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News Releases
Public Health urges vaccination as COVID-19 cases numbers rise - 07/23/21

Vancouver, Wash. – Public Health is urging Clark County residents not yet vaccinated against COVID-19 to wear face coverings in indoor public places and get vaccinated as soon as possible. COVID-19 case numbers are once again on the rise in Clark County, with the number of new cases doubling in the last week.  

COVID-19 case rates are increasing across most age groups, with the highest rates among young adults 20 to 39 years old. And about 95% of Clark County cases since March have been unvaccinated, according to information gathered during case interviews.

In Clark County, only about 55% of people eligible for vaccination (12 years and older) are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and about 61% have received at least one dose.

Local COVID-19 immunization rates are highest among people 65 years and older – about 75% have received at least one dose and 71% are fully vaccinated. Young adults ages 18 to 34 have the lowest vaccination rate among Clark County adults, with about 52% receiving at least one dose and only 45% fully vaccinated.

“A significant portion of our community is unvaccinated and putting themselves and others at risk of getting COVID-19,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County health officer and Public Health director. “The COVID-19 vaccines are safe, can prevent infection and are highly effective at preventing severe illness that can lead to hospitalization and death.”

According to data from the state Department of Health, unvaccinated people 45 to 64 years old are 16 times more likely to be hospitalized for COVID-19 than those of the same age who are vaccinated. Those 65 and older who are unvaccinated are 12 times as likely to be hospitalized as those who are vaccinated.

Anyone with questions about COVID-19 vaccines, should talk to their health care provider. 

People who are not fully vaccinated, including children who are too young to be vaccinated, should continue to wear face coverings in indoor public places or when around people they don’t live with. 

“Getting vaccinated is the best protection against COVID-19. If you’re not yet vaccinated, the next best thing you can do is wear a face covering,” said Dr. Steven Krager, deputy health officer for Clark County. “Not doing so is putting yourself and others at risk, particularly children too young to be vaccinated and immunocompromised people who may not receive full protection from the vaccines.” 

COVID-19 vaccine is widely available at local pharmacies and medical offices. To find vaccine locations: 

More information about COVID-19 vaccines is available on the Public Health website

Clark County expands burn ban to include recreational fires - 07/23/21

Vancouver, Wash. – Due to the extreme fire danger, recreational fires will be prohibited throughout unincorporated Clark County effective 12:01 am, Saturday, July 24, 2021. 

This recreational fire restriction is in addition to the general outdoor burning prohibition that was implemented on June 25. According to Fire Marshal Dan Young this is a preventive measure to reduce the risk of grass or brush fires as a result of escaped campfires. 

This ban joins with the ban imposed by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources on their lands. 

“The ongoing hot, dry weather in addition to an unusually dry spring, has us concerned with how easy it is for a fire to be ignited by an escaped ember from a recreational fire. A small campfire can accidentally spread to adjacent properties very easily with our current dry conditions,” he said.

With no precipitation in the forecast and the expectation of temperatures in the 80’s and 90’s to continue, the ban will be in place until sufficient rainfall occurs to lower the risk. 

Creating a defensible space around a home helps prevent wildfires from spreading to a residence, or vice versa. Young recommends the following measures in both rural and urban areas:

  • Remove fuel
    • Within 3-5 feet of foundations, outbuildings, garages and sheds
    • Within 10 feet of a house
    • Under decks and porches
    • From gutters, eaves, porches and decks
  • Cut the lawn if it is brown. Dispose of debris and cuttings.
  • Prune trees so lowest branches are 6-10 feet above the ground.
  • Landscape with native and flame-resistant plants.

Self-contained camp stoves, which are not banned, are a safe and easy alternative for outdoor cooking. 

County seeks volunteers to write for and against statements for charter amendment measures - 07/22/21

Vancouver, Wash. – Each year, the Clark County Auditor’s Office publishes a voters’ pamphlet for the general election which is mailed to all households in Clark County. It includes candidate statements and photographs and local ballot measures with supporting and opposing statements written by citizen committees. 

A legislative body placing a measure on the ballot shall appoint a committee to write a supporting statement and another committee to write an opposing statement.

At its July 20, 2021, public hearing, the Clark County Council voted to place two charter amendment proposals on the Nov. 2, 2021, general election ballot. The county council is seeking volunteers to serve on committees to write a statement for and a statement opposing the measures. Each proposal would have one “for” committee and one “against” committee. 

Both measures relate to the charter’s language regarding initiative and referendum petitions. 

One proposed amendment would clarify language regarding procedures for processing initiative, mini-initiative and referendum petitions. If approved by a majority of voters, this amendment would:

  • Specify that the petition proposal must be filed with the Auditor;
  • Clarify certain terms, such as “petition;”
  • Specify when certain deadlines are triggered; 
  • Detail procedures for the Auditor to verify and canvass the names of the legal voters on the petition. 

A second proposed amendment would change charter language regarding circumstances in which a proposed initiative or referendum applied exclusively to unincorporated Clark County. Specifically: 

  • The individual filing the initiative or referendum must be a registered voter residing in unincorporated Clark County. 
  • Signatures gathered in support of the initiative or referendum must be from registered voters residing in Clark County. 
  • Only those registered voters residing in unincorporated Clark County would be eligible to vote on the initiative or referendum.

To see the ordinances relating to the proposals, visit https://clark.wa.gov/councilors/clark-county-council-meetings and follow the links to the July 20 hearing. 

Clark County residents who wish to be appointed to any of the statement for or statement against committees is asked to contact Kristin Davidson, County Manager’s Office, at istin.davidson@clark.wa.gov">Kristin.davidson@clark.wa.gov or by phone at (564) 397-4167. Please contact the county soon; the deadline is 5 p.m. Tuesday, July 27.

Council approves two charter propositions for general election ballot - 07/22/21

Vancouver, Wash. – The Clark County Council this week approved two proposed amendments to the county charter be placed on the November 2021 general election ballot. Both measures relate to the charter’s language regarding initiative and referendum petitions. 

One proposed amendment would clarify language regarding procedures for processing initiative, mini-initiative and referendum petitions. If approved by a majority of voters, this amendment would:

  • Specify that the petition proposal must be filed with the Auditor;
  • Clarify certain terms, such as “petition;”
  • Specify when certain deadlines are triggered; 
  • Detail procedures for the Auditor to verify and canvass the names of the legal voters on the petition. 

A second proposed amendment would change charter language regarding circumstances in which a proposed initiative or referendum applied exclusively to unincorporated Clark County. Specifically: 

  • The individual filing the initiative or referendum must be a registered voter residing in unincorporated Clark County. 
  • Signatures gathered in support of the initiative or referendum must be from registered voters residing in Clark County. 
  • Only those registered voters residing in unincorporated Clark County would be eligible to vote on the initiative or referendum.

The Clark County Charter allows the County Council to proposed amendments to the charter by enacting an ordinance to submit a proposed amendment to the voters at the next November general election occurring at least ninety days after enactment. A minimum of four affirmative votes of the council is required to enact such an ordinance. The council approved the related ordinances at its July 20, 2021, public hearing. 

The approved ordinances and a recording of the public hearing are on the county website at https://clark.wa.gov/councilors/clark-county-council-meetings

The Clark County Charter Review Commission also made recommended amendments to the county charter that will appear on the November general election ballot. Information on those proposed amendments are on the county’s website at https://clark.wa.gov/county-manager/meetings-agendas-archives

Call for Nominations: Commission on Aging's 2nd annual Silver Citizen Award - 07/22/21

Vancouver, Wash. – Clark County recognizes that older adults are valuable contributors to the vitality of this community. To encourage and support older adults for their contributions to their communities, the Clark County Commission on Aging has established a program to recognize older adults by means of an annual award typically presented at a Commission on Aging event.

The award recognizes the valuable contributions older adults make to the vitality of the community and is open to any county resident 65 years or older who has enhanced the community through their life’s work, engagement of others, volunteerism and or other impactful acts of service to the community for any age group. Service in any field of endeavor will be considered (e.g., education, radio, television, business, healthcare, art, music, journalism, faith-based, athletics, politics, volunteer service). A couple may receive the award jointly when both have been involved in service and various community endeavors.

All nominations must be received no later than 5 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021. Award criteria and nomination forms can be found on the Commission on Aging’s webpage at www.clark.wa.gov/aging

The Commission on Aging, supported by the Clark County Council, is a nine-member volunteer group that implements the Aging Readiness Plan and provides leadership addressing needs of aging community members. 

For more about the commission, visit www.clark.wa.gov/aging

County Council appoints Abigail Bartlett to open seat on District Court - 07/21/21

James Smith and Todd George invited for second interviews for Department 3 seat

Vancouver, Wash. – The Clark County Council this week appointed Commissioner Abigail Bartlett to serve as District Court Judge in Department 6. Bartlett will fill the position previously held by Judge John P. Hagensen who retired on June 30, 2021. 

Bartlett will have to run for election in 2022 in order to keep the seat. District Court judges serve four-year terms. All Clark County District Court judge positions will be up for election in 2022. 

The council had received several applications for the open seats in Department 6 and Department 3. Councilors selected four individuals for interviews held on July 20: Abigail Bartlett, James Smith, Todd George and Lisa Toth. 

The council invited Smith and George back for second interviews for the Department 3 seat vacated by Judge Darvin Zimmerman’s retirement on June 30. The virtual interviews are scheduled for noon Monday, July 26 and will be open to the public. To listen to the interviews on WebEx dial (408) 418-9388 and use the access code 1463 01 6262.

Abigail Bartlett has served as Clark County District Court Commissioner since her appointment in July 2017. Prior to that she was a Senior Deputy Prosecutor for the county’s Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. In that position, Bartlett served as Team Leader for the Juvenile Unit and later as the Unit Coordinator for the Elder Justice Center. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in international studies from the University of Washington and a Juris Doctor from Seattle University. 

All councilors thanked those who applied and noted that all the applicants were very well qualified. 

“This was an impressive list of candidates,” said County Chair Eileen Quiring O’Brien. “It was a pleasure to listen to everyone; we are in good hands.”

More information about District Court is on the county’s website at https://clark.wa.gov/district-court

Clark County Medical Examiner's Office - MEDIA RELEASE - 07/20/21

The following information is in response to a media request for information regarding a current death investigation by the Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office.

 

Date of Death: Found 07/19/2021

Location: Columbia River, Vancouver, WA

 

Decedent Name:  Kumar, Rodney R.

Decedent Age:  22 Yrs                

Residence:  Portland, OR

 

The opinions listed on the death certificate are as follows:

 

Cause of Death:  Pending

Manner of Death:  Pending

 

 

Reports and records of autopsies or postmortems shall be confidential as per RCW 68.50.105. No additional information is available for release from the Medical Examiner’s Office. Refer all other inquiries to the Vancouver Police Department.

 

 

Nikki J. Costa

Operations Manager

Housing Options Study and Action Plan advisory group to hold sixth meeting on July 27 - 07/20/21

Vancouver, Wash. – The Housing Options Study and Action Plan project’s purpose is to identify housing challenges within the unincorporated Vancouver Urban Growth Area and opportunities to encourage development of housing that is affordable to a variety of household incomes through the removal of regulatory barriers and/or implementation of other strategies.

The group’s sixth meeting is scheduled for 3 p.m. Tuesday, July 27, via Zoom. The meeting is open to the public and will be recorded.

For information on how to join and participate in the meeting, please visit https://clark.wa.gov/community-planning/housing-project-advisory-group.

At the meeting, the Project Advisory Group (PAG) will continue discussing and prioritizing strategies for the Housing Action Plan. This work is anticipated to continue for the next several meetings.

The Clark County Council and County Manager have appointed a volunteer PAG to provide input throughout the Housing Options Study and Action Plan project. The group represents a broad spectrum of interests including those most vulnerable to rising housing costs and displacement, people working in the housing industry, and parties responsible for housing-related regulations.

The group will utilize a consensus-based approach to creatively and collaboratively problem-solve issues regarding barriers in providing additional housing types in the unincorporated Vancouver Urban Growth Area. The group also will develop recommendations that will become part of the Housing Options Study and Action Plan. The recommendations will be reviewed and considered by the public, the Clark County Planning Commission and County Council.

Learn more about the project at www.clark.wa.gov/housingoptions.

County, city of Vancouver seek volunteers for homelessness policy group - 07/19/21

Vancouver, Wash. – The Clark County and city of Vancouver councils are recruiting for two volunteers to join a collaborative policy group addressing the issue of homelessness in the community known as the Joint Executive Group.

The recruitment is for individuals with lived experience with homelessness. Terms would be approximately 12 months with the exact term to be decided at a later date.

The county and the city approved a memorandum of agreement between the two jurisdictions in October 2020 to enable leaders from both organizations to collaborate on projects and initiatives that will address homelessness and its impacts within the county. The group will make homelessness policy recommendations to the county and city councils.

Regular meetings will be held at least once per quarter. Additional meetings may be called by majority request of the voting members at a time when quorum and notification requirements are able to be met.

Anyone interested in applying should send a résumé and letter of interest to Michell Pfenning, PO Box 5000, Vancouver, WA 98666-5000 or michelle.pfenning@clark.wa.gov.

Application deadline is 5 pm Friday, Aug. 13, 2021.

COVID-19 related rental assistance update - 07/15/21

Vancouver, Wash. – Clark County has implemented and currently operates eviction prevention rent assistance programs, especially to assist people impacted by the pandemic. These programs have provided an unprecedented $17,549,533.63 in financial assistance since August 2020 and are currently serving an average of 100 additional households per week by providing an average of $725,183 per week in financial assistance.

It is expected the county, working with providers will open spots for 800 additional households to receive rent assistance including arrears for landlords to apply on behalf of their tenants on Monday, July 19, at 9 a.m. Links and instructions to apply are below. 

Landlords may place tenants on rent assistance waitlist soon

Landlords may apply on behalf of their Clark County tenants beginning at 9 a.m. on Monday, July 19. All landlord applicants will receive a submission confirmation email. Tenants must be deemed eligible in order for assistance to be provided.

Small landlords (1-10 rental units): https://airtable.com/shrrKOIM977VYH0IH

Large landlords (11+ rental units): https://airtable.com/shrSRdDSAw0WSdh7w

Landlords without access to internet may call, (360) 695-9677 to refer tenants by phone.

Clark County continues to work with rental assistance providers to have the capacity to open additional rent assistance spots for tenants to apply as soon as possible and will provide application information when available via news release, website and social media posting, and the Council For The Homeless website.

It is important for landlords and tenants to understand that there are additional significant COVID-19 related rental assistance resources, including arrears, for low income households coming that will be made available to the community as capacity becomes available; and that based on federal and state funding requirements, any payments on behalf of tenants can only be made if the tenant remains in the unit when the payment is made.

Legal resource for tenants

Tenants seeking information about their rights should contact the Clark County Volunteer Lawyers Program: (360) 334-4007 or NW Justice Project’s CLEAR program at nwjustice.org/get-legal-help or (888) 201-1014 between 9:15 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. Youth under 24 may contact the Legal Counsel for Youth and Children, (260) 494-0323 ext. 715.

Clark County seeks volunteers for Law and Justice Council - 07/15/21

Vancouver, Wash. – Clark County Council is seeking applicants for two seats on the Clark County Law and Justice Council.  

  • One position will be filled by a resident living in the unincorporated area of Clark County
  • One Position will be filled by a resident living in an incorporated city of Clark County  

Residents from throughout the unincorporated and incorporated areas of the county are encouraged to apply.

The Law and Justice Council is established by law to help coordinate activities of the local criminal justice system and develop a community corrections plan for local and state corrections services in the county.  

Meetings are currently held at 8 a.m. on the second Thursday of every other month via the online platform WebEx. 

To apply, submit a brief letter of interest and résumé to Michelle Pfenning, County Manager’s Office, PO Box 5000, Vancouver 98666-5000. Applications can also be emailed to michelle.pfenning@clark.wa.gov.  

Application deadline is 5 pm Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021. 

County council meetings open to the public beginning Aug. 1 - 07/15/21

Vancouver, Wash. – The Clark County Council at its July 14 meeting decided to re-open its public meetings to in-person attendance beginning Aug. 1. The first council meeting that will be open to the public will be the Tuesday, Aug. 3 public hearing that begins at 10 a.m.

The council’s public meetings will have a hybrid approach where council members, staff and attendees may either participate in person or remotely using the WebEx format. Meeting agendas, participation instructions and a public comment form are on the county’s website at https://clark.wa.gov/councilors/clark-county-council-meetings.

Other county boards and commissions may also be open to the public in a hybrid format. Please refer to the county’s website for specific meeting information.

County employees and visitors entering county buildings are subject to Washington State guidance regarding face coverings. Anyone who is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 is not required to wear a mask. Those not fully vaccinated must wear masks in county buildings.

Clark County Natural Garden Tour offers virtual garden visits, interviews with gardeners - 07/13/21

Vancouver, Wash. – Clark County residents can learn how to improve their garden’s health, as well as the health of the community, in this year’s virtual Natural Garden Tour. The virtual event allows people to visit local gardens maintained using earth-friendly techniques and hear from host gardeners.

The 2021 Natural Garden Tour features an interactive virtual story map that includes tours of the properties and highlights 13 sustainable gardeners in video interviews. The virtual story map is available on the Clark County Green Neighbors website beginning Sunday, July 18.

Clark County Green Neighbors is also hosting a Gardener Panel to introduce the story map and provide an opportunity for community members to ask the gardeners questions about their techniques. This virtual event is 6-7:15 pm Monday, July 19. Register for the event on the Green Neighbors website.

The Natural Garden Tour is an annual opportunity for county residents to draw inspiration and glean from gardeners who use natural gardening techniques, like water conservation, native plant selection, use of compost, wildlife habitat creation, pollinator plant selection and most importantly skipping synthetic chemicals.

This year’s tour features eight new and five returning gardens. Visitors can move through the story map at their own pace viewing features that are of most interest to them. The annual tour is a great way for local gardeners to learn how to make their yard a healthy place for people and pets while protecting waterways and wildlife.

For more information about the Natural Garden Tour, visit the Clark County Green Neighbors website.

Commission to hear about food, aging, and health - 07/13/21

Vancouver, Wash. – The Commission on Aging will hear about the importance food plays in chronic illness, mental and physical health. The meeting will include guest experts and a discussion about what our community can do to better meet the nutritional needs of our older community members, both during a global pandemic and in less stressful times.

The discussion will take place during the Commission on Aging’s monthly meeting at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 21. Meetings are currently in an online format.

Meeting guests include:

  • Dr. Neal Barnard, President, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
  • Suzanne Washington, CEO, Meals on Wheels People

For information on how to join and participate in a commission online meeting, please visit https://clark.wa.gov/community-planning/commission-aging-meetings.

The Commission on Aging, supported by the Clark County Council, is a nine-member volunteer group that implements the Aging Readiness Plan and provides leadership addressing needs of aging community members. For more about the commission, please visit www.clark.wa.gov/aging.

Commission meetings are carried on CVTV Channel 23/323 and online at www.cvtv.org. To see replay times, go to www.cvtv.org.

Large shelter at Lewisville Regional Park
Large shelter at Lewisville Regional Park
Clark County Public Works opens picnic shelter reservations for 2021, 2022 beginning July 13 - 07/13/21

Vancouver, Wash. – Clark County Public Works will reopen picnic shelter reservations for the remainder of the 2021 season, and most of the 2022 season, effective Tuesday, July 13.

Park goers can reserve their favorite picnic shelters at Clark County parks between Aug. 1 and Sept. 30, 2021. Those planning in advance can now make their reservations up to 12 months in advance for events held between May 1, and Sept. 30, 2022.

Prices for shelter reservations range between $50 and $150 a day depending on size, location, and amenities. Shelter reservations are available at the following Clark County Parks:

Reservations can be made up to 12 months in advance through Clark County Public Works’ online reservation system or by calling 564-397-2285. In person reservations are not available at this time. The online reservation site can also be used to purchase the 2021 Annual Parking Pass, which is valid through Dec. 31, 2021.

County leadership made the difficult decision to pause shelter reservations in summer of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Clark County was one of many jurisdictions around the county and state that put reservations on pause.

                                                                                            ###

Clark County Medical Examiner's Office - MEDIA RELEASE - 07/08/21

Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office MEDIA RELEASE      

                                          

The following information is in reference to a death investigated by the Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office.

 

This individual died on 07/06/2021 in Vancouver, WA.

 

The name of the decedent: Michael Neil Brachais        Age: 45 Yrs           

The decedent was a resident of: city of permanent residence is not know at this time.

The opinions listed on the death certificate are as follows:

          Cause of death:    Multiple gunshot wounds

          Manner of death:   Homicide

No additional information is available for release from the Medical Examiner’s Office. Refer all other inquiries to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

 

Media release issue date: Prepared 07/08/2021

 

Martha J. Burt, MD

Clark County Medical Examiner

Vancouver, Washington

Committee members to write opposing statements sought for County Charter Amendment measures - 07/08/21

Vancouver, Wash. – Each year, the Clark County Auditor’s Office publishes a voters’ pamphlet for the primary election and mails it to all households in Clark County. It includes candidate statements and photographs and local ballot measures with supporting and opposing statements written by citizen committees. A legislative body placing a measure on the ballot shall appoint a committee to write a supporting statement and another committee to write an opposing statement.

At its July 7, 2021, regular meeting, the Clark County Charter Review Commission voted to place seven Charter amendment proposals on the Nov. 2, 2021, general election ballot. Committees have been appointed to write statements supporting the measures, but the Commission has not been able to identify people to write statements against the measures.

These measures are:

  • Resolution 2021-1, making County Executive Elected offices nonpartisan
  • Resolution 2021-2, making County Councilor Offices nonpartisan
  • Resolution 2021-3, providing for a five-district County Council
  • Resolution 2021-4, changing the frequency of Charter reviews and the length of Charter Review commissioner terms
  • Resolution 2021-5, requiring adoption of a new ethics code and a new autonomous review process
  • Resolution 2021-6, to establish a diversity, equity and inclusion office and commission
  • Resolution 2021-7, minor corrections and technical clarifications to the Charter

To review the complete texts of the resolutions, visit https://clark.wa.gov/county-manager/meetings-agendas-archives and follow the link to July 7, 2021, meeting.

Any Clark County resident who wishes to be appointed to any of the “Statement Against” committees to write an opposing statement to the measures is asked to contact Kristin Davidson, County Manager’s Office, at istin.davidson@clark.wa.gov">Kristin.davidson@clark.wa.gov or by phone at (564) 397-4167. Please contact the county soon; the deadline is 3 p.m. Wednesday, July 21.

Charter Review Commission forwards amendment measures for November ballot - 07/08/21

Commissioners are available for speaking engagements to discuss proposed changes

Vancouver, Wash. – The 15-member Clark County Charter Review Commission, elected in November 2020 to review the county’s home rule charter, at their July 7, 2021, regular meeting voted to place seven Charter amendment proposals on the November 2, 2021, general election ballot.

These measures are:

  • Resolution 2021-1, which would make County Executive Elected offices nonpartisan
  • Resolution 2021-2, which would make County Councilor offices nonpartisan
  • Resolution 2021-3, providing for a change to a five-district County Council
  • Resolution 2021-4, to change the frequency of Charter reviews and the length of Charter Review commissioner terms
  • Resolution 2021-5, requiring adoption of a new ethics code and a new autonomous review process
  • Resolution 2021-6, to establish a diversity, equity and inclusion office and commission
  • Resolution 2021-7, providing for minor corrections and technical clarifications to the Charter

To review the complete texts of the resolutions, visit https://clark.wa.gov/county-manager/meetings-agendas-archives and follow the link to July 7, 2021, meeting.

Each amendment measure requires a majority approval by the voters of Clark County in the November general election in order to take effect.

“These amendment proposals are the result of an extensive, and intensive amount of work by the Charter Review Commission members, as well as a substantial amount of input from the community. We are proud to be able to present these amendment proposals to the voters of Clark County for their consideration in November,” stated Commission co-chairs Kim Harless and Chuck Green.

Charter Review commissioners available for speaking engagements

As mentioned in an earlier news release, members of the Charter Review Commission are available to visit organizations to discuss the review process and the proposed changes. Commissioners are ready to meet with neighborhood associations, religious groups, community organizations and others.

To have a commission speak to your group, submit a speaker request form on the county’s website.

Clark County Permit Center open to in-person appointments - 07/06/21

Vancouver, Wash. – As part of the governor’s Washington Ready reopening plan, the Clark County Permit Center is now open for appointment-only, in-person services.

Anyone wishing to make an appointment in the county’s Permit Center can send a request to mitservicesappt@clark.wa.gov">permitservicesappt@clark.wa.gov. Permit Center staff will respond to inquiries within 24 hours to schedule an appointment.

Appointments will be for 30 minutes and can be used for applicants to ask questions about their projects. Applicants also can schedule one-hour appointments for new submittals and drop off appointment times for revisions and the LEAN Program.

Permit Center customers may still take advantage of online services at https://clark.wa.gov/community-development/permit-center. Customers can register and apply for many types of permits via the online portal including:

  • Building
  • Fire
  • Land use review
  • Development engineering
  • Wetland/habitat
  • Public Works forestry
  • Public Works development inspection

“We are pleased to be able to offer in-person appointments in the Permit Center to augment our convenient on-line services portal,” said Permit Center Manager April Furth. “We look forward to assisting customers by answering their questions and helping them through the county’s permitting process.”

UPDATE: Auditor, Assessor and Treasurer open Joint Lobby to in-person services - 07/02/21

Please note: The Joint Lobby opens at 9 am. An earlier release had an incorrect opening time. 

Vancouver, Wash. – As part of the governor’s Washington Ready reopening plan, the Clark County Auditor, Assessor and Treasurer have reopened their Joint Lobby to in-person services beginning Wednesday, July 7.

The Joint Lobby will be open to walk-in customers on Mondays and Wednesdays and for appointments only on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Office hours are 9 am to 4:30 pm. The Joint Lobby is located on the second floor of the county’s Public Service Center at 1300 Franklin St.

Anyone visiting or working in Clark County buildings who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 are not required to wear a face covering.

Staff in the Joint Lobby provide a wide variety of services for the three offices including:

  • Marriage licenses
  • Property tax payment receipt
  • Property tax relief programs
  • Document recording
  • Real estate excise tax receipt

Seniors and persons with disabilities applying for property tax exemptions and deferrals are encouraged to take advantage of making a scheduled appointment in lieu of visiting the Joint Lobby on open walk-in days.

Customers still can access online processes and services for all three offices, and a secure processing drop box is located on the first floor of the Public Service Center. For online services, go to these websites:

Clark County Public Works seeks applicants to serve on Camp Bonneville Advisory Committees - 07/02/21

Vancouver, Wash. – Clark County Public Works is seeking applicants to fill up to 24 available positions on two Camp Bonneville Advisory Committees.

With approval from the Clark County Council, Public Works established two advisory committees to inform and make recommendations for the Master Planning process for Camp Bonneville.

The Technical Advisory Committee will consist of eight to 12 members with expertise and background in:

  • Park, community or landscape design or development*
  • Architecture*
  • Safety and/or risk
  • Munitions and military expertise
  • Watershed management
  • Fire management
  • Ordnance control
  • Contamination and clean-up sites

The Policy Advisory Committee will also consist of eight to 12 members who have a vested interest in open spaces and recreation in Clark County and near the Camp Bonneville site. Members will be representative of:

  • The Clark County Planning Commission
  • The Parks Advisory Board
  • Neighborhood residents near Camp Bonneville
  • At-large Clark County residents
  • The Clark County Council
  • Public Works staff will facilitate meetings and will not be voting members

 

Public Works staff will lead the advisory committees through a minimum of ten meetings over the course of the Master Planning process, which is expected to take approximately two years. Committee members will assist with selecting consultant(s) for the Master Planning process and will provide recommendations and guidance on park design, park elements, public outreach, safety and more.

To apply for a position on one of the Advisory Committees, please send a resumé and letter of interest detailing your specific qualifications and indicating the committee for which you wish to apply. Application materials should be sent to Michelle Pfenning, County Manager’s Office, at Michelle.Pfenning@clark.wa.gov. Applications also may be mailed to P.O. Box 5000, Vancouver, WA 98666-5000.

Application deadline is noon, Friday, July 30, 2021. Applications will be reviewed by the Public Works Director, Parks and Lands Division Manager and Communications Manager. Top candidates from that review will be sent to the Clark County Manager for final approval.

Camp Bonneville consists of more than 3,700 acres in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains and was previously used as a training camp for various branches of the military. The property is largely undeveloped with more than half of its six square miles forested. Approximately 800 acres at Camp Bonneville will be dedicated as a regional park area—the focus of the Master Planning process. The Army has transferred the property to Clark County under a conservation conveyance. The Reuse Plan identifies the property reuse as recreational with nine specific components:

  • Regional park
  • Law enforcement training center
  • Rustic retreat center/outdoor school
  • Native American cultural center
  • Clark College environmental education
  • Trails and nature area
  • FBI firing range
  • Timber resource management area
  • Habitat restoration

Learn more by visiting our website: https://clark.wa.gov/public-works/camp-bonneville. You can also find real-time information on the Public Works Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts, and on NextDoor.

* If a member selected for this committee is employed with a firm that is participating in the RFP process, the firm will be invalidated in the process to eliminate conflicts of interest.

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Charter Review Commission appoints Bridget McLeman to open at-large seat - 07/02/21

Vancouver, Wash. – The Clark County Charter Review Commission at its June 30, 2021, meeting appointed Sherwood neighborhood resident Bridget McLeman to fill an open at-large seat on the commission.

The term begins immediately and ends Dec. 31, 2021, at the latest. The position is one of the three at-large positions on the commission.

McLeman’s work experience includes serving as the Regional Director of the Children’s Home Society. She is an active volunteer serving on the Clark County Community Action Advisory Board; Sherwood Neighborhood Association; Neighborhood Association Council of Clark County and Chair of the Outsiders Inn Board. McLeman earned a bachelor’s degree in organizational development, a master’s degree in social foundations of education and a PhD in education policy.

The 15-member Charter Review Commission is tasked with reviewing the county’s home rule charter approved by voters in November 2014. This will be the first review of the county’s charter. Any changes to the charter that the review commission recommends would go to a countywide vote in a general election.

The commission meets 5-7 pm on Wednesdays. Meetings are held virtually on Webex and shown on CVTV channel 23/323 and www.cvtv.org.

Information on submitting public comment to the commission and participating in public comment during a WebEx meeting is on the county’s website at https://clark.wa.gov/county-manager/meetings-agendas-archives.

More information on the commission is on Facebook at  https://www.facebook.com/clarkcountycharterreview2021.

Clark County seeks input from cyclists, pedestrians as it launches new "Safe Roads 4 All" campaign - 07/02/21

Vancouver, Wash. – The Clark County Bike and Pedestrian Committee is seeking public input to help identify and prioritize safety improvements for cyclists in Clark County. Clark County residents are asked to take a 17-question survey that will help Clark County Public Works and Public Health identify areas and projects to increase cyclist safety throughout the county. The survey opens on July 1, 2021, and will close Jan. 1, 2022.

Public Works and Public Health have joined together to launch the “Safe Roads 4 All” campaign. Designed to raise awareness of bike safety and to promote public health, this campaign will educate Clark County residents on how to ride safely, how much space to provide for cyclist safety, and new stop-sign laws for cyclists.

Almost one-in-four adults in the United States do not engage in physical activity, greatly contributing to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic health conditions. Public Works and Public Health are working together to encourage Clark County residents to increase their physical activity by walking or biking, and to provide safe and convenient infrastructure for them to do so.

The survey is available in English, Russian and Spanish.

Learn more by visiting our website https://clark.wa.gov/public-works/overview.

Stormwater Partners announces student video contest winners - 07/01/21

Vancouver, Wash. – Stormwater Partners is proud to announce the winning entries for its first annual Student Video Contest. More than 80 Clark County middle and high school students submitted videos for the contest. One $500 first place and one $100 honorable-mention prize has been awarded for each of the following categories:

· Clean Water Actions Long Video – $500 to Melia Ballantyne and $100 to Hana Feldheger

· Clean Water Actions Short Video – $500 to Maia Rodriguez and Olivia Frizzell and $100 to Autumn Hergert

· Community Storytelling – $500 to Shelby Inman and $100 to Amanda Harper

· BIPOC Filmmaker – $500 to Abby Cariño and $100 to Claire Hagele

· People's Choice – $500 to Hana Feldheger and $100 to Maia Rodriguez and Olivia Frizzell

Winning videos will be promoted on social media and at movie in the park events this summer. The community can see the videos on the Stormwater Partners YouTube channel.

Stormwater Partners launched the student video contest in February 2021 to encourage students to think about their impacts on, and connections to, local streams. Students were asked to show their creativity by creating 25- or 55-second videos demonstrating their connection to water, or to promote clean water actions. Videos were submitted by 87 students from 14 Clark County middle and high schools. Most videos came from Gaiser Middle School where a teacher used this contest as an assignment to engage students about real world issues.

Stormwater Partners would like to thank the following sponsors for their contributions:

· HHPR Inc. (Harper Houf Peterson Righellis Inc.)

· Herrera

· Mead & Hunt

· Northwest Watersheds LLC

· Olson Environmental LLC

· Otak

· PBS Engineering and Environmental, Inc.

Stormwater Partners of Southwest Washington is a coalition of local jurisdictions and organizations including Clark County and the cities of Vancouver, Battle Ground, Camas and Washougal. Learn more at www.stormwaterpartners.com.

 

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Clark County Medical Examiner's Office - MEDIA RELEASE - 06/30/21

The following information is in response to a media request for information regarding deaths investigated by the Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The CCMEO has received a number of inquiries regarding potential heat related deaths within Clark County. Recent high environmental temperatures undoubtedly have played a role in exacerbating many detrimental health and social conditions throughout our community and have likely contributed to the general increase in the number of deaths in Clark County over the last several days. The investigation of heat-related deaths requires a thorough understanding of the circumstances leading up to a person’s death, their medical and social history, an examination of the body, and various laboratory studies (including toxicology) that can take several weeks to months.

The National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME) established guidelines and criteria for certifying heat-related deaths, both as a direct cause and as a contributory cause, following the July 1995 heat wave that contributed to over 700 deaths. These guidelines, in conjunction with thorough investigations, will provide the most accurate reflection of how the extreme heat has affected our community. It will take several months to determine the full extent the most recent heat wave has had on deaths in our community as the investigations are ongoing and deaths continue to be reported that may be heat-related. At the time of this report, we estimate that approximately 5-10 deaths within greater Clark County may be related to excessive heat.

Reports and records of autopsies or postmortems shall be confidential as per RCW 68.50.105.

 

Martha J. Burt, MD

Clark County Medical Examiner

Clark County bans sale, use of fireworks - 06/29/21

Vancouver, Wash. – Clark County has banned the sale and use of fireworks in the unincorporated area beginning today, Tuesday, June 29 through midnight July 4 when use of fireworks would normally end. The county is implementing the ban pursuant to Clark County Code which provides that the Clark County council chair, after consulting with the fire marshal, may prohibit the discharge and sale of all fireworks during periods of extreme fire danger. The county has met the established criteria outlined in the Clark County Code, which can result in extreme fire danger.

More specifically, Washington State Department of Natural Resources reported data on the following metrics outlined in the Clark County Code:

  • The burning index is extreme as determined for the entire county; and
  • The fuel moisture content of the ten (10) hour fuels is below eight (8) anywhere in the county; and
  • The energy release component is in the ninetieth percentile.

“We’ve had an unusually dry spring for the Pacific Northwest,” said Clark County Fire Marshal Dan Young. “That coupled with a record-breaking heat wave led to conditions that increase our fire danger risk in Clark County.”

“We recognize that this decision will cause some hardship to some residents’ celebration plans as well as businesses and non-profit organizations that sell fireworks,” said County Council Chair Eileen Quiring O’Brien. “We empathize with all who are affected, but we must follow county codes. They are in place to protect the welfare and safety of Clark County residents.”

Other local jurisdictions also have banned fireworks due to fire danger including the cities of Battleground, Ridgefield, La Center, Camas and Washougal. Vancouver has an existing ban on fireworks within its city limits.

The ban for the Fourth of July holiday does not affect the discharge of fireworks on Dec. 31 from 6 pm to 1 am as allowed in county code.

Tower Mall COVID-19 vaccination site to close early Tuesday - 06/28/21

Vancouver, Wash. – The COVID-19 vaccination site at Tower Mall will close early on Tuesday, June 29 due to continued high temperatures. Tuesday is the final day of operations at Tower Mall.

The Tower Mall vaccination site, 5403 E. Mill Plain Blvd., will operate 8:30 am to noon on Tuesday. The site offers drive-thru and walk-up options and is accessible by C-Tran bus route 37. Appointments are not needed.

Pfizer vaccine is administered at the Tower Mall site. Those who receive a first dose at Tower Mall can go to a local Safeway or Albertsons pharmacy, or another local pharmacy or medical office offering Pfizer vaccine, to receive a second dose in three weeks. Safeway and Albertsons pharmacies are now offering walk-in COVID-19 vaccinations.

Application period now open for 2022 Historical Promotion Grants - 06/28/21

Vancouver, Wash. – The Clark County Council is accepting applications from local organizations for grants that encourage historic preservation and programs, including preservation of historic documents.

The Historical Promotion Grants program is designed to increase awareness and education to better preserve, exhibit, and/or interpret local history and historic preservation.

Applicants must be either a non-profit organization or public entity within the boundaries of Clark County that promotes our local history. Applicants also must either operate or own a museum or similar historical institution or perform educative, interpretive, or similar activities.

Applications, grant guidelines, and other information are available online at www.clark.wa.gov/community-planning/historical-promotion-grants-program or by emailing historicpreservation@clark.wa.gov.

The deadline for submitting completed applications is 5 pm, Friday, Sept. 24, 2021.

The Historic Preservation Commission will review applications in the fall and submit recommendations to the County Council in November. Grants will be awarded in December and grant funds will be available in January 2022.

County council hearing continuance on Buildable Lands will be open for public comment - 06/25/21

Vancouver, Wash. – The Clark County Council hearing continuance on Buildable Lands will be open for public comment in order to consider recommendations from the Buildable Lands Project Advisory Committee and other interested stakeholders to update the Vacant Buildable Lands Model (VBLM.) This tool is used to estimate land capacity in Clark County.

The Tuesday, June 29 hearing begins at 10am. This is a continuation of the Tuesday, June 15 hearing and can be viewed at www.cvtv.org.  Meeting materials for both hearings can be found on the Council’s meeting page at https://clark.wa.gov/councilors/clark-county-council-meetings.

Meetings are closed to the public until further notice, but the council encourages participation in the following ways:

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Lane closures on Northeast Manley Road begin Monday, June 28, for third culvert replacement - 06/25/21

Vancouver, Wash. – Regular drivers along the Northeast Manley Road between Northeast 244th Street and Northeast 249th Street, can expect continued lane closures as contractors with Clark County Public Works begin replacement of the third and final culvert beneath the roadway.

Crews will close a section of Northeast Manley Road on Northeast 92nd Avenue between Northeast 244th Street and Northeast 249th Street. Approximately 500 feet of the roadway will be closed.

The closure is scheduled to remain in place until no later than Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. However, the work is weather dependent and may extend the closure date.

Drivers should continue to choose an alternate route during the closure and adhere to posted detour signage while in the project area. During construction, local access will still be maintained for residences, businesses, and emergency vehicles.

Clark County Public Works’ contractor, Lee Contractors of Battle Ground, Wash., completed most of their construction activities in the 2020 construction season. They will be continuing work to replace the third existing, undersized, failing culvert, with a new culvert structure. The new structure will improve fish passage and allow debris to flow through the structure without causing blockages. Construction work will also include adding rock for bank stabilization, along with other stream restoration work, completing the paving of Northeast Manley Road between Northeast 244th Street to Northeast 82nd Avenue, and replacing and extending guardrail as needed.

All contracted work is expected to be completed fall of 2021

Stay up-to-date with the latest traffic impacts by visiting our website: https://www.clark.wa.gov/public-works/construction-traffic-delays. You can also find real-time information on the Public Works Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts, and on NextDoor.

 

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