City of Hoquiam to lay off 4 firefighters

The City of Hoquiam is laying off four firefighters. City Administrator Brian Shay said they gave formal notice to the department early Tuesday. Staff said in a press release Tuesday “The

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Hoquiam City Council split 6-6, declines Marijuana zoning ordinance

The clouds almost parted over Hoquiam’s moratorium on marijuana businesses last night, as the city council adopted their revised zoning ordinance that would have allowed state licensed stores in some areas on a close 7-5 vote. But then they rejected revisions to their business licensing ordinance voting 6-6 against it – making it briefly legal to locate a store in some zones, but illegal to get a business license for a marijuana business. Mayor Jack Durney said after that vote “OK friends we’ll think about that huh? Kind of a contradiction in terms if we change our zoning but then we say we’re not going to license them.” City Attorney Steven Johnson explained “Our ordinance says that we cannot issue a business license if it violates federal law. By not passing this [and passing the other] they’re legally zoned, but we can’t issue a business license.” After councilwoman Kay Diehm said she was unclear on the issue, the council reconsidered the original vote and failed to pass it’s marijuana zoning ordinance 6-6 against. It took Mayor Durney to break that same tie on another vote to send the ordinance back to the public works committee “I don’t think we should have a moral discussion about this at this point. I think we need to deal with what the public has told us to do.” The council will revisit the same ordinance, with one line omitted that would have made medical marijuana collective gardens not only illegal in city limits, but also a public nuisance and subject to abatement by the city. Councilman Paul McMillan said the change wouldn’t sway his opinion on the matter, and felt that Hoquiam should wait for Colorado to pioneer the issue before challenging federal law. Councils John Pellegrini, Kay Diehm, Greg Grund, Paul McMillan, Darrin Moir and Bill Nelson all voted against allowing recreational marijuana businesses in Hoquiam.

Aberdeen and Hoquiam discussing merger of Fire Departments

Aberdeen and Hoquiam have begun exploring the process of consolidation their fire and paramedic services, Aberdeen Mayor Bill Simpson told his city council last night “Over the last

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Hoquiam to celebrate Arbor Day, 6th year as Tree City USA, with new trees along 28th Street

In honor of Arbor Day, the City of Hoquiam Urban Forestry Committee, in partnership with  local Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts, will plant two Tschonski flowering crab trees on the west side

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Testing and clean-up efforts continue as Emerson Manor in Hoquiam remains closed

The Grays Harbor County Emergency Management Agency reports residents of the Emerson in Hoquiam have settled in to temporary housing, cleanup efforts continued today. Chuck Wallace said Wednesday

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Hoquiam looks to ban all marijuana business until it’s federally legal

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.

Hoquiam to rethink new fire station after bids come back too high

HOQUIAM, Wash. - The city of Hoquiam will likely remodel, instead of rebuild, the Eastside fire station after learning that a grant for nearly a million dollars won't cover the costs. Mayor Jack Durney tells us even though they had no matching requirements on the grant "We called for bids and the bids were quite a bit higher than the estimate. So we're cancelling all of the bids and we're going to go back to the drawing table and come up maybe with a remodel instead of a new building.
The State Department of Commerce awarded Hoquiam $900,000 to demolish and rebuild the Eastside Fire Station in May of 2012. Durney said the city did not have the resources to add another 4 -or $500-thousand to fully fund that.