MONTESANO, Wash. – Pioneer street through downtown Montesano will remain closed in front of a burned out building through the weekend, Police Chief Brett Vance said they should have the roadway open in time for the rest of the holidays. “We’re hoping that the whole thing will be taken care of by Festival of Lights [December 13th] but we should have the roadway [open] within the next 4 or 5 days.”
The cause of the fire that destroyed a vacant building at the corner of Fleet Street and Pioneer Avenue remains under investigation. The walls of the building are weak enough that city officials have closed off the street nearby in case of a collapse.
MONTESANO, Wash. – It may be time to bring in the laundry and “make Montesano what it used to be.” Outgoing city councilman Doug Streeter last night issued the challenge to fellow council, city staff, and residents to make my job more difficult
“I’ve always been proud to say that I live in Montesano. The last year and a half it’s been an utter embarrassment to me. We’ve got a lot of healing to do, we need to come together as a community and stop airing our dirty laundry in the newspapers.” Streeter motioned to myself and the editor of The Vidette
, adding “I know, Steve and Dave you guys have jobs to do. We need to stop using sources to get our agendas done – whatever those agendas might be.” – thanks Doug, you probably owed me one
, anonymous news tips can be emailed to [email protected] by the way.
The city has been in litigation more than some lawyers lately with union grievances, employee suspensions, and internal investigations. With most of that behind them now, councilwoman Pam McElliot replied “We’re going to turn ourselves around, get on the right track, and I think. I think everything’s going to be just fine.
Election results were certified last night, Marisa Salzer will be filling Streeter’s position 2 seat on the council at their next regular meeting.
MONTESANO, Wash. – After taking heat over a drastic change to the city’s water leak policy, Montesano Mayor Ken Estes said last night that they will phase in the new policy that offers no forgiveness for leaks that can pull a water bill into the thousands of dollars for homeowners unaware of an issue. “We recognize that this is a change for our water customers. Therefore until January 1, 2014 in order to phase in this change, the city will allow a period of adjustment.
Under a policy adopted by council earlier this month, the city will charge a resident, even if they find an expensive leak.
Councilwoman Pam McElliot placed a review of that policy on the agenda of their next meeting, noting that it was more strict than neighboring cities.
MONTESANO, Wash. – The Montesano fire department is just setting up fire watch at the scene of a major fire over night that destroyed a building downtown. Fire Chief Corey Rux tells us it was reported just before 9, no injuries since the two business spaces at 217 West Pioneer Avenue were vacant. Rux said an origin and cause of the blaze are undetermined at this time.
The Aberdeen Fire Department added a second ladder truck to suppression efforts overnight that kept the fire from jumping to a collision repair store 2 feet from the rear of the building. Rux didn’t have numbers yet, but said Grays Harbor Fire District #2 added crews as well, and although it was a difficult fire to suppress it was confined to the building of original.
The roof of the building caved in around 1 this morning, and crews are getting some downtime, but Rux said they’d be checking for hotspots throughout the day today.
MONTESANO, Wash. – The city of Montesano last night rejected all bids for upgrades to a portion of their water distribution system, after council learned that the lowest bidder was the contractor responsible for the Main Street Phase 2 project. Outgoing councilman Doug Streeter spoke his mind “That was probably the worst project I’ve ever experienced in my entire life, they’re horrible.”
Downtown businesses in Montesano went without sidewalks or a main street for weeks at a time while South Bay Excavating of Olympia worked between the raindrops in August and September. The work completed in October.
Regardless of track record, the state’s competitive bidding process requires that cities award contracts to the lowest and best bidder. After city staff couldn’t find a legal reason to reject their bid, council voted to reject all four bids and go back to the drawing board. The project will make upgrades to the distribution system for residents in the Wilder Hill area. City staff said the vote to go back to the bidding process will delay the project by months. The number two bid was Roglins of Aberdeen, at $214,632 the difference was $135.50.
MONTESANO, Wash. – The Montesano city council tonight will discuss a new levy, this one already has your approval. Signed into law this summer, Substitute Senate Bill 5705 allows a taxing district the authority to recover portions of their levy that were reduced over the previous 12 months.
Monty Cobb, Policy Director with the Washington Association of County Officials explained earlier this year “What it boiled down to be is if Monty pays his taxes, and on April second I win my appeal and my taxes get reduced. The treasurer will refund a portion of my taxes, and what a local taxing district would have got from me they can add back on to their levy and be made whole the next year.” Cobb said that due to the wording of the law, if you hadn’t paid those taxes before they were modified, the taxing districts would lose out on the difference.
In Cosmopolis, Finance Director Kathy Welch said three separate levies are worth about $40-thousand more, thanks to a change in the value of Cosmo Specialty Fibers “It used to be that you were just ‘out’ and you couldn’t go back for those taxes.
Welch said countywide there is about $500-thousand that could be recovered, however the decision will be up to each taxing authority.
MONTESANO, Wash. – 2014 Officers were elected at the Annual Grays Harbor & Pacific County Farm Bureau Dinner on Friday.
President Terry Willis, VP Al Loughead, Secretary/Treasurer Dan Wood and State Board Owen Schaffner were selected, members also heard from guest speakers State Representative Brian Blake and CEO of the Washington Farm Bureau John Stuhmiller.
Their next regular meeting will be Jan. 27th, with guest speaker Cosmopolis Mayor, and Grays Harbor Commissioner Candidate Vickie Raines.