The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Rebecca Gourley

City talks about signs to get around town


Nearly everyone has a GPS in their car, or at least a smartphone with the capability. However, some would say that little towns like Goldendale are sometimes left out of the details on those digital maps. City Council members agreed Monday night that tourists use signage as an exceptionally helpful tool to navigate through an unfamiliar town.

Council Member Steve Johnston says that when he goes to an unfamiliar town, he relies on signs to help him navigate to his destination. “I noticed in my travels, going into strange towns, signage is ultimately important,” said Johnston.

Johnston stated that the addition of more signs directing people to points of interest such as City Hall or the Chamber of Commerce would increase visitors to Goldendale.

Mayor Clint Baze added that the “Welcome to Goldendale” sign south of town on Highway 97 be moved closer to the Simcoe Drive exit. “By the time you get around the next two corners, you’ve concentrated on driving, and you have forgotten what you’ve read,” said Baze.

Also looking at improving the appearance of Goldendale, Public Works Director Keith Grundei explained the new six-year transportation improvement program. Projects in this plan include seal coats on many streets throughout Goldendale, as well as some more complex developments.

Number seven on the priority list is the extension of Third Street. It would extend the street from where it presently ends at King Street all the way to North Columbus Avenue. The plan says that it would provide easier access to recreation facilities like the pool, Ekone Park, the little league fields, etc. However, this project would not start until 2014, according to the six-year plan.

The council passed the first reading of a revised pay structure for the Goldendale Fire Department. Big changes include the removal of the Assistant Fire Chief position and replacing that position with three captains, totaling a maximum of 24 hours per month. The previous position was a maximum of 25 hours per month.

The wages for the deputy fire chief and the three captains did not increase, but the volunteer fireman position wage went from $7.50 to $10 per hour. The council also decided to discuss changing the name from volunteer fire department to something more suitable, considering the fact that they are paid.

Council members agreed that the city should plan an event for the firefighters and the police department.

“We rely upon these guys,” said Council Member Len Crawford. He suggested doing a picnic during the summer as recognition for their work. “They do this out of love; it isn’t for the money,” he added.

The council also approved the work for the two energy efficiency projects that were completed recently. They included the replacement of the HVAC system and improved lighting in the Public Works shop building, done by Mid-Columbia Heating and Hage Electric, respectively.

City Administrator Larry Bellamy also added that the Goldendale Bible Baptist Church submitted a conditional use application to use the bowling alley as a church; it was approved. “They have the support of the owner of the bowling alley,” said Bellamy. “You might be seeing some changes soon. A lot of volunteer work is planned.”


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