Philbin targets road, sewer, emergency responder needs growth

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Washougal City Council position 6 candidate Adam Philbin believes the city’s infrastructure has not kept up with the population growth during the past decade.

“The police department has not had any additional officers in 10 years,” he said, during a recent interview.

Philbin, 49, includes additional roads maintenance in the city’s infrastructure needs.

He said the $12.16 million wastewater treatment plant improvements project, mandated by the state in 2014, was not planned ahead for and should have been done years ahead of time in anticipation of growth.

The improvements project at 3900 state Route 14 included construction of a second influent pump station, oxidation ditch flow distribution structure, second oxidation ditch and ultraviolet/effluent pumping building for treatment and disinfection.

The Washington State Department of Commerce provided a $1 million grant for the project, and the remainder was paid with Washougal sewer rates and operations funding.

“It had to be done right away,” Philbin said.

“It ties into managed growth,” he added. “No one could have guessed the city was going to grow so quickly.”

Washougal’s population in 2007 was 12,980. Ten years later, it is 15,760.

Philbin said the consolidation of the Camas and Washougal fire departments has led to increased services.

“It’s nice having a medic unit stationed in town,” he said.

“Two departments are working cohesively,” Philbin added.

Camas and Washougal City Councils approved an interlocal agreement, in December of 2013, that officially established the consolidated C-W Fire Department. A trial operational consolidation period began in July of 2011.

Philbin said attracting more businesses — including retail and grocery stores — to Washougal will help keep people and their money in town, to help pay for infrastructure.

“We need to keep Washougal’s money in Washougal, rather than it being spent in Vancouver,” he said.

Philbin wants to make sure infrastructure — including roads, sidewalks, water, sewer, police, fire, emergency medical services and enough schools — is supported first, before new housing developments are constructed.

He favors the implementation of electronic reporting by victims regarding crimes such as stolen bikes, so police officers can handle more emergent issues.

Philbin said there is not a lot for area youth to do, and he would be in favor of a community center involving an organization such as the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

He moved from Tacoma in October of 2006.

“I have felt strongly that I owe something to the community I live in,” Philbin said, regarding his candidacy for City Council. “That’s the best way I can give back.”

He has worked as the safety, security and emergency manager for the Shriners Hospital for Children, in Portland, since 2008. Prior to that, Philbin was a security officer for Kaiser Permanente, in Portland.

He is a former emergency medical technician for American Med Tech Ambulance, in Bellevue, Washington; and a former reserve firefighter/EMT for King County Fire Protection District 40, in Renton, Washington.

Philbin and his wife, Anne, have 11 children between them. They include former foster children.

“I would bring a unique perspective (to city council) because of the number of kids and the variety of their socioeconomic backgrounds,” Philbin said.

He and Anne also have two grandchildren.

Philbin enjoys providing attention to detail in budgets and agreements. He is working toward obtaining a bachelor’s degree in disaster preparedness and emergency management from American Military University, in Charles Town, West Virginia.

— Dawn Feldhaus, Post-Record staff writer