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By Rebecca Gourley

City hears information on liability, Kid’s Camp


“I’m from the government, and I’m here to help,” Lew Leigh said at Monday night’s Goldendale City Council meeting. Leigh, Executive Director of Washington Cities Insurance Authority (WCIA), spoke to the council and mayor about what the organization offers.

WCIA is a “municipal organization of Washington public entities that join together for the purpose of providing liability and property financial protection to its members,” according to their website.

Leigh gave a presentation about how their organization helps municipalities with liability issues they could potentially face.

His presentation included Goldendale’s risk profile, outlining where liability issues can show up. “Every city is susceptible to some kind of liability,” said Leigh.

One example Leigh gave was what the council and mayor do with their computers, keeping what they do for work separate from their personal computers at home.

In a liability case situation in court, the plaintiff’s lawyer may ask to see all of the documents that pertain to that individual’s work at the city. If any files were on a personal computer, that hard drive would also have to be relinquished, explained Leigh.

In other matters, Larry Gourley made a presentation to the Council about Kid’s Camp, the afterschool program for kindergarten through fourth grade students.

Gourley explained what the program includes for the students that participate. For $25 per month per family, no matter the number of kids, the students get many hands-on learning opportunities.

First, he said, they start with healthy, well-balanced snacks of fruits, veggies, protein and some carbohydrates. Each day of Kid’s Camp, which is every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, the volunteers try to locate people in the community to do presentations for the kids.

As an example, “We had some people from the hospital do an interactive food and exercise program,” said Gourley.

Not only do the kids have time to work and get help with homework, they also get to draw, read, and have playtime.

Gourley explained that the program needs volunteers and people from the community to do presentations for the kids. “The kids really enjoy those sorts of things,” Gourley said.

He also asked the City Council for a donation to help fund this year’s program.

“We were very lucky to get a carryover from the program last year, which has given us a head start,” said Gourley. “But we need more funds to keep our program going and hopefully to expand it.”

Expansion of the program would mean it would be five days instead of three, and their hope is to include the middle school students as well.

“This is a program that’s really important to a lot of people,” said Gourley. “I think that all of the parents of the kids are working parents, some of them are single parents. And that critical area in between when school gets out and when the parents get off of work, it’s just a really hard time for parents to find affordable day care.”

Council Member Guy Theriault asked Gourley if the group had approached any of the clubs in town, like Kiwanis, the American Legion, and the Motorsports Association.

Gourley stated that he has spoken to some organizations, including Klickitat County. The Goldendale United Methodist Church is the fiscal agent for Kid’s Camp this year. Last year the Mid Columbia Children’s Council sponsored the program.

Other business the council attended to Monday night was the issuing of two award notices for the energy retrofit projects.

Hage Electric out of The Dalles, Ore., made a bid of $11,125.10 for the electrical portion of the project, while the city negotiated with Mid Columbia Heating for the HVAC replacement portion of the project for $30,955.37.

Director of Public Works Keith Grundei also reported that almost all of the new water meters have been installed around the city. Only a few at the schools are left, which will be replaced during the summer, and some larger meters that will take a couple days to re-plumb when the weather gets warmer.

Council Member Andy Halm asked Grundei about the City’s response to the recent snowstorm concerning the plowing of the roads. “I’ve had a number of citizens come to me and ask why the roads weren’t done sooner,” said Halm.

“We plow the main streets when we get two inches of snow,” explained Grundei. “We typically don’t do the side streets until we have at least six inches.”

He added, “What we utilize is two five-yard trucks with plows. We have a road grader, and then we also send the backhoe to do the fire hall, city hall, some of the smaller areas.”

Local business owner Terry Luth made public comment about the plowing as well, but for a different reason.

“I’d like to say that the city did a good job overall at plowing the snow,” said Luth. “But I would really like to see them run tandem slow plows on the main streets when they go through.”

“We generally don’t plow Broadway,” responded Grundei. “When it gets a big snow like that we will do some.”

Luth felt that there could have been better coordination between the city, state, and county when plowing Broadway because of the large snow berm that piled up in front of his business.


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