By Kelly Shipp
For the Sentinel 

Council holds hearing on CDBG application, offers changes to rental property ordinance


At the first Goldendale City Council meeting of 2013, a full council held a public hearing on the city applying for a Community Development Block Grant (CDGB) to help pay for the West Columbus Neighborhood Improvement Project.

The improvement project will encompass the neighborhood between Court and Brooks streets and South Columbus and Klickitat streets. City Administrator Larry Bellamy said that the project would be a “complete reconstruction” of roads, sidewalks, curbs, storm drains, and sewers. He continued that with a project of this scope, the cost “adds up fast.” Bellamy estimated the entire project will cost a total of approximately $2.66 million. The CDBG grant will cover up to $750,000, but the city would need to show several different fund sources for the project to qualify for the grant. “We will mainly use grant dollars,” said Bellamy, “but we may need some loan dollars as well.” According to Bellamy, the application should be completed and submitted by the end of the week. There was no public comment.

Although the city council would not hear if they received the CDBG grant until July of 2013, the city council authorized Mayor Clint Baze to execute a grant agreement that was recently awarded to the city through the Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) to reconstruct the 200-300 block of Brooks Street. The TIB grant funds totaling $432,069 will soon be available, and reimbursable work can begin.

The city council also approved the mayor to enter into a consultant agreement with Pioneer Surveying and Engineering (PSE) for the reconstruction project of Brooks Street with the understanding that if the planning and engineering were to start soon, construction could begin this year. The services of PSE can not exceed $117,600.

The council also confirmed the mayor’s appointment of Karl Enyeart as the new Public Works director. Enyeart will start at his post on Feb. 19, working closely with retiring Public Works Director Keith Grundei to ensure a smooth transition. The responsibilities of the Public Works Director include overseeing of personnel, functions, and property associated with the Public Works Department.

The council concluded the meeting with continued discussion on the proposed Rental Property License and Inspection Certification Ordinance that would establish a rental unit fee of $30 and provide for inspections of rental units effective March 1, 2013. The city council discussed and accepted the first reading of the ordinance at the Dec. 17 meeting and moved to table discussion until a full council was seated. Council Member Steve Johnston recused himself from discussion due to conflict of interest.

Council Member Andy Halm suggested a reduced fee for units that can show documentation of inspection through state programs such as Housing and Urban Development (HUD). There are 700 residential and commercial rental units within the city limits that would be affected by this ordinance.

The council made several recommendations and corrections for Bellamy, who will make the changes and present the ordinance again at the next city council meeting.


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