KALAMA — For second year in a row, the City of Kalama has several major street, sidewalk, water and sewer projects lined up for 2020. At a City Council public hearing Thursday, Coni McMaster, clerk/treasurer, outlined the major projects that will continue or begin next year and how they will be funded.
A major street project will be resurfacing Elm Street from West Frontage Road to North Fourth Street. The $400,000-project will go to bid in early 2020, McMaster said. She said 90% of the project is funded by a Transportation Improvement Board grant.
The city also has budgeted $600,000, half of the total project cost, to replace the Lower Green Mountain Reservoir. The state Department of Health conducted a sanitary survey of Kalama’s water system in 2018 and noted the Lower Green Mountain and Upper Gore reservoirs need replacing. The work is not yet scheduled but will be paid for through utility rates. Also on the list is $500,000 to replace the Meeker Drive sewer pump station.
The Port of Kalama is partnering with the city to help pay for the project because development on port property is contributing to increased sewage flow. The city’s capital improvements plan also includes $100,000 from real estate excise tax revenue to repair the sidewalk and parking lot outside of City Hall. Adam Smee, city administrator, said the improvements are require by a federal loan the city took out in 2015 to buy the building.
Councilwoman Mary Putka outlined the budget proposed for hotel/motel tax funds by the newly-established tourism advisory committee. The group granted $2,000 to the Untouchables Car Club, $5,000 to the Ohana Foundation (Heritage Festival) and $10,000 to the Kalama Chamber of Commerce for the Festival of Lighted Boats, she said.
The committee will take applications for funds again in March, McMaster said.
McMaster said 2019 was a busy year for the city, including construction of the police station, the first major stormwater improvement project downtown, sewer plant upgrades and paving three side streets.
In other business, the council also approved a resolution accepting a petition by a single landowner to annex about 17 acres off Meeker Drive into the city so she can tie into city sewer and water systems. The Cowlitz County Boundary Review Board will review the proposal before it returns to the City Council for final approval.
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