 101 through town, but it is being dealt with. Once paving starts it will happen again and will be dealt with the same way. Mayor Struck noted that the paving will be done at night which should help the traffic issue.
  • Police Chief Eastham felt that there was probably about the same amount of fireworks complaints over the 4th of July holiday, but unofficially there were many more than usual. He attributed that to the holiday being in the middle of the week and the little bit of rain we had gave people an unrealistic feeling that things were not as dry as they really were. Following a lengthy discussion Police Chief Eastham will look over the city’s current fireworks ordinance and see if there is a way to improve his ability to enforce violators.
  • Police Chief Eastham emotionally noted that a young person had taken her life the night before and it had been a very difficult day for his officers, first responders, and hospital staff as well as for the many people that knew and loved her.
  • City Supervisor Houk noted that the crew has been working on a couple of water leaks and that he hopes to get the sewer pump at pump station #1 taken care of soon. These projects are very difficult to do when the crew is shorthanded due to vacations.
  • City Supervisor Houk noted that he and Mayor Struck will be meeting with Gray & Osborne, Inc. on Wednesday, July 11th to discuss the 4th Street Reconstruction Project which will be funded by a Community Development Block Grant. The project should go out to bid the week of July 16th, the bid awarded the last week of July and the project would start around the 4th of September 2018. Councilor Little expressed concern about starting a project that late in the season but City Supervisor Houk assured him that the project is only scheduled to last approximately 5 weeks and it does not have a lot of infrastructure work associated with it.
  • Councilor Little asked City Supervisor Houk if any of the cutting out of the ADA ramps that is being done on Highway 101 as part of the current construction will compromise the work that the city did at Highway 101 and Memorial to prevent leakage into the building at 724 W. Robert Bush Drive (103 Memorial). City Supervisor Houk does not think there will be any issues but he will check on it.
  • Clerk/Treasurer Roberts advised that the garbage services contract with LeMays of Grays Harbor will be on the July 23, 2018 agenda. Due to the holiday they were not able to get the contract prepared like they had hoped to.
  • Mayor Struck advised that she and Clerk/Treasurer Roberts had attended the Association of Washington Cities (AWC) annual conference in Yakima the previous week. As always it was a great event. She also noted that they will both be heading to SeaTac the evening of Wednesday, July 18th to attend an AWC Trust Governance Retreat on Thursday, July 19th. All expenses – including mileage is paid by AWC because they both sit on various AWC boards or committee’s.
  • Mayor Struck reminded everyone of the upcoming Candidates Forum’s. Willapacific Branch of the American Association of University Women will host a Candidate Forum at the Ilwaco High School on Tuesday, July 10th starting at 6:30 pm. It will include the PUD Commissioners, Prosecuting Attorneys, County Commissioners and the Sheriff. North County’s Candidate Forum hosted by the Raymond Theater will be held at the theater as follows: Monday, July 16th at 6:00 pm – 19th Legislative District, Wednesday, July 18th at 6:00 pm – Prosecutor & Sheriff and Thursday, July 19th at 6:00 pm – Pacific County Commissioners.
  • Councilor Neve noted that July 3rd was much worse as far as fireworks were concerned than July 4th – at least in her neighborhood.
  • Councilor Neve pointed out that she is amazed by the amount of people that stop at the new business across from the museum/visitors center. Willapa Bay Fine Arts Association – Riverside Gallery is located at 1015 W. Robert Bush Drive and they had a tremendous amount of foot traffic over the weekend! People love art!

The meeting was adjourned at 6:22 PM to meet again at 5:30 PM on Monday, July 23, 2018 for the next regularly scheduled meeting at South Bend City Hall.

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