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News Releases
Vancouver's Columbia Street paving project starts week of June 21 - 06/17/21

A City of Vancouver project to pave Columbia Street, Mill Plain Boulevard to 45th Street, will get underway the week of June 21, weather permitting.

The city’s contractor, Granite Construction of Vancouver, will begin the project by removing the existing traffic circle at 24th Street, repairing the underlying road base where needed, and grinding off the top few inches of existing pavement along Columbia Street.

Typically, paving with hot mix asphalt follows about three to seven days after grinding. In the interim, people will be able to drive on Columbia Street, but should be prepared to slow down on the rough surface. People traveling on motorcycles and bicycles should plan ahead and take a different route if at all possible.

The actual paving of Columbia Street, from Mill Plain Boulevard north, is currently expected to begin the week of June 28 and be completed about mid-July, weather and construction conditions permitting. After paving, six speed tables will be installed at various locations along the project corridor to help calm and slow traffic on Columbia Street.

Construction hours are generally 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, but may be extended to 8 p.m. and/or include weekends if needed.

Message boards will be posted to alert travelers to construction activity. Lane changes and closures can be expected where work is occurring, along with detours and delays. No parking signs will be posted along Columbia Street at least 24 hours in advance of coming pavement work. Vehicles left on the street where parking is posted as prohibited will be towed at the owner’s expense. 

The paving project on Columbia Street, Mill Plain Boulevard to 45th Street, is part of the city's 2021 Pavement Management Program. This year’s program also includes microsurfacing of Columbia Street from Mill Plain Boulevard south to Columbia Way. Ongoing updates about these Columbia Street construction activities are being shared through a variety of city communications channels and posted on the City of Vancouver's website at

After paving and microsurfacing are completed, Columbia Street will be restriped to separate bike lanes and driving lanes in keeping with the city’s Mobility Project, approved in early 2020 to provide a safe, usable north-south westside bike route for all ages. On-street parking will be removed from both sides of Columbia Street north of Mill Plain Boulevard. South of Mill Plain, the Mobility Project will result in the removal of about 160 parking spaces, while preserving on-street parking adjacent to the Veterans Assistance Center and providing a dedicated loading zone. 

Installation of other Mobility Project features will follow. These include low-profile bike/vehicle lane separators, traffic signal improvements that allow pedestrians more time to cross key intersections, more visible ladder-style crosswalks, new streetlights, and more.

As part of the Mobility Project, the city will be offering technical assistance for impacted residents seeking to create off-street parking on their properties. City staff will also develop a pilot program to provide nearby designated ADA parking spaces for eligible, directly impacted residents for use with an ADA parking permit. Information about the Mobility Project is available at Questions about that project can be emailed to">

Vancouver’s Pavement Management Program is investing about $10.5 million in improving pavement conditions throughout the community in 2021. Approximately 30 neighborhoods in the city will see some type of pavement management work this summer. 

There are more than 1,900 lanes miles of paved streets in Vancouver. Streets are evaluated annually to determine the most cost-effective methods to extend pavement life and provide better driving conditions. When streets begin to fail, they fail quickly and the cost to repair them increases dramatically. Keeping good streets in good condition provides the most cost-effective and efficient use of available resources.

Information, schedules and a map of citywide pavement projects for 2021 is available through the Pavement Management Program webpage at Please note that schedules are subject to change, depending upon weather and construction conditions and materials.

Friday Night Movies in the Parks
Friday Night Movies in the Parks
Summer in the city: movies and neighborhood events are on; concerts canceled - 06/14/21

Vancouver, Washington – After a yearlong hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Vancouver Parks and Recreation’s Free Friday Night Movies in the Parks will return this summer from July 9 through Aug. 27.

Vancouver Parks and Recreation will also introduce new Party in the Parks neighborhood events this summer. The summer concert series have been canceled this year.

Free Friday Night Movies in the Parks

Start the weekend off right with Vancouver Parks and Recreation’s Free Friday Night Movies in the Parks, presented by HAPO Community Credit Union and Country Financial. Movies begin at dusk and are family friendly and closed captioned. Bring blankets and lawn chairs to enjoy big screen entertainment safely outdoors.

  • July 9: Trolls World Tour (PG) at Fruit Valley Park (3200 Fruit Valley Rd.)
  • July 16: Goonies (PG) at Fisher Basin Park (Southeast 192nd Ave. and Mill Plain Blvd.)
  • July 23: Raya and the Last Dragon (PG) at Edgewood Park (600 Edwards Lane)
  • July 30: The Croods: A New Age (PG) at Fort Vancouver Historic Site (612 E. Reserve St.)
  • Aug. 6: Wonder Woman 1984 (PG-13) at Washington School Park (2908 S St.)
  • Aug. 13: Frozen II (PG) at Hearthwood Park (801 N.E. Hearthwood Blvd.)
  • Aug. 20: Onward (PG) at Bagley Community Park (4607 Plomondon St.)
  • Aug. 27: Scoob! (PG) at Oakbrook Park (3103 N.E. 99th Ave.)

Learn more about Free Friday Night Movies at

Party in the Parks Neighborhood Events

Party in the Parks is a series of free, smaller-scale gatherings designed to help neighbors connect and have fun while enjoying their local parks. Vancouver Parks and Recreation will offer music, games and crafts for the whole family at eight neighborhood parks this summer.

In an effort to serve the most people while ensuring space for physical distancing, each of the selected parks will host two parties over the span of one week. The free Party in the Parks events will run from 4 to 8 p.m. and attendees are encouraged to bring blankets, chairs and picnic meals to enjoy during the festivities.

Party in the Parks locations will be announced one week before the scheduled events with signs at the selected parks and communication through neighborhood associations and the Nextdoor social network. The events are sponsored by IQ Credit Union.

To sign up to receive email notification of Party in the Parks events coming to your neighborhood, visit

Summer Concerts Canceled

The city has decided to cancel its annual Six to Sunset and Noon Rhythms concerts at Esther Short Park and its Sunday Sounds at Columbia Tech Center this summer. The advanced planning, hiring, volunteer coordination and fundraising needed to support the large scale of these summer concerts has not been possible this year due to reduced staffing levels in the Parks and Recreation Department caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The city hopes to see those concerts return in 2022.


Attached Media Files: Friday Night Movies in the Parks
Progress report on development of new Transportation System Plan to be presented at June 14 city council workshop - 06/10/21

Vancouver, Washington—Vancouver City Council will get an update from staff on the development of the city’s long-term 20-year vision for Vancouver’s entire transportation system at a workshop at 4 p.m. Monday, June 14.

The comprehensive transportation system planning project, also known as Vancouver Moves, examines travel conditions for all users of the city's transportation system, including those who drive, walk, bicycle, use mobility aids, ride transit or deliver freight.

At the workshop, city staff will establish how the updated Transportation System Plan will reflect the council’s core values of equity, safety, sustainability and climate action. They will also provide an update on the work done so far, including the existing conditions analysis and “Vancouver Moves” community engagement efforts, and discuss next steps.

Community members can watch the workshop live or on demand at Council workshops and meetings continue to be held remotely.

The updated Transportation System Plan creates a transportation vision for 2040. The plan’s framework will analyze current and projected transportation conditions and outline projects and policies that will help the city make strategic investments that allow us to move more people on our roadways as the population grows. It will reflect the community’s values and needs for traveling and moving goods and services, and includes all modes of transportation, from walking, biking and public transit to cars and commercial trucking.

“The city is growing and most of its land is already built out,” explained Rebecca Kennedy, deputy director of the city’s Community and Economic Development Department. “Widening streets is expensive and in many cases impossible due to the impacts it has on nearby homes and businesses. Instead, we need to look at new ways to carry more people more efficiently using our existing street infrastructure.”

Vancouver’s Transportation System Plan is part of the city’s larger Comprehensive Plan, a coordinated effort required by the state’s Growth Management Act to guide land use and zoning for the entire city. Land use and transportation decisions naturally go hand in hand because how an area is developed, whether it’s a busy commercial district or a single-family residential neighborhood, dictates resulting transportation needs. The city’s current Transportation System Plan was adopted in 2004.

Project staff anticipates the updated plan will be completed by end of 2022. After the June 14 council workshop, next steps include developing the goals and values that will guide the plan, establishing policies for future transportation investments, and identifying priority routes for each transportation mode. Throughout this process, the city will continue to offer a variety of opportunities for the community to get involved, provide input and help shape the plan.

To learn more about the Transportation System Plan update, stay up to date on the project, and find out how to get involved, visit


Vancouver Fire Marshal issues recreational burn ban - 06/10/21

Vancouver, Washington—Due to extremely dry conditions, Vancouver Fire Marshal Heidi Scarpelli has issued a total ban on recreational burning, effective at 12:01 a.m. Friday, June 11 for the city of Vancouver.

The burning ban is based on weather conditions and community fire safety needs. It will likely remain in effect throughout the summer months or until weather and fire danger conditions greatly improve. Citations may be issued to those who violate the order. An update will be provided when the recreational burn ban is lifted.

These types of fires are prohibited during the ban:

  • Recreational fires and bonfires
  • Campfires
  • Fires in outdoor fireplaces, fire pits and chimney-type devices

Cooking outdoors in propane or charcoal barbecues approved for that type of use is still allowed during the burning ban. Cooking and heating fires in unmanaged situations, such as homeless camps, are illegal under city ordinance and will be extinguished.

“The risk for fire is extremely high and state officials have said that this year’s wildfire season has the potential to be record-breaking,” said Vancouver Fire Marshal Heidi Scarpelli. “It is vital that everyone be extra vigilant about fire safety during this time. In addition to not using any recreational fires, we also ask that smokers never put out their cigarettes in bark mulch or planters or toss lit cigarettes out car windows.”

While the recreational burn ban is in place, all fires will be illegal within the city limits. Community members are encouraged to call 9-1-1 and report any fire-related activity so it can be promptly extinguished by the fire department.

Those who violate the recreational burn ban may be subject to a fire code citation and a $500 fine, which may include criminal penalties.

Learn more about fire and life safety prevention at


Vancouver City Council previews $107.9 million proposed supplemental budget - 06/08/21

Vancouver, Washington—Vancouver City Council was presented with a preview of the city’s first supplemental budget of the year at a June 7 workshop. A first reading of the supplemental budget will take place at the June 14 regular council meeting, followed by a public hearing June 21.

Supplemental budgets reflect adjustments made each year to show changes in revenues and expenditures that occur after the biennium budget is adopted. The city council adopted the 2021-22 $1.3 billion budget in November 2020.

The expenditure increases for the city’s operating and capital funds proposed in the supplemental budget total $107.9 million. An increase of $50.7 million is aligned with recommended changes in the operating budget, with the remaining increase of $57.2 million representing changes in capital projects and supporting funding transfers.

The first supplemental budget of 2021 primarily includes administrative items, such as bond refinancing, carryforwards of project funding from 2020, grants related to stimulus support, and one-time investments that are now possible from an increase in revenues that were initially unexpected due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The city’s financial position is strong, and we are pleased to have a positive outlook with better than expected revenues,” said Vancouver Chief Financial Officer Natasha Ramras. “The city acted conservatively when the pandemic hit to ensure stability when we were unsure how revenues would come in as businesses and residents were impacted by the economic downturn. We can now make the appropriate adjustments to ensure that capital projects, hiring needs and other administrative priorities move forward.”

Some of the key updates to the budget include adjustments to the general fund as well as one-time expenditures.

Revenue projections were updated to include an additional $8.9 million due to improved economic indicators, which allows for reinstatement of 20 full-time positions across the organization who were either furloughed or unfilled when the pandemic began.

Coupled with the use of $3.5 million in reserves, other highlights to the supplemental general fund, street and fire budget include:

  • Adding four full-time employees to increase administrative support capacity
  • One-time proposed investments, including:
    • Turning the city’s Chkalov building into a police training facility
    • Infrastructure and utilities design and construction drawings for the Heights District
    • Updating critical areas code
    • Complete Streets evaluation
    • Building new streets for Section 30

COVID relief funds from the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act are not included in the supplemental budget.

The presentation on the proposed supplemental budget is available here:


Fish 2
Fish 2
City adds four public art pieces from nationally recognized artist - 06/04/21

Vancouver, Washington – Vancouver City Council recently accepted a donation by the Port of Portland of four sculptural pieces by nationally recognized artist Larry Kirkland.

The sculptures are part of a larger installation titled “The Columbia” that has been located at the Portland International Airport since 2001. The City of Vancouver was contacted by the Port of Portland about the donation after it was determined that some the pieces from the installation would not be included in an upcoming terminal expansion.

The four large-scale interactive artworks celebrate the Columbia River and are collectively valued at $45,500. The artworks are expected to be transferred to Vancouver later this summer. They include:

  • Two fish made of Brazilian quartzite, which will be installed at the city’s Water Resources Education Center (4600 S.E. Columbia Way)
  • One bridge made of Indian granite and Italian marble, which will be installed at City Hall (415 W. Sixth St.)
  • One boat made of Indian granite and Italian marble, which will be loaned to the Cascade Park branch of Fort Vancouver Regional Library (600 N.E. 136th Ave.)

The four pieces will complement other water-themed art created by Kirkland located in Vancouver, most notably the Grant Street Pier and the “Headwaters” Columbia River water feature, both located at Vancouver Waterfront Park (695 Waterfront Way).

The Port of Portland will assist with some moving costs, with the city covering the remaining cost of moving and installation, estimated to be $4,000-$6,000 for all four pieces.

Prior to seeking city council approval, the proposed donation was reviewed by the city’s Public Art Committee and then recommended for acceptance into the city’s public art collection by the Culture, Art and Heritage Commission per the city’s donation acceptance policy. Vancouver City Council voted to accept the donation on May 24, 2021.


Attached Media Files: Fish 2 , Fish 1 , Boat and Bridge
CORRECTION: City seeks community volunteer to serve on Vancouver Housing Authority board - 06/04/21

CORRECTION: There was a typo in the website address for the online application in the 6th paragraph. That has been corrected in this version of the release. 

Vancouver, Washington – The City of Vancouver is seeking people with an interest in affordable, accessible housing to fill a current vacancy on the Vancouver Housing Authority (VHA) Board of Commissioners. The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. Monday, July 5.

The six-member volunteer board is appointed by the mayor to establish policy for the operation of VHA’s low-income rental housing assistance programs and properties in Clark County.  Commissioners play a critical role in fulfilling VHA’s mission to provide opportunities to people who experience barriers to housing because of income, disability or special needs.

Regular VHA board meetings are held from 10 a.m. to noon on the fourth Thursday of the month, with preceding executive sessions often starting at 8 a.m. Meetings are typically held at the VHA office at 2500 Main St., Vancouver. Occasionally, the chair of the board calls special meetings and work sessions with 48 hours advance notice. Commissioners can call in to meetings if necessary.

State law requires that applicants not be landlords with rental assistance contracts or a vendor, individual or developer currently doing business with the VHA. Applicants must also be available for interviews with VHA officials on July 14, and Vancouver Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle on July 29.

This is a mid-term appointment expiring in February 2022, with the potential for reappointment to a full, five-year term.

Applications can be submitted online at To request a paper application or additional information, contact the city’s Boards and Commissions Coordinator at Vancouver City Hall, P.O. Box 1995, Vancouver, WA 98668-1995,"> or 360-487-8600.

Learn more about the VHA Board of Commissioners at


Lon Pluckhahn
Lon Pluckhahn
City welcomes new deputy city manager to leadership team - 06/02/21

Vancouver, Washington—The City of Vancouver will welcome a new deputy city manager to its leadership team this summer.

Lon Pluckhahn will take on the role of deputy city manager of community and economic development, effective Aug. 2. This deputy position is one of two deputy city manager roles that are part of the city’s new organizational structure to strengthen leadership capacity and better serve organizational needs.

In this role, Pluckhahn will oversee the city’s community development, parks, recreation and cultural services, economic development, and policy and program management teams.

Pluckhahn brings more than 25 years of public sector experience to Vancouver, including economic development, parks and planning, collective bargaining, and financing for capital projects.

He has served as city manager for the past 14 years in Marion, Iowa—a growing community of 40,000 residents in the second largest metro in the state. Pluckhahn has also held city manager positions in Platteville, Wisconsin, and West Liberty, Iowa.

“We are excited to welcome Lon and his experience and compassionate leadership style to Vancouver later this summer,” said Vancouver City Manager Eric Holmes.

Pluckhahn is a credentialed manager through the International City Manager’s Association and holds a bachelor’s degree in political science, a master’s degree in public administration and a master’s degree in community and regional planning, all from Iowa State University.

“I am looking forward to starting a new chapter and becoming a part of the Vancouver community,” said Pluckhahn. “The city has built a great foundation for well-managed growth and abundant opportunities and I am excited to be a part of its continued success.”

The city is also currently conducting a search for a deputy city manager of enterprise services, who will lead human resources, diversity, equity and inclusion, general services, and information technology. Current Deputy City Manager Brian Carlson has announced he will be retiring this summer after 20 years with the city.


Attached Media Files: Lon Pluckhahn
City/County Telecommunications Commission seeks community feedback on cable television and broadband services - 05/26/21

Vancouver, Washington – Starting May 28, a random sample of Vancouver and Clark County households will receive mailed surveys from the City/County Telecommunications Commission requesting feedback about their experience with Comcast cable television and broadband services.

Through the survey, the commission hopes to learn what residents think about Comcast's cable service, even if they are not currently a Comcast subscriber, and what they may want related to future cable communications.

Comcast provides cable television services in Vancouver and Clark County as part of a 10-year franchise agreement granted in July 2013. The results of this community needs assessment survey will be used to inform recommendations the City/County Telecommunications Commission will make during cable franchise negotiations with Comcast that will begin later this year or early next year.

Residents receiving the survey may contact the City/County Telecommunications Commission to receive a link to fill out the survey online or to receive a Spanish language version. The contact information will be provided in the mailed survey.

Individual survey responses will remain anonymous, and the information gathered from households will be reported out as a group.

The eight-member City/County Telecommunications Commission is a volunteer board that advises the Vancouver City Council and the Clark County Council on all matters related to the cable television franchise agreement with Comcast.

For more information about the commission, visit


City of Vancouver develops plan to address homelessness impacts - 05/25/21

Vancouver, Washington – On Monday, Vancouver City Council endorsed piloting a new plan to address the crisis of homelessness in Vancouver – including its impacts on community health, safety, and cleanliness.

The proposed plan provides strategies to respond to the most urgent impacts to the housed and unhoused in Vancouver, including: garbage, trash and clutter in public spaces; residents living in tents/vehicles in public rights-of-way; and improving livability and health for the unhoused, including the removal of barriers to accessing services.

“The Vancouver City Council is committed to taking action to address the significant challenges homelessness has presented in our community,” said Vancouver Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle. “This plan is consistent with the council’s values to ensure a healthy, thriving, equitable community that supports the needs of residents and maintains the safety and security of our neighborhoods. We are creating strategies that respond to the urgent needs of everyone impacted by these challenges and this plan moves us in the right direction.”

Key strategies include:

  • Establishment of small, supported campsites throughout the city to mitigate negative impacts to neighborhoods and provide unhoused residents the services they need most on site.
  • Creation of more Safe Parking Zones to meet increasing demand for safe and well-maintained places for those living in vehicles/RVs to park. The concept is based on the city’s first successful Safe Parking Zone (1504 N.E. 138th Ave.) site established in April 2020.
  • Expansion of the Talkin’ Trash program or development of another similar litter/waste cleanup program to expand capacity for increased trash collection and incorporated outreach to connect unhoused residents with services.
  • Expansion of the city’s existing Homeless Assistance and Response Team (HART) to proactively engage unhoused residents with holistic healthcare services through a contract with Columbia River Mental Health.

Based on feedback received from city council, city staff will now begin broad community outreach to seek feedback and ideas regarding the development of a pilot program for the supported campsite concept. This feedback will be used to develop a campsite plan, including potential site locations and timelines for implementation.

The plan will build upon the city’s ongoing efforts to address homelessness impacts, such as providing camp toilets and handwashing sites, mail services and ongoing camp cleanups. Since March 2020, the city has removed more than 48 tons of solid waste from camps.

It also builds upon the city’s ongoing financial support to create affordable housing and shelter projects, including the taxpayer funded Affordable Housing Fund approved in November 2016 ( and the city’s recent $2.5M contribution toward the purchase of Bertha Cain Baugh Place (9201 N.E. Vancouver Mall Drive). The 63-room, non-congregate shelter was established by Clark County Community Services and the Vancouver Housing Authority and will be operated by Catholic Community Services of Western Washington.

While the city’s plan addresses the immediate impacts to Vancouver, it does not replace Clark County’s efforts as the lead agency in working to end homelessness in the region. Both the city and county participate in the Joint Executive Group on Homelessness, which serves as a collaborative policy forum to identify possible gaps and opportunities for further coordination and investments to address homelessness and its impacts.

“While Clark County remains the lead agency in addressing the systemic issue of homelessness in our region, the city’s plan provides us with a roadmap to begin alleviating the negative impacts brought on by this crisis,” said Jamie Spinelli, City of Vancouver homeless response coordinator. “We are acting with urgency to help our city become a cleaner, safer, healthier and more resilient place for everyone.”

Spinelli was hired in February 2021 to develop and implement the city’s response to homelessness and manage the city’s HART program, which provides outreach, assessments, and referrals to the appropriate services for individuals experiencing homelessness.

The community is invited to view the full homelessness response plan, sign up for updates, share ideas/feedback and ask city staff questions at


City park picnic shelter reservations open May 25 - 05/24/21

Vancouver, Washington – Celebrate safely with friends and family by hosting your summer gathering at a city park. Vancouver Parks and Recreation picnic shelter reservations will open at 9 a.m. Tuesday, May 25 for events occurring between June 1 and Sept. 30, 2021, at the following city parks:

  • Fisher Basin Community Park (S.E. 192nd Avenue and Mill Plain Boulevard)
  • LeRoy Haagen Memorial Park (N.E. 9th Street, west of N.E. 136th Avenue)
  • Marine Community Park (S.E. Marine Park Way and Columbia Way)
  • Marshall Community Park (1015 E. McLoughlin Blvd.)

Online reservations can be made at Reservations can also be made over the phone or in person at Marshall Community Center (1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd., 360-487-7100) and Firstenburg Community Center (700 N.E. 136th Ave., 360-487-7001).

Park picnic shelters provide comfortable spaces to host birthday parties, family get-togethers, office parties and other outdoor fun. Park users must comply with the Healthy Washington COVID-19 safety guidelines in place at the time of their event.

Picnic shelter reservations are $75 and last the entire day (5 a.m. – 10 p.m.). Weekend reservations fill up quickly. A reservation guarantees use of the shelter and includes all picnic tables located within the shelter and electricity where available. Other park amenities such as playgrounds and restrooms are shared with the public.

Picnic shelters located at David Douglas Community Park (1016 N. Garrison Road) and Leverich Community Park (4400 N.E. Leverich Park Way) are available on a first-come, first-served basis and do not require a reservation.


City seeks volunteers to serve on Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission - 05/21/21

Vancouver, Washington – The City of Vancouver is seeking local parks and recreation enthusiasts interested in filling two vacancies on its Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission (PRAC). The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. Friday, June 21.

PRAC is a 10-member volunteer community group made up of seven city residents, two school district representatives and a liaison from the Parks Foundation of Clark County. The commission advises Vancouver City Council and city staff on needs, plans and programs necessary to provide a stellar system of parks, open space, playgrounds and recreation services to the residents of Vancouver.

In order to serve on the commission, applicants must live within the Vancouver city limits and be available for an interview with Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle on Thursday, July 1.

Per Vancouver City Council policy, all incumbents who wish to reapply for their positions will be re-interviewed along with any other qualifying applicants.

PRAC commissioners serve three-year terms and meet from 3 to 5 p.m. on the third Wednesday of every month, plus occasional special meetings as needed. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, meetings are currently being held remotely. In-person meetings are typically held at Vancouver City Hall, 415 W. Sixth St.

Applications may be submitted online at For a printed application or for further information, contact the Boards and Commission Coordinator in the City Manager’s Office at P.O. Box 1995, Vancouver, WA 98668-1995,">, or by calling 360-487-8600.

Visit to learn more about PRAC, including links to past meeting minutes and agendas.