Proposal would include review of Washougal public works operations

Hearing to be set regarding medical marijuana collective gardens moratorium

A review of existing operations is part of a professional services agreement that will soon be put before the Washougal City Council.

The potential $39,688 agreement with Science Applications International Corporation, of Seattle, would also include a feasibility analysis and a findings presentation during a council workshop. It follows discussions regarding the potential outsourcing of public works responsibilities in Washougal.

According to a presentation by City Administrator David Scott during a council workshop last night, the benefits from a feasibility analysis include possible efficiencies and reviews of level of service and capital improvement project facility plans. The goal of the agreement will be to determine if a public-private partnership for operation, maintenance and management of the city’s water, wastewater and storm water utilities is feasible.

Residents are in their second year of a five-year overall increase of 122 percent for water, sewer and storm water rates. The increases were required to pay for water and sewer infrastructure improvements, in order to meet state and federal regulations. They include the $15 million upgrade of the city’s wastewater treatment facility.

Scott has said an evaluation of a possible partnership would explore opportunities for efficiencies to mitigate the impact of the necessary rate increases.

A decision by council about the professional services agreement is expected during its next regular meeting Monday, at 6 p.m., in the council chambers at City Hall, 1701 “C” St.

Medical marijuana collective gardens moratorium could be extended

Council members are also expected to schedule a public hearing regarding a proposed six-month extension of the medical marijuana collective gardens moratorium.

The hearing is expected to be set for Tuesday, Sept. 4, at 6 p.m.

After the hearing, councilors could vote to extend the moratorium and direct staff to prepare a work plan for creating a local zoning ordinance related to medical marijuana collective gardens — in light of the possible outcome of Initiative 502. The initiative, which seeks the licensing and regulation of marijuana producers, processors and retailers, will be on the statewide General Election ballots Nov. 6.

Collective gardens permit qualifying patients to produce, grow and deliver up to 45 cannabis plants to serve no more than 10 qualifying patients for medical use.

An initiative passed by Washington voters in 1998 allows the use of marijuana for medical purposes.