Mayor Mike's Update

 

STATE OF GOLDENDALE CITY REPORT - 2018

 

INTRODUCTION
The aim of this report is to inform residents of Goldendale of city government activities and decisions of City Council and staff that impact their community. The intention is to provide transparency and promote discussion and interaction between citizens and their local government. The state of the city of Goldendale continues to be steadily improving with the 2018 budget balanced and adopted by the City Council, crime reduced and indications of increasing economic interest in doing business in our City. The focus for 2019 will be to:

  • Continue close law enforcement collaboration to strengthen public safety and reduce drug related crime;
  • Manage city resources with the aim to stay within the Council adopted budget;
  • Continue efforts for greater savings in City energy costs;
  • Enhance and promote economic development through strengthened broadband capacity and working closely with the Goldendale Chamber of Commerce to assist marketing of the Goldendale State Observatory Park and local tourism activities;
  • Continue participation in the Klickitat County Public Economic Development Authority (KCPEDA) in implementation of the Economic Development Strategic Plan.


POLICE DEPARTMENT
GOLDENDALE POLICE DEPARTMENT (GPD) GPD presently consists of 9 officers: Chief Reggie Bartkowski, two Sergeants, six Officers, an Administrative Assistant, one Reserve Officer, an Animal Control Officer/Administrative Assistant, and Police Dog named "Harley".

Accomplishments of 2018: Updated policies, training, and procedures to reduce GPD liability; hired part-time animal control officer and administrative assistant to help with evidence, records, and public records requests; newest officers (Kenny and Dyment) completed Field Training Program and work shifts alone; updated all bullet proof vests and patrol handguns and increased firearms training; updated computers in all police cars and handheld portable radios; purchased 5 new patrol cars to replace undependable ones; updated the training room; added a decontamination shower; repainted outside of GPD and built an equipment storage building behind GPD.

Goals for 2019: Better serve the community; focus on "professionalism"; update all policy procedures, and guidelines; continue to be a proactive rather than reactive department; conduct continual training on school safety including active shooter; incident de-escalation and dealing with crisis incidents; continue building strong relationships with law enforcement partners; focus on drug training, drug cases, and developing a drug investigation unit; provide additional investigation trainings.

Police Activity Report: Calls for service and theft/property calls have decreased due to a full staff of 9 commissioned officers; a pro-active patrol approach; good working relationship with other law enforcement agencies; City and County PA's getting convictions of cases, and the community watch program having citizens call in suspicious activities and persons.

Countless hours are used by GPD Officers having to deal with individuals exhibiting mental illness, a state-wide situation. These individuals often "act out" having stopped taking prescribed medications. These individuals often have not broken a law other than their lack of control of their actions. They are a danger to themselves and at times to others. Most often the use of illegal drugs is a factor. This situation overwhelms normal police activity since the person must be taken to the ER for a required medical assessment. This type of situation requires one or more officer's full attention for several hours and off-duty officers must be called in to provide regular police patrols.

While full-time GPD Officer Security support is often requested by schools and KVH, although they do not have funds to cover the cost for such service. GPD does not have enough officers or budget to cover such requests on a full-time basis.

Total Calls for GPD Police Service: received 2865 calls, down from 3015 calls in 2017.

Total Population and Commissioned Officers in 2019: 9 GPD Officers; 20 KC Sherriff's Officers; and, a total of 34 Commissioned Officers county-wide.

 

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Goldendale has been selected as one of 8,000 Opportunity Zones nationwide. City Council agreed that emphasis should be given to economic development and agreed that the City contract for such services with the Greater Goldendale Chamber of Commerce (GGCC) to provide support in the following areas: advise and update the Mayor and City Council on the elements of Opportunity Zones; the status of the John Day Pumped Storage Project (energy); assist City and State Parks in submitting an application for the International Dark Sky Association (IDSA) designation as a IDSA Park and/or community; develop and coordinate marketing of the reopening of the Observatory; advise on issues such as outdoor lighting, airport operations and the broadband study; help coordinate any prospects that might benefit an economic development project; maintain key Federal, State and local contacts regarding economic development; and, provide quarterly updates on economic development activities.

Tourism events are no longer included in this report but can be found on the "Experience Goldendale" website.

PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT
Public Works Department consists of: Director Karl Enyeart; public works crew of 6, including 1 supervisor and 5 maintenance workers; 2 water/wastewater specialists; and, 2 administrative personnel.

Water: 6 year Water System Plan Update approved through 2028.

Quantity: with a water right of 2082 ac-ft; we used 1240 ac-ft. in 2018.
Peak flow day: 2.38 million gallons or 1652 gpm on July 23rd.
Sources can produce 3.3 million gallon or 2300 gpm.

Wastewater: Quantity – 448 ac-ft. was treated and discharged to the Little Klickitat River. Since improvements were made to the Waste Water Treatment Plant in the summer of 2017, we have had zero exceedances of our NPDES Permit requirements.

Streets: South Columbus Avenue overlay was completed from Broadway to Simcoe. Total project cost was $450,000 and $346,000 in grant funds were received.

Utility costs: Electrical costs are a large part of our budget. We lowered our street light costs through the 2017 LED retrofit. Our pre-project monthly bill was $6118 and the post-project bill is $665 plus operations and maintenance. After one year of billing since the LED street light project, electrical costs have been reduced from the 2016 high of $245,400 to $146,400 for 2018.

Improvements in our spring collection system should result in reduced pumping costs. Our low flow from mountain springs in 2016 was 350 gpm. The 2017 low flow after both springs were renovated and mainline leaks were fixed was 650 gpm.

 

Projected Capital Improvements - 2019:

  • Streets - South Columbus Overlay – Golden Ridge to the South City Limits;
  • Wastewater – Base flow pump at the main lift station;
  • Equipment building for Public Works Department;
  • Aeration Basin Dredging;
  • Asset Management Software.

Public Works Crew
The Public Works crew consists of 5 maintenance workers and one supervisor. They finished an outstanding year of service to the City with 457 service orders and 321 requests for utility locates completed. Additionally, two miles of fencing created with downed wood was completed from September 15 to October 15 that will improve water system reliability and quality. Other activities specific to Public Works included purchase of 4 new service trucks; sewer mainline jetting, water line breaks, crosswalk striping, potholes, and traffic sign maintenance and lift station operation. The crew regularly responds to emergencies to water and sewer service as well as fires and traffic accidents. The City has benefitted from countless hours of consistent, reliable service from these unsung heroes.

 

Water/Wastewater Operators
Two employees are in charge of all operations for water and wastewater facilities. The City is required to perform testing at the wastewater plant every day of the year as well as monitoring water system functions and responding to alarms and callouts 24 hours per day. This duty has been completed by these two positions for many years.

 

Administrative Personnel
Office staff assists with maintenance requests, billing for water and sewer service, and providing customer service for all customer requests. They have provided outstanding service and professionalism day in and day out. Water service turn-off days due to non-payment are inevitable, and have often generated heated confrontations. Their patience and diligence is remarkable and they provide an invaluable benefit for the citizens of Goldendale.

 

GOLDENDALE FIRE DEPARTMENT (GFD)
GFD, under the direction of Chief Noah Halm, has seen tremendous growth during 2018. The community was served by 3 junior firefighters and 24 Firefighters including 2 Lieutenants, 3 Captains, 1 Assistant Chief and Chief Halm. Four of the 24 members are nationally certified EMT's.

Fire response included multiple structure fires, several requests for assistance on structure and wildland fires to neighboring communities and 6 calls for help to "State mobe" incidents which included the "Mile Marker 90 Fire" in Wishram/Centerville. GFD's total calls for service was 196, breaking down into 108 medical calls and 88 fire calls.

In 2018 two new firetrucks were added to the fleet. Lucky "E61-13", a 2018 Pierce structure engine, replaced the older 1972 Seagrave. Engine 61-13, undergoing final preparations, was obtained through an equipment grant from the Washington Dept. of Natural Resources. This Type 6 Engine will be equipped and ready for the 2019 wildfire season.

Through countless hours of training, the department has strived to meet the needs of residents and visitors, responding to priority medical calls and when the ambulance service is unavailable or delayed. Our dedicated firefighters and EMT's response times for medical calls average for the year is 7.2 minutes. The average response times for fire calls, including time to gear up from page to on scene, has averaged 9.4 minutes, compared to the NFPA Standard of 14 minutes. Several public awareness events were hosted by GFD to promote fire safety and prevention. GFD donated more than 998 volunteer hours, above and beyond their regularly scheduled training and time at an incident/response. Their service is estimated to be worth $22,171.62 to the city. (National volunteer hourly average rate: $24.69/hr.)

The Goldendale Fire Department performance goal for the 2019 year is: to improve service; to improve through training and education; to increase participation in community events and encourage, inform and educate on prevention of fires and medical emergencies; to maintain a safe and timely response to all calls for service; and, continue providing the best possible service to residents and guests.

 

CODE COMPLIANCE 2018
Compliance Officer and Building Inspector, Ken Bostick, has conducted the following actions:

  • Code Compliance: 179 new cases, 12 repeat offenses, 1 citation issued, 3 current court cases;
  • Demolition Permits: 9 permits; 1pending permit;
  • Total Permit Valuations: $4,837,463.62 to date.

Code compliance is an essential part of improving the quality and curb appeal of our residences and community.

 

CONCLUSION
City Council and Staff continue working on public safety improvements, including updating policies and equipment, enforcing community ordinances, addressing budget matters, and carrying out public works projects. The objective for 2019 is to continue prudent use of budget funds and continue to: strengthen public safety for our residents by working together to identify and address criminal activities; further efforts to bring living wage jobs back to Goldendale; and, to provide community social events year round that residents and tourists can enjoy. Several projects are being worked on at the State and County level that will positively impact our community.


 

05-25-18 - Pump Storage Project
Much positive interest has been expressed by Goldendale residents regarding the pumped storage project being pursued by National Grid and Rye Development. Long-term economic impacts in the form of new jobs, tax base increases, and expanded retail sales would be very beneficial for our community. This project will create 144 permanent, local jobs (Operations and Maintenance) when fully built out. Numerous short-term jobs – many for area workers -- would be generated over the 3-5 year construction cycle. Click here for the presentation that was given during the Goldendale Energy Center Meeting on May 15th at the Klickitat County Public Utility District meeting.