Greater Grays Harbor Inc. hosted Lunch with the Mayors in Aberdeen January 28th, city mayors laid out their plans for the new year.
Aberdeen Mayor Pete Shave gave updates on the Northshore Levee Project to place North Aberdeen behind a protective levee, the East Aberdeen mobility project to separate rail and vehicle traffic, and the Gateway Center building plans, with construction planned to begin there in 2021.
Hoquiam Mayor Ben Winkelman discussed the BHP project to bring in a large potash export facility, updated us on State Route 109 and DOT projects including resurfacing of US 101 through Hoquiam and the city’s involvement in a Dept. of Commerce pilot project, he said he wants a fire-plan for the city’s watershed, a visitor’s center near Bowerman Basin, and a city community development director like the position formerly held by then Alissa Thurman.
Westport Mayor Rob Bearden discussed the Marina and his city’s recent designation as a Coast Guard City USA, a Corps of Engineers pilot project to restore the beaches and sand dunes with dredge sand, attempts to build a Vertical Evacuation Structure, and continued efforts to rebuild the ferry system to Ocean Shores.
Cosmopolis Mayor Kyle Pauley updates us on the construction of the new municipal building new fire truck, and new businesses he couldn’t announce just yet, Pauley said he’s been working with city staff to streamline and optimize their workflows.
Elma Mayor Jim Sorenson gave updates on new and expanding businesses including Summit Pacific, also new housing with two developments bringing about 160 rental units to the city in the coming year, he also urged any Elma voters to support a bond to replace the school’s stadium which was torn down a few years ago over safety concerns.
Montesano Mayor Vini Samuel said her city has been working on a 20-year economic plan, a highlight of which was a Montesano Public Safety and Regional Education Center, a partnership between Grays Harbor College and local responders to retrofit the Montesano firehall for training of a two-year program in Public Safety and Paramedic, Firefighter, Law Enforcement, Corrections, and dispatch.
Ocean Shores Mayor Crystal Dingler said they saw 174 housing starts last year and updated us on their new city administrator. She also discussed a Resiliency Ocean Shores Initiative for 2030, dealing with beach erosion and plans for a high-dune walking trail that could run from Ocean Shores to the Quinault Beach Resort and Casino.
Oakville Mayor Angello Cilluffo said they have a couple of new businesses including a Dollar General, he also urged Oakville voters to support a bond measure to make major repairs and replacements at the Oakville school and said the city is working with the Council of Governments to get grant funding for road repairs.
McCleary Mayor Brenda Orffer could not attend and sent pro-tem Bryson Huff. Huff said 2019 saw 28 new homes, street improvement projects, a new in-patient care facility, and a new Dollar General opening soon.