The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Lou Marzeles

City gets major grant for street project


There was talk of broken fire trucks and major grants to the city at Monday’s Goldendale City Council meeting.

Chief of Police Rick Johnson, speaking during department head reports, told of a mutual-aid call on a fire on Saturday to which the city fire department tried to respond, only to have its brush truck get “part-way there and no more,” Johnson said. “We’ve got to start looking at options to replace the truck.” He indicated the truck had broken down before in attempts to get to a fire.

The chief also told of the process to bring in a new fire chief after Marty Hudson announced his intention to leave the position. Noah Halm was chosen to fill the position. “He’ll be good,” Johnson said. “He’s being helped now by Marty during the transition.”

Johnson then spoke of recent court cases reported from the Prosecuting Attorney’s office. “We were glad to see that one conviction,” he said, referring to a prisoner who had been held in the county jail for more than a year waiting for his case to reach final resolution. “I think the county is looking forward to moving him to prison after being here all that time.” He also referenced another disturbing local case of a person arrested for rape of a child.

Mayor Clint Baze drew the conversation back to the fire truck. “With the fire season coming,” he said, “we really should look into what it will take to get another fire truck.” Johnson said it would take between $500 and $1,000 just to have the city’s current truck checked out. The cost of a truck completely outfitted to respond to a fire is between $80,000 and $90,000, he said.

Public Works Director Karl Enyeart then reported that the city is proceeding with an asbestos inspection on the former Mt. Adams assisted living facility. “And the street sweeper has been repaired and is back in use,” he concluded.

City Administrator Larry Bellamy reported the city has received a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) from the Washington State Department of Commerce of $750,000 to be used for the W. Columbus Street neighborhood project. “The county got another [CDBG] grant, so that’s two major grants awarded in the county recently,” he said. Klickitat County was awarded a CDBG grant also for $750,000 for water system consolidation and improvements.

“This is a key piece to our project funding,” Bellamy continued. He said a second key piece is a public trust state grant, with a third one being a rural development grant of $500,000 for public utilities. Bellamy said he thought it likely the city would get something in the form of a partial grant and partial loan, the latter of $240,000, “and the city would have to match that,” he added. If public trust funds were not forthcoming, the city would look to rural development funds, though the downside to rural development money was that it would require a 30-year repayment schedule rather than a 20-year one.

Baze spoke of a change of venue for an upcoming event, sparking some discussion of the potential rowdiness of the function. “The Festival of Speed has run into a hiccup,” he said, “ and they need our help.” Due to a mistake in scheduling, the event cannot use its originally intended location, he said, and “they’ve asked if they can use the park. I imagine we’ll have some noise complaints.”

Johnson said the event had some history of problems. On one occasion, “the music was a disaster,” he said, in particular one music group playing one particular song. “They’ll have to be done by 10 [p.m.],” he said. “The power is shut off at 11 [p.m.].

“We won’t go down there,” he added. “The last time we did, we got hit with bottle rockets. We’re not going to risk damage to vehicles.” He said police would respond if needed but would not make proactive appearances at the event.

“It’s just one night a year,” Baze said.

“That may be,” interjected council member Len Crawford, “but I don’t think anything should happen in the city where the police don’t feel comfortable going down to check.”

“We always have the option of not letting them return,” added council member Steve Johnston.

“Some years they’re good, and some years they’re not,” said council member Lucille Bevis.

Johnson said the problem probably was less the people actually involved in the event so much as it was the crowd who follow the sport.

In other council action, the city approved a six-year transportation plan for city streets and the sale of the city’s video camera inspection system and van for $7,000 to the city of White Salmon. The city had determined it could no longer use the equipment.


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