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City, Fire District 5 partner on construction of new fire station - 05/16/18

Vancouver, Wash. – The City of Vancouver and Fire District 5 are partnering on the creation of a new fire station, Fire Station 11, to be located in the Orchards area of Vancouver, near the intersection of NE 117th Avenue and NE 87th Street.

The architectural design and engineering work is expected to start next month, with final construction anticipated to be complete by fall 2020.

Funding for the purchase of property and construction of the station is being provided by Fire District 5. The City has finalized a contract with Mackenzie Engineering for design and construction services. The new station will utilize the recent designs done for Vancouver Fire Stations 1 and 2 as a template.

“We’re pleased to partner with Fire District 5 on the creation of this new fire station,” said Vancouver Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle. “We appreciate our long-term relationship with District 5 and their generosity in providing the funding for this new facility. This project will help ensure the safety and well-being of our rapidly growing Vancouver community.”

The location of the new Fire Station 11 is just outside the city limits. The City has been contracted to provide fire protection services for Fire District 5, an approximately 42-mile area just north of the Orchards area, for more than 20 years. The new station will be operated and staffed by the Vancouver Fire Department.

“It’s great that we are able to move forward on this project with Fire District 5," said Vancouver Fire Chief Joe Molina. "The new Station 11 will improve response capability to the area between current fire stations 4 and 7 as well as improve the reliability of the entire emergency response system."

“In partnership with the Vancouver Fire Department, we identified the need for a new station and we are proud to participate in the construction of station 11," said Fire District 5 Board Chair Ron Gibson. "This project embodies the spirit of local collaboration and public interest and is a great opportunity to enhance and improve service delivery among growing neighborhoods within the district."


Students monitor waterways by measuring streamflow
Students monitor waterways by measuring streamflow
Watershed Congress celebrates 20th anniversary (Photo) - 05/15/18

Vancouver, Wash. – The Watershed Congress will celebrate its 20th anniversary in Clark County on Friday, May 18, when about 300 students will gather at Washington State University Vancouver campus to share their research findings and brainstorm solutions to local watershed concerns.

Over the past 20 years, a total of about 48,000 students from Clark County schools have collected data that give a snapshot of water health in a local stream, lake, wetland or bioswale. This year, 4,100 students and 81 teachers went outside in a variety of weather conditions to monitor their selected sites. The Watershed Congress provides some of these students an opportunity to report back on what they have learned. Joining them will be 50 volunteers from agencies, non-profit organizations and the community offering feedback on student presentations and helping to guide other activities.

Stream and water health are evaluated by temperature, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, nitrates, phosphates, macroinvertebrates and fecal coliform. Additional data are collected from riparian soil and plants.

The Watershed Monitoring Network, one of the oldest and largest student monitoring field programs in the state, encompasses multiple grade levels (grades 1 through 12) and six school districts. The work is supported by City of Vancouver Water Resources Education Center and Clark County Public Works, Clean Water Division. Grants from the Metro Regional Government, Washington Department of Ecology and most recently, the Lower Columbia Fish Recovery Board, have enhanced the  program. The authentic science education targeted by the network also supports science standards, making it popular with many teachers, who frequently say they have learned just as much as the kids.



Overlooking the Columbia River, the City of Vancouver's Water Resources Education Center offers exhibits, events and educational programs designed to teach us all how to be excellent stewards of water resources and how to use water wisely. The Water Center, a division of the City's Department of Public Works, is also caretaker of one of the metropolitan area's few remaining natural Columbia River riparian areas, nearly 50 protected acres of adjacent wetlands providing feeding, nesting and resting habitat for more than 120 species of fish and wildlife. The Water Center is part of the Vancouver National Historic Reserve.

The Water Center's general hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays through Friday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. From Interstate 5 or Interstate 205, take state Highway 14 to Exit 1. Turn south under the highway, then east at the Columbia Shores intersection onto Columbia Way and head east about 3 miles to the Water Center. More information is available on the Internet at or by calling 360-487-7111.


Young volunteers help plant flowers at Esther Short Park
Young volunteers help plant flowers at Esther Short Park
Show downtown Vancouver some love May 19 (Photo) - 05/15/18

Vancouver, Wash. – The City of Vancouver is teaming up with the Parks Foundation of Clark County and Vancouver’s Downtown Association for a “Show Downtown Vancouver Some Love” community volunteer event Saturday, May 19. 

Volunteers of all ages are encouraged to lend a hand for a few hours planting flowers at Esther Short Park, removing litter and weeds, and completing other basic landscape maintenance tasks in Vancouver’s downtown core. 

Volunteers should arrive at Propstra Square inside Esther Short Park at 10 a.m. for snacks donated by Simply Sweets and a brief orientation. At the end of the event, volunteers will also be served lunch donated by the Vancouver Hilton. RSVPs are requested.

This event is also being sponsored by Waste Connections, Solve and the sale of engraved bricks at Propstra Square through the Parks Foundation of Clark County.

To learn more about this event and to RSVP, visit


City receives $25K donation from BNSF Railway Foundation for new day center - 05/11/18

Vancouver, Wash. – The City of Vancouver has received a $25,000 donation from the BNSF Railway Foundation to assist with the operations of a new homeless day center.

The $25,000 donation is the second large donation the City has recently received for the day center.  The new day center, to be located at 2018 Grand Blvd., will replace the existing temporary one in downtown Vancouver. Construction is expected to be completed this fall with the partner agencies and service providers moving in as soon as it is completed.

“We are grateful for BNSF’s generous donation which will help ensure that people experiencing homelessness in our community have a place to go during the day to access services,” said Vancouver Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle. “We appreciate the support and engagement of our businesses and community members who come together to help make vitally important projects like the day center a reality.”

"BNSF is pleased to be a part of this important focus in Clark County to improve the quality of life for the homeless," said Gus Melonas, Regional Director Public Affairs for BNSF Railway.

For more information about the new day center, visit


City land use applications going digital May 21; free training available May 15-17 - 05/09/18

Vancouver, Wash. – On May 21, the City of Vancouver’s Development Review Division will take the next step towards going 100 percent digital when it starts requiring all land use applications be submitted electronically.

This means that if you want to submit a land use application for the City of Vancouver, you must use the ePlans electronic plan review software provided by the City. Development pre-applications have been fully electronic since June 2017, when it first introduced its ePlans platform.

“We’re looking forward to continuing to find ways to improve and simplify our plan review process for our customers to save them time and money,” said City Development Review Division Manager Jason Nortz.

Electronic submittals reduce the need for physical trips to Vancouver City Hall to drop off or pick up plans or make payments, and reduce the need to print hard copies. It also reduces plan review turnaround time because reviewers at the City are able to make electronic comments and markups on the same document at the same time, instead of one at a time as they used to do.

The City’s ePlans platform currently allows customers to submit development applications, commercial and residential building permits, grading permits, and fire alarm/sprinkler protection applications online. Applicants can also check the status of their submittals or review at any time.

Customers can visit to learn more and get started.

Training available

The City is offering three free ePlans training courses to its customers May 15-17. Each class will cover the basics of how to use the ePlans platform to upload plans and documents, submit applications, respond to correction notices and check the status of a submittal. All the classes will be held at Vancouver City Hall in the Aspen Conference Room, 415 W. 6th St.

  • Tuesday, May 15 from 5 to 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, May 16 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, May 17 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

To reserve your spot, please send an email to Lead Permit Specialist Lisa Eruhow-Hagan at"> with the date of the class you wish to attend and the number of people who will attend.

Not able to attend any of the classes? City staff is also available to visit local companies to provide ePlans training to small groups by request. Please email Lisa Eruhow-Hagan to set that up (see paragraph above for email address).


A large maple tree at Clearmeadows Park is one of the city's Heritage trees
A large maple tree at Clearmeadows Park is one of the city's Heritage trees
Vancouver looks to grow Heritage Tree Inventory (Photo) - 05/07/18

Vancouver, Wash. - The City of Vancouver’s rich history is filled with trees, each with a story to tell. To recognize and preserve these living chroniclers of the past, Vancouver Urban Forestry is seeking to grow the community Heritage Tree program.

The Heritage Tree Program is a voluntary program that honors and recognizes those trees that add to the value, aesthetics and character of Vancouver neighborhoods. Nominations for this year’s inductees to the Heritage Tree Registry are being accepted through July 31, 2018.

The city’s Heritage Tree inventory currently boasts nearly 30 trees and groves of trees, deemed significant based on documented historical connections, distinctive species or unique features. Some are simply trees or a grove of trees with exceptional aesthetic qualities. The venerable Old Apple Tree and the majestic grove in Officers Row are on the list, compiled over the years with the help of historians and documents.

“We know there are many more significant trees within the community,” said Susan Law, who serves on Vancouver’s Urban Forestry Commission. “These quiet symbols of strength and survival hold stories just waiting to be told.”

The city’s Urban Forestry Commission and Charles Ray, city Forester, encourage everyone who knows of a special tree or grove of trees to learn more about this program and consider submitting a nomination.

To be considered, a tree must be in good condition, have the consent of the property owner and meet at least one of the criteria denoting significance. Official designation includes a public hearing, a special plaque and protection from unnecessary removal. Heritage Trees are inspected and assessed by Urban Forestry staff every five years. The city strives to create partnerships with local tree care companies for the care and maintenance of Heritage Trees.

A map showing Vancouver’s designated Heritage Trees, criteria for the program, and the form for new nominations be found online here. Learn more about trees, tree permits, tree care and Heritage Trees at or by calling 360-487-8308.


RETRACTION: City seeks eight volunteers to serve on Lodging Tax Advisory Committee - 05/07/18

RETRACTION: This news release was sent out in error. Volunteers are not needed at this time for this advsiory committee. We apologize for the error.


Vancouver, Wash. – The City of Vancouver is seeking applicants for eight positions on the City’s Lodging Tax Advisory Committee. Applications must be received by 5 p.m. Monday, June 4.

The City is authorized to collect a 4 percent lodging tax on hotel, motel or bed and breakfast stays. The Lodging Tax Advisory Committee is a volunteer body that makes recommendations to the Vancouver City Council about how that tax revenue is spent. In 2017, the committee helped award $691,872 in lodging tax revenue grants to local projects and events that increase tourism within the city.

To apply online, visit To request an application or for more information, contact Michelle Bartley in the City Manager’s Office by mail at City Hall, P.O. Box 1995, Vancouver, WA 98668-1995, by email at">, or by calling 360-487-8607.

Applicants must be employees or board members for an art, tourism, cultural or community organization that is eligible to receive lodging tax funding.

Lodging Tax Advisory Committee members serve two-year terms and meet 4-6 times per year. Guidelines for committee membership are set by the State of Washington through RCW 67.28.1817.

For more information about the committee, including links to past meeting minutes and agendas, visit


City seeks volunteers to serve on Urban Forestry Commission - 05/07/18

Vancouver, Wash. – The City of Vancouver is seeking applicants to fill two positions on its Urban Forestry Commission. Applications must be received by 5 p.m., Monday, June 4.

The vacancy is for two full, four-year terms. There is no city residency requirement.

To apply online, visit To request an application or for more information, contact Michelle Bartley in the City Manager’s Office at City Hall, P.O. Box 1995, Vancouver, WA 98668-1995,">, or by calling 360-487-8607.

Vancouver’s Urban Forestry Commission has seven citizen members who assist the City’s Urban Forestry Program in its efforts to enhance Vancouver by managing and conserving trees, now and for future generations. The commission meets from 6 to 8 p.m. at City Hall, 415 W. 6th St., the third Wednesday of each month.

The advisory role of the commission includes reviewing and informing urban forestry policy and regulation, and administration of the Heritage Tree Program and the Urban Forestry Program's work plan. The commission is an active, working group that performs community outreach by helping to plan and implement tree events, building neighborhood association relationships, supporting public education, and community recognition programs related to appreciation of our community’s trees. Those who have an interest in urban forestry and the beautification of Vancouver are urged to apply.

Visit to learn more about the Urban Forestry Commission, including links to past meeting minutes and agendas.


City seeks volunteer to serve on Clark County Arts Commission - 05/07/18

Vancouver, Wash. – The City of Vancouver is seeking volunteers interesting in serving as the City’s representative on the Clark County Arts Commission. Applications must be received by 5 p.m. Monday, June 4.

The Clark County Arts Commission members are both artists and business people. Applicants must represent one of the following art disciplines: architecture, dance, digital heritage, or cultural, literary, music, theater or visual arts. Guidelines for committee membership are set by Clark County. The person appointed by Vancouver City Council to fill this mid-term vacancy will begin serving immediately, and the term would expire Dec. 15, 2018.

Interested applicants may apply online at To request an application or to get more information, contact Michelle Bartley in the City Manager’s Office by mail at Vancouver City Hall, P.O. Box 1995, Vancouver, WA 98668-1995, by phone at 360-487-8607, or by email at">

The Clark County Arts Commission is an 11-member volunteer body that works to enhance and support the growth of the local economy through collaborations among arts patrons, artists, the business community, service groups, schools and cultural groups. The commission’s work expands the opportunity and accessibility of citizens to experience art in public places and works to create a more visually pleasing environment throughout the county.

The commission meets at 5:30 p.m. on the first Tuesday of every month at the Clark County Public Service Center, 1300 Franklin St., Vancouver.

For more information about the Clark County Arts Commission, visit