Wow, the weather was great for this past weekend’s Stevenson Clean-up event!  The volunteers were great and we appreciate their efforts to clean-up overgrowth, pull weeds and dig the waterline ditch for the new drinking fountain that will be installed at Walnut Park.  The Pacific Crest Trail Association also held a Trail Skills College course on New Trail Construction in Stevenson for a new trail connecting First Street with the waterfront.  There is still a bit of work to be done, but it looks great!  Without their work, this path would not have moved forward.  Again, a big thank you to all of the volunteers!

In other news, council heard from residents and business owners about possible changes to the marijuana license buffer zone at the April 19th council meeting.  There will be an ordinance proposed at the next council meeting, May 17th, to reduce the buffer zone down to 100 ft.  Schools and public playgrounds will maintain a 1,000 ft. buffer.  Updates on other items talked about at the council meeting and projects moving forward are below.

Fire Department- The Fire Department has been awarded a $96,000 grant for a new command vehicle through the Department of Ecology’s Spill Prevention, Preparedness, and Response Equipment Grant!  This need was identified during the recent Eagle Creek and Archer Mountain Fires when volunteers were responding in personal vehicles that were not very visible.  The command vehicle will allow the department to access areas on the waterfront if the crossing is blocked by a disabled train.  It will also allow them to transport response trailers from our mutual aid partners, such as 1) Flammable Liquids Foam Trailer in Bingen, 2) Regional HAZMAT DECON Trailer in Carson, 3) Regional MCI Response Trailer in Stevenson, and 4) Fire Medical REHAB Trailer in Stevenson.  The vehicle would also be available to tow the Skamania County Sheriff’s Boat, Quad Trailer and SAR trailer if asked to.  By adding this piece of equipment to our department, the city is increasing the resiliency of the area to respond to an oil spill or other hazardous material incident.

Base Reservoir Roof-The contract for re-roofing the city’s base reservoir has been signed and work will begin this week.

Wastewater Project:

Pretreatment Ordinance-The city council adopted a revised pretreatment ordinance at the April 19th council meeting, which meets the deadline of April 30th for this requirement in the city’s Administrative Order.  A copy of the final ordinance can be found on the city’s Clean Water Facility Upgrades page http://ci.stevenson.wa.us/cleanwater/.

Operations Audit-At the April 19th council meeting, a contract with Wastewater Solutions, Inc. was approved to conduct an audit on the operations of the treatment plant.  The goal is to optimize the city’s treatment of wastewater received at the plant to maintain our compliance prior to the planned upgrades.

Value Planning-Previously I mentioned the Center for Sustainable Infrastructure (CSI) performing a value planning effort with the city and it possibly being paid for out of our Department of Ecology Loan.  We are still waiting to hear if we will be able to use the DOE funds for this project, however council approved moving forward.  A kick-off meeting is scheduled for April 25th and the process is expected to take about 8 weeks.  A draft of the statement of work is in the last council meeting packet.

Month Long Testing-There continue to be foaming events at the treatment plant.  The city has discussed conducting a month-long test of the industrial and other significant users of the wastewater system to again research the source of the BOD loadings.  Council authorized the funds needed to conduct this testing with Wallace Engineering.  The goal will be to determine where the BOD loadings are coming from, determine a fair allocation of BOD loading to each significant user and find the reason behind the foaming at the plant.