Budget managers for the City of Longview say that there are still some challenges ahead, but they also say that it looks like the revenue picture is starting to brighten. City Finance Director Kurt Sacha says that the numbers show that the local economy is starting to pick up. Sacha says property tax revenues were up about five percent in 2010. He says sales tax receipts for last year came in about $274,000 over what was budgeted, the first sales tax increase registered since 2007. B-and-O taxes were also up from 2009. Overall, the city had budgeted for $29,347,000 in revenues in 2010, but actually received $30,314,000, an increase of more than five percent. Expenditures were also below what had been budgeted. Sacha says this year’s tax receipts are also above last year, but they’re being cautious, as the city still has a number of challenges, first and foremost being rising fuel prices. He says that will have an impact on how people spend, affecting sales tax income, and will also cost the city more to keep its fleet running. Shared state revenues are also expected to be less, and he says that the city is getting to the point where they really need to get some more land sold at the Mint Farm, to be able to keep up with debt service payments.
Archive | April, 2011
Good news for Weyerhaeuser in the first quarter of the year, as the Federal Way-based timber giant announces net earnings of $99 million, up from a loss of $20 million in the same period last year. President and CEO Dan Fulton says that they’re continuing to make progress in the drive to improve the company’s financial performance, even with the “anemic” housing market. Fulton says that they’re leveraging their strength in the export markets to take advantage of increased demand from Asia.
Next Thursday, the name of Rainier Police Chief Ralph Painter will be added to the Oregon Law Enforcement Memorial in Salem. Painter’s name is one of three that will be added to the memorial at the Oregon Public Safety Academy, in a ceremony planned for 1 pm on May fifth. Painter was shot and fatally wounded on January fifth of this year, as he responded to a possible car theft incident taking place at the Rainier Auto Sound shop at the base of the Lewis and Clark Bridge. Daniel Butts, 21, of Kalama is being held on 29 counts in connection with that shooting; it’s alleged that Butts got into a scuffle with Painter, got hold of his gun, then shot him in the head. Last month, psychologists completed mental health evaluations on Butts, to determine if he’s competent to assist in his defense. Those reports have been completed, but are currently under a judge’s seal. A meeting between the attorneys involved and the judge is pending. In addition to Painter’s name, Officer Roger Lloyd of the Independence Police Department and Chief Daniel Duncan of the Lake Oswego Police Department will also be added.
Local law enforcement agencies are setting up drug collection events tomorrow, setting up another opportunity to safely dispose of expired, unused, or unwanted prescription drugs. Saturday is “Take Back Day,” an event set up by the Drug Enforcement Administration, in conjunction with local law enforcement. Last September, more than 242,000 pounds was collected nationwide in a similar event. Tomorrow’s event will run from 10 am until 2 pm at the Longview Police Department. In addition, drop-off sites are being set up at the Clatskanie Police Department and at the Vernonia Police Department, also open from 10 am until 2 pm tomorrow.
The City of Longview is moving ahead on a contract with Longview-based Gibbs and Olson for development of a closure plan for the West Longview Sewage Lagoons. City Manager Bob Gregory says that the plan will deal with how that closure will be conducted, along with the disposal of the accumulated solid material. The cost of the contract is put at $45,285, along with another $10,000 for lab costs that will be billed directly to the city. This initial phase of the contract will include preliminary testing of the biosolids to compare against federal regulatory standards, checking the depth and area to determine the quantity of material, analysis of various disposal methods and recommendation of a preferred disposal method. Once the West Longview Sewer Diversion project is completed this summer, the city has two years to prepare and obtain approval of a closure plan for the lagoons.
The folks at the Three Rivers Mall say that they were stunned by the amount of material that was brought in at last Saturday’s “E-Cycling” event, with 24,000 pounds of TV’s, old computer monitors, laptops, cell phones and other old electronic equipment. The free event was set up by EcoTech Recycling of Kalama; company officials say that they hauled seven truckloads of material back to their warehouse in Kalama. Renie Duvall with EcoTech says that the event was “very successful,” and they plan to be back for similar events. Several hundred dollars in cash donations were also collected for Habitat for Humanity.
The annual March of Dimes “March for Babies” will be held tomorrow morning in Longview, starting at the PeaceHealth Women’s Pavilion at St. John Medical Center. This is the oldest event of its type in the country, now going on for 41 years. Registration for the Cowlitz County March for Babies starts at 8 am tomorrow, then the 6K and 12K walks will get under way at 9 am. You can sign up on-line, or you can call 1-800-525-9255 to register in advance.
There’s a special event planned for tomorrow at the Longview Public Library, Children’s Book Day, or Dia de los Ninos, Dia de los Libros, running from 1 to 3 pm. Children’s Librarian jan Hanson says that this celebration emphasizes the importance of advocating literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds. They’ll have haiku readings, along with readings from local high school students whose first language is Spanish. Participants will be able to pick up a “passport,” traveling the Americas to find crafts, games, snacks and other activities. The Children’s Book Day is free and open to all.
Washington’s tall ships arrive in Rainier today, and will be tied up at the Rainier Marina through the weekend. The Lady Washington and the Hawaiian Chieftain will be open for tours from 10 am until 1 pm on Saturday and Sunday. At 2 pm tomorrow and Sunday, three-hour “battle sails” will be held, with both ships simulating Napoleonic-style naval battles, using real cannons and gunpowder. The Hawaiian Chieftain will be running a three-hour “adventure sail” on Sunday at ten am, demonstrating tall ship handling, a sea shanty sing-along and a chance to help the crew rig and steer the ship. Tickets for the battle and adventure sails are available by calling 1-800-200-5239, or by going to www.historicalseaport.org. The visit to the lower Columbia River is a prelude to their participation in the Astoria Bicentennial celebration, set to kick off on May 19th at the mouth of the Columbia.
The Longview Stageworks production of the classic musical “Peter Pan” opens this weekend at the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts. Curtain is 7:30 pm Friday and Saturday, along with a 2 pm Sunday matinee.
The Rose Valley Elementary School Dinner Auction is set for Friday night at the Rose Valley Friends Church. Proceeds will support the Rose Valley PTO; dinner starts at 6 pm and then the auction starts at 6:30. Call 360-749-2459 for ticket information.
There’s a two-day garage sale event on Friday and Saturday up at the Ryderwood Women’s Club. Hours are 9 am to 4 pm each day. Proceeds will support the Women’s Club and its activities.
The first-ever “Queen Bee for a Day” Mother’s Day bazaar will be held on Saturday at the Monticello Park assisted living facility. More than 40 local vendors will be set up, they’ll have prize drawings, live entertainment and family photos available. Monticello Park is located at 7th and Hudson in Longview; hours are 9 am to 4 pm on Saturday.
There’s a all-you-can-eat pancake and sausage breakfast fundraiser Saturday morning at Applebee’s, running from 8 to 10 am on Saturday. The breakfast is a fundraiser for the Hanson Family and Friends Relay for Life team.
The Cowlitz Community Farmer’s Market is now open on Saturdays and Tuesdays into October, and running each week in the 7th Avenue parking lot across from the Fairgrounds. They’ll have produce, plants, crafts, baked goods, eggs, entertainment, and fun! Hours are 9 am until 2 pm on Saturday.
The Willapa Hills Audubon Society is running a field trip to Sauvie Island on Saturday, looking for migrating songbirds and shorebirds. Call 575-9238 to get hooked up.
The 9th annual Woodland Tulip Festival is being extended through Sunday at the Holland America Bulb Farm, on South Pekin Road, just outside of Woodland. They’ll have special musical performances borh Saturday and Sunday. Check their website at www.habf.net, or call 360-225-4512.
The annual Hulda Klager Lilac Days continue this weekend at the historic farm on South Pekin Road near Woodland. Hours are 10 am to 4 pm Saturday and Sunday.
You can celebrate a Traditional English Tea on Saturday at St. James Family Center in Cathlamet. They’ll have fine china, linens, sliver, flowers and traditional treats,, running from noon to 3 pm on Saturday. Call 795-8612 for ticket information.
They’re celebrating the 45th birthday of the Three Rivers Christian School with a benefit auction and dinner that will be held Saturday evening at the school gymnasium on Ocean Beach highway. Call 423-4510 for details.
A fiddle concert that had been postponed by the landslide on Ocean Beach Highway is on again for Saturday; the Voteberg Family of Centralia will perform Saturday night at the Abernathy Assembly of God Church. Admission is free, but free will donations will be accepted.
A trio called “Cool Water” will perform Saturday night at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, starting at 7 pm Saturday night. Admission is free.
The Kelso Bridge Market opens this Sunday, running from 10 am to 3 pm in the green space next to the Catlin Spray Park. They’ll have crafts, produce and other fresh items. The Market will run each Sunday into September.
The 43rd annual Cowlitz Coin Club Coin Show is set for Sunday, running from 10 am to 4 pm at the AWPPW Hall on 15th Avenue in Longview. Along with the rare and collector coins on display, they’ll be raffling off a $25 U. S. gold coin.