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By Rodger Nichols
FOR THE SENTINEL 

City hears on new RV park, Food Bank

 

October 23, 2019

RODGER NICHOLS

LOOKING FOR FOOD BANK FUNDING: Casey Mills, left, director of the Goldendale Food Bank, and Leslie Naramore, executive director of WAGAP which now oversees the Food Bank, Monday night asked the Goldendale City Council for funds to support the service.

Goldendale's newest development, the nearly completed Stargazers RV Park and Resort, will open soon: "Sometime between the first of November and Thanksgiving," owner Ray Mosbrucker told the Goldendale City Council Monday night.

Located behind his Quality Inns and Suites motel just off Simcoe Drive, the 52-space operation will have a number of resort amenities. The resort office was formerly the Home Health and Hospice office, moved down from the hospital. Mosbrucker said one wall was removed to create a larger lobby area where they will have coffee and doughnuts provided, along with a television and comfortable chairs. "If they're tired from riding in their RV, they can come in there and gossip for a while," he told councilors. "We do that sometimes when we're traveling." That building will also feature an exercise room, a kitchen, and a business center with computers.

A second 60-foot by 40-foot building will house additional essentials, including large men's and women's restrooms, a "potluck room" with a full kitchen, and a laundry room with three washers and four dryers, which will also be used by guests from the adjacent motel.

"We're going to do something different in the reception area," Mosbrucker said. He plans to cover an adjacent 10-foot by 15-foot wall with large color photos of local attractions such as the Observatory, Presby Mansion, Maryhill Museum, wineries, and the Stonehenge Memorial. "That will help tourism in our community and encourage them to stay another day or two."

With the report came a request. The park includes 2.4 acres planted to grass, and he asked for the city's support to drill an irrigation well, saying that green is very important to attract travelers off Highway 97. Though there is currently a moratorium on residential wells in the city, council members voted to have staff draft a resolution of support to the Department of Ecology for approval.

In a second presentation, Leslie Naramore, executive director of the Washington Gorge Action Programs (WAGAP) described her agency, which covers Klickitat and Skamania counties, as "doing a little bit of everything for low-income families." She said that includes housing, emergency shelter, energy assistance, and operation of four food banks, one of them in Goldendale. With her was Casey Mills, director of the Food Bank, who said rising demand has brought a need for more funding. "Last year we did about 6,000 pound of produce," he said. "This year, we're already at 12,000 pounds." He said the establishment of a food bank in Goldendale a couple of years ago saved residents of having to drive to Bingen. The food bank is currently open on Mondays from 9 a.m. to 3:30 pm, and they hope to add some evening hours for folks with jobs. The food bank is located at 112 East Main Street.

"In our service area, the City of Goldendale is the only city that does not currently provide funding to my agency," Naramore said. "I'm not saying that to make anyone feel bad. I think it's more that we've never come and asked." She said she wasn't asking for a specific amount, only that anything will be helpful. In response to a question from the council, she said the City of White Salmon contributes $6,000 a year to the WAGAP youth center, which also receives $4,000 annually from Bingen; and the City of Stevenson gives $12,000 to their food bank. Klickitat and Skamania counties also contribute, and the town of Klickitat donates space in their community center to house their food bank.

Mayor Mike Canon said the council will take up the request during the budget process, which is currently under way.

Contributed

WHERE IT'S GOING: Ray Mosbrucker shared this ground plan for his new RV park at Monday's city council meeting.

Naramore also noted that Goldendale has "a childcare crisis' in that there are no licensed child care providers in the city. She announced a meeting on the subject to be held Tuesday, Nov. 5 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Klickitat PUD meeting room. Representatives from the State Department of Children, Youth and Families will be on hand to answer questions and give information on training to become licensed.

City Administrator Larry Bellamy announced a meeting schedule for the rest of October, including Planning Commission and Board of Adjustment meetings for Thursday the 24th, a Budget Committee meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Monday the 28th, Airport Committee at 7 p.m. on the 29th, and the popular Trunk or Treat event downtown on Halloween.

 

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