Jack Durney talks marijuana ordinances, train derailments, and lowest bidders.
Zoning on Marijuana, historic preservation, and volunteer recognition.
Ambulance rates are on the rise in Hoquiam, but only if you are a non-resident that needs help within city limits. Finance Director Mike Folkers said Monday “We’ve ran some numbers on the previous runs that we’ve had and if the pay amounts continue, as apposed to the amounts that are written off through medicare, we estimate about [a] $30-thousand increase into the ambulance fund.
Mayor Jack Durney said that the fund was ‘underwater’ about $100-thousand.
City council adopted the ordinance raising the rate 25% higher than what Hoquiam residents pay if they need an ambulance. Hoquiam residents ‘pay it forward’ on their utility bill, with a monthly Ambulance Utility Rate.
The Hoquiam city council last night took one step closer to a ban on all marijuana businesses. Councilman Paul McMillan amended their planning commission report that recommended all marijuana processing, producing, and retailing businesses be located in the city’s industrial zones. “Until federal law is amended to permit the growing, distribution, and possession of marijuana, or until a court of competent jurisdiction determines that local governments in Washington state may permit such uses, the city of Hoquiam will adhere to federal law and will not authorize these activities.”
City council adopted the amended report, with “no” votes from councils Ben Winkleman and Jasmine Dickoff. Mayor Jack Durney also recommended that council Richard Pennant recuse himself from the vote and conversation as he admitted that he has applied for a business license.
The report also recommends prohibiting all collective gardens within city limits. It will now be moved on to their land use hearing examiner, and will come back to the council in the form of a proposed ordinance in the coming month.
ABERDEEN, Wash. – Grays Harbor Transit will keep the student bus pass program for college students. Grays Harbor College President Ed Brewster pled with the transit authority last night, “We can do some more…” He said the college provides the passes to about 500 students per quarter, saving them on monthly passes. “If you make the change to cancel those all together, where students have to get a monthly pass, that could be as much as $80 per quarter.”
After board president Jack Durney broke the tie, the transit authority adopted a motion to increase the fee from 30 to $45 per quarter, per student, and to keep the bus pass program. Board members Frank Gordon and Wes Cormier both agreed that sanctions to one entity could encourage more to ask for special treatment.
The first day of class at the college is September 23rd, the program was set to expire when reductions in service take effect on September 1st.
HOQUIAM, Wash. – Hoquiam Mayor Jack Durney last night said he was getting a little bitter over recent comments about safety in his city “this crude-to-rail has certainly created an awful lot of media attention, and other attention, and I think some of it has become kind of disturbing. Mostly because of the unfortunate thing that happened in Quebec, and some headlines – comments made by people, about lack of safety, and that the same kind of thing could happen in Hoquiam.
Durney said he didn’t want the city’s proactive involvement in the permitting process to be seen as a promotion of crude-by-rail projects, all three of which are private firms leasing Port of Grays Harbor property. “And it’s disappointing to me, that they remain mute during all these conversations, and all the headlines, all the articles, and all the public meetings about safety.
In an update on crude-by-rail last night City Administrator Brian Shay told us they have combined the appeals filed against both the Westway and Imperium permits “Both cases will be heard, roughly beginning at the end of September, first week of October.” Shay said the Shoreline hearings board made the decision last week, the merge bumps up the deadline for the Imperium appeal, which was filed later.
The third company interested in exporting crude oil from Grays Harbor, US Development has not filed any permits or applications recently.
HOQUIAM, Wash. – The Grays Harbor County Transit last night tabled a decision on cuts to service, as the board works to correct an $800-thousand budget deficit.
A sales tax increase could still make the ballot, but board president, and Hoquiam Mayor Jack Durney said last night “the issue you come back to is what happens if the ballot doesn’t pass? What do we do between now and then?
A sales tax increase of .2% would fill the budget gap twice, but would take 8 months to a year before they’d see funding.
General Manager Mark Carlin said he would craft a contingency plan if the vote was placed on the ballot and failed in November. The Transit Authority needs to cut 8 employees, and decide on cutting weekend bus runs, or portions of the 7-day schedule -along with raising rates.
After a heated discussion last night between several board members, the vote was tabled and a special meeting planned for 5pm July 17th at the transit’s main office.