Washougal launches websites to collect ideas from residents on COVID relief, city’s future

Officials are seeking input from community members on two issues critical to Washougal’s future: the city’s use of its federal COVID recovery funds and the creation of a long-term strategic plan that “will define Washougal’s future vision”.

The city created a website which contains information on the five projects he plans to fund with his $4.5 million allocation from the American Rescue Plan Act.

“A survey at the end that asks residents to rank each project in order of priority,” said City of Washougal Communications Specialist Michelle Loftus. “The results will indicate which projects will receive funding.”

The results will be posted on the city’s website and social media, and presented at an upcoming city council meeting.

The city received about $2.25 million from the Act, a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill passed by the United States Congress and signed into law by President Biden to accelerate the United States’ recovery. United after the COVID-19 pandemic in the summer of 2021. The city expects an additional $2.25 million this summer.

The city used approximately $143,000 of its initial allocation to purchase a keyless entry system for city hall, expand the service counter, and add a public conference room and mail slot to the permit center. the city and repairing and upgrading the city’s public restrooms last summer.

In July 2021, the city council reached an informal consensus that the remaining funds would be better spent on capital projects, which they said would provide the “most transformative” and “lasting” impact for the whole. from the community.

Earlier this year, city officials “assessed community needs, sought advice from department heads, and identified areas that would have a lasting impact on Washougal,” according to the city’s website.

City Council’s Public Works Committee selected five projects: complete design of the 32nd Street Underpass and obtaining permits; 32nd Street safety improvements and treatments (Q Street to Addy Street); the Washougal Civic Recreation Complex; Schmid Family Park; and Biosolids Treatment Facility/Anoxic Selector/Lagoon Decommissioning.

“This is a pretty unique opportunity for us as a city,” council member Ernie Suggs said during a workshop session earlier this year.

Long term strategic plan

The city has also launched a “social mapping” site for its ongoing strategic planning process as part of its community vision phase.

The site offers an opportunity for residents to submit feedback through a survey, post comments on an “idea wall” and sign up for upcoming community forums.

The city has hired BerryDunn, a Portland, Maine-based national consulting firm that provides services to local and state government agencies, to help with the strategic planning process.

“The strategic plan is a living document that we will use to define Washougal’s future vision,” the website says.