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By Rodger Nichols
For The Sentinel 

City wants plan for airport


January 24, 2018

Goldendale City Council met last Tuesday following Martin Luther King Jr. Day in a session largely devoted to routine housekeeping measures. Councilors did vote to hire a consultant to help develop a strategic master plan for the Goldendale airport. A contract not to exceed $10,000 was awarded to Airsafe, a company based in Greenwood, Washington. The company is owned by David Ketchum, who has worked with the city on a number of projects.

“The purpose of this agreement with Airsafe is to build a case where we can identify projects,” City Administrator Larry Bellamy told the council, “identify costs and expenses for those projects, develop some sort of priority for those projects, also talk about how it’s going to be funded and do a kind of mini-capital-improvements-priority in house.”

Bellamy said the consultant would work with the airport committee, noting some on that committee advocated providing aviation fuel at the airport, others wanted more hangar space and others promoted lengthening the runway, and that this would prioritize the different objectives.

Councilors also approved a budget amendment to the 2017 budget, adding $65,000 to the water/sewer fund. Though the 2017 budget year ended on Dec. 31, Washington law allows local governments to modify budgets retroactively in the first 20 days of January, to account for, among other things, invoices that arrive after the first of the year. One unusual aspect this year was that $20,000 of that addition covered a payment to Klickitat Valley Health. According to Bellamy, the hospital asked the city to inspect their water service, and the city discovered that KVH had been paying for a larger water line than had been installed. He said state law allowed the hospital to request a refund for the extra charge going back three years.

“We did the right thing,” Bellamy said in informing the council about the $20,000 payment, adding, “We told them what we were going to do—and they were happy, of course.”

In other actions, councilors appointed new council member Miland Walling as the city’s representative on the board of the Columbia Gorge Housing Authority and set meetings for the Public Works Committee for Jan. 22, the Ordinance Committee on Jan. 30, and the Airport Committee on Feb. 13. All meetings will be at 7 p.m. at City Hall.


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