The Goldendale City Council took a pair of major steps towards getting a long-awaited fuel system for the Goldendale municipal airport at its meeting Monday. The first item was a consulting agreement with Precision Approach Engineering in two parts—engineering design services for $85,200 and bidding services and construction administration for $52,800. Though it passed, it was one of the few split votes the council has had, with Councilor Loren Meagher a lone no vote. He asked if there was any urgency in passing the authorization now and said he was hoping to delay the vote to get more information.

“I guess I’d be opposed just without a more detailed budget,” he said, “and I think the cost breakdown per task really helps manage to the contract, especially if there are any change orders over time.”

City Administrator Larry Bellamy stated they needed to finish the project by June 2021.

“That’s the deadline for any reimbursement for any costs or expenses that we incur to make this project happen,” he said. He was referring to a $539,000 grant from the state’s Department of Commerce, which is financing the whole project. 

In order to meet that deadline, he said they city hopes to have the engineering done before winter sets in, and he told councilors that there is a 12-week lead time for the turnkey fuel system to be delivered and for the pad, containment system, and other improvements needed to be completed in time to get the fuel system set up in time.

He also noted that the county would have to approve a conditional use permit. One of the requirements in that process is to have a public hearing, which is difficult with the state’s COVID-19 limit of five people per gathering.

The second item, which did pass unanimously, was to authorize the mayor to enter into this grant agreement with the state.

No other votes were taken, but under councilor reports, Miland Walling wondered if the city could discuss the number of homeless cats in the city; Filberto Ontoveros suggested the city needs tougher regulations on fires and fireworks; and Kevin Feiock was concerned about census takers not being able to record homeless people in the area, since many federal and state program dollars are tied to population figures.

Mayor Mike Canon mentioned a reminder from Fire Chief Noah Halm that burn bans for both the county and the state are still in effect, and residents are encouraged to use caution.