Kelso Police Sgt. Rich Fletcher, a 24-year veteran with the department, will be promoted to captain during the Kelso City Council meeting on Tuesday.

Chief Darr Kirk, who recently held the position before he was promoted to chief in June, will swear in Fletcher.

The meeting begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Kelso City Hall.

Also during the meeting, the council will hear a presentation from FCS Group on proposed changes to Kelso’s stormwater rates.

“The city’s current stormwater rate design is cumbersome and has some elements that contribute to rate payer inequity. Foremost of these is the current tiered structure for commercial properties. Since the tiers are based on impervious surface percentages, properties on the threshold of a rate tier may over or under pay significantly,” according to city documents.

To address that disparity, the city is considering a new stormwater rate design based on an Equivalent Surface Unit. The city would calculate the median amount of surface area on a residential unit and then use that number as a baseline for all residential, commercial and industrial utility charges, according to the city.

“This rate design will assign burden more fairly. Some ratepayers will benefit from reduced charges and other, commercial accounts mostly, will see increases,” according to the city.

The council will also consider adding a new prosecutor position into the city budget. Currently, the city contracts with Hannigan Law Office, which has indicated it wants to end its contract with the city by the end of the year. City staff recommends offering a full-time city prosecutor position and then contracting out to smaller agencies to recoup some of the costs.

Stewart Feil, with Hannigan Law Office, has agreed to become Kelso’s prosecutor. He has agreed to the M15 salary classification with the city, which starts at $73,571 annually. To bring Feil on as the city prosecutor, the council will also need to amend the personnel policy handbook’s salary matrix.

In other business, the council will consider:

  • A presentation from Workforce Southwest Washington.
  • Appointing Michael Lee, from Kelso Best Western to the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee to fill the seat Tawny Kleider vacated. Kleider resigned because she is no longer affiliated with a hotel located in Kelso.
  • Approving a $93,600 contract with Clark and Sons Excavating, Inc., to remove and replace six driveway culverts along Carroll Road. The lowest bid came in nearly $11,500 higher than the city’s estimate.
  • Approving about $7,400 in change orders for the Tam O’Shanter Park improvements project to pay for extra work due to poor soil conditions, additional concrete work, landscaping and alterations to the Rister ballfield. The changes bring the total contract to $1.82 million.

Following the regular meeting, the council will go into a closed executive session to discuss contract negotiations with the public works AFSCME union.

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