July 2021 Business Connection

Page 1

Business Connection Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce

The big guy always makes an appearance at sQuatch Fest.

Kelso-Longview Chamber of Commerce Amy Hallock

Project Manager

k July 2021

Volume 13 • Issue 7 Business Connection is published monthly by the Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce 105 N. Minor Road • Kelso, WA 98626


Bill Marcum, CEO Amy Hallock, Project Manager Pam Fierst, Office Manager Joelle Wilson, Social Media Service


Big strides for sQuatch Fest

t’s finally happening. After a year and half of planning, sQuatch Fest returns for its fifth year, July 30-31 at the Cowlitz County Event Center. I’m excited for this year’s event. We’ve grown to two days and packed them with interesting speakers, fun for adults and kids, food, beer, shopping–it’s all there. This year we sold tickets to “believers” in 19 different states and Canada. I hope to see this event continue to grow as a magnet to draw tourists to the Kelso/Longview area. We have a range of speakers lined up starting with Cliff Barackman from the television series “Finding Bigfoot”; David Paulides, author, and investigator for the streaming show “Missing 411”, and Russell Accord from the Travel channel hit “Expedition Bigfoot”. We’ve also landed Bob Gimlin, who shot the the original Big Foot film footage in the late 1960s, and cryptozoologist and author Ken Gehard. For something different this year, we will be showing the movie “The Bigfoot Alien Connection” by Ron Meyer and Alan Megargle, which has tallied more than 1.5 million views on YouTube.


360-423-8400 kelsolongviewchamber.org To advertise, call Bill Marcum 360-423-8400 or bmarcum@kelsolongviewchamber.org Ad Deadline 20th of Each Month

We are expecting 250 participants to pitch bean bags at the cornhole tournament that will take place outdoors during the Brew Mountain Beer Festival. We are excited to be partnering with Antidote Tap House, which will be serving beer and cider out of their tap trailer all weekend. They also sponsored this year’s collectible beer glass. Joining them will be 15 other breweries and, for those who appreciate grapes over hops, there’ll be wine, served in a collectible, Country Financial-sponsored glass. Kids Cave returns with plenty of activities for little sQuatchers. Cowlitz County Museum will host story time in the Bush cabin, and I am excited to introduce SlashSquatch this year, performing a guitar solo Friday and Saturday night. If that isn’t enough, we are bringing in over 60 craft and food vendors, axe throwing and hosting a Big Foot calling contest. That’s a lot of entertainment packed into two days. Tickets are $25 for adults and $5 for children – for both days! The first 3,000 tickets sold receive a collectible ticket and lanyard. You can find a schedule of events and a link to purchase tickets at www.kelsolongviewchamber.org. Thank you to the Chamber staff, sQuatch sQuad, volunteers, and sponsors for believing in sQuatch Fest.


Friday, July 30, 4 pm - 9 pm & Saturday, July 31, 10 am - 8 pm

Cowlitz County Convention Center • Great line-up of speakers • Over 90 vendors • Over 15 breweries in Brew Mountain • Kids’ Cave • Great food vendors & more!

Scheduled Speakers Include:

Friday, July 30 Events

• 4 pm to 8 pm

Speakers, Axe Throwing, Craft & Food Vendors • 4 pm to 9 pm Cornhole Tournament & Beer Garden • Camping available on-site with electricity for only $15 a night (no water hook-ups)

Saturday, July 31 Events

• David Paulides

• Cliff Barackman

• Russell Accord

• Bob Gimlin

• 10 am to 6 pm Kids Cave, Bush Cabin Story Time, Axe throwing • 10 am to 8 pm Food & Craft Vendors, Speakers, Cornhole tournament, Brew Mountain Beer Festival • Camping available on-site with electricity only $15 a night (no water hook-ups)

Tickets available online at:




Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors Chris Roewe, President Woodford Commercial Real Estate Lisa Straughan, President Elect Express Employment Professionals Frank Panarra, Past President Foster Farms Marlene Johanson, Vice President Heritage Bank Neil Zick, Treasurer Twin City Bank Michael Claxton, Legal Counsel Walstead Mertsching Duane Dalgleish Cowlitz PUD Rich Gushman Gibbs & Olson Keenan Harvey City Council, Kelso Wendy Kosloski Teague's Interiors Nick Lemiere Edward Jones Cherelle Montanye St. John/PeaceHealth John Paul KUKN-KLOG-101.5 The WAVE Bruce Pollock Bicoastal Media Tom Rozwood NORPAC Christine Schott City of Longview Councilmember

Kelso-Longview Chamber of Commerce Bill Marcum CEO

Applause for Golf Classic sponsors, crew and others



he Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual Chamber Golf Classic June 21 at Three Rivers Golf Course. We had a full field, 30 teams and 120 golfers from over 80 businesses, for this fun event. The weather was a bit warm, 94

I want to start with a special thank you to our tournament sponsor Stirling Honda, which has been the tournament’s Presenting Sponsor for 10 consecutive years. We can’t play on empty stomachs. Lunch was provided by the Shamrock Spirits and Grill. Jon Rodman and staff did an incredible job preparing the burgers for ALL THE GOLFERS... WOW! No one went hungry. Thank you, Jon. C’s Photography captured photos of each participating team, and The crew from the Reprographics, provided each person Shamrock Spirits with a print. Each team member received a digital version to put on and Grill rocks! their phone, share, whatever they would enjoy. Thank you to our photo sponsors Propel Insurance, Gibbs and Olson and PNE Corp. The raffle and auction were amazing. There were over 60 donated items we were able to give away during the awards banquet. In all, we had more than 35 sponsors and 20 volunteers who helped make this both fun and stress-free. For a complete list of our hole sponsors, cart sponsors, photograph sponsors and more please see page 7. A big, heartfelt thank you to all of you for your sponsorship. As is usually the case, we did have a few participants who play golf and play well enough to capture one of our many trophies. In the Gross Division, first place went to the Stirling Honda team with second place going to Woods Logging/ Carl’s Towing and third place to Elks Team No. 1. In the Net Division, Alpha Partners took firstplace honors with Express Employment, second, and the CalPortland team, third.

Marc Silva Columbia Bank Ted Sprague Cowlitz Economic Development Council Michael Vorse Minuteman Press Dennis Weber Cowlitz County Commissioner

Dave Taylor has been part of the tournament for 30 years.

I also want to say thank you to the Golf Classic Committee – Dave Taylor, Barry Verrill, Scott Fischer and Karen Sisson. We start working on this tournament in March, meeting every other week until May, and then weekly until tournament tee time. Each year, our goal is the same – to make sure everyone who attends has a great day. I’d like to offer a special thank you to Dave Taylor. This year marked Dave’s 30th Chamber golf tournament. Here’s hoping all the praise doesn’t give him a big head. For more Golf Classic, see page 4 Kelso Longview Business Connection | July 2021 | 3

Golf Classic from page 3

Rotarian Keith Larson and Dick Winter cruising the course.

A special thank you also goes to our Ambassadors, who volunteer for most of the tournament duties. The weather is always so hot, the red coats go into the closet and the red golf shirts come out. The red shirts make them easy to spot as they assist with raffle ticket sales and registration. I am so disappointed there was no winner in our $10,000 Hole in One contest. A BIG thank you to Express Professionals for sponsoring the opportunity. Maybe next year there will be an ace. We also did not have a winner in our $5,000 Putting Contest sponsored by Fibre Federal Credit Union, but it was close, really close. Randy Hall with ReMax just missed holing the 61-foot putt for the cash. I also want to give a shout out to Lance Satcher and his team at the Three Rivers Golf Course. They did an amazing job setting up the course and making sure our hole sponsors were in place with whatever they needed prior to play. The Elks prepared the awards banquet dinner at the course and WOW, was it good. The steaks were a huge hit with everyone. Thank you, Amber, for coordinating the food and cooks. We had a fabulous Specialty Rents’ tent for dining under, thank you Kelly Godden. I also want to thank Foster Farms for the use of their barbecue grill, the cooler trailer to keep the food cold

4 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | July 2021

The winning gross team came from our Presenting Sponsor Stirling Honda.

Carey Mackey and Kathy Miller with Red Canoe on Hole 1.

prior to preparation and the 200 bottles of water they brought to keep participants hydrated in the high temperatures. Last, but not least, I offer a huge thank you to Pacific Office Automation for sponsoring the tee prizes – every player received a sleeve of Bridgestone golf balls. And finally, a heartfelt thank you to Chamber staff – Amy, Pam, and Joelle. They prepared the tee prize bags (120),

Ryan Littlefield and Nick Lemiere with Edward Jones.

checked in all the golfers (120), set up the registration, worked the dinner, collected, and raffled off the prizes, coordinated payments and made sure our golfers had a good time. A full 14-hour day for them. Thank you very much. We are already looking forward to 2022, June 20 specifically, so put the Kelso Longview Chamber Golf Classic on your calendar so you don’t miss the fun.

The Three Rivers Eye Care team at Hole 6.

Mike Monroe with Woods Logging eyes a tee shot.

Ben McLaren, Longview McDonald's, keeps his head down.

To see more Golf Photos click here

Alpha Partners claimed our net winning trophy.

Kelso Longview Business Connection | July 2021 | 5

Business Toolbox Jerry D. Petrick

Certified Business Adviser

What has happened? What next?


ike many, I have been actively wondering, reading, and learning what will be next for our businesses, communities, and all of us. Unlike any other time in modern history what we used to know and rely on has been interrupted and in some respects fundamentally changed. I thought I would share a rather powerful and clear description of what has happened over the last 16 or so months. Please take a couple of minutes to read and digest the message itself; then consider what opportunities and new ways of thinking/being you might explore. “What is this thing that has happened to us? It’s a virus yes, in and of itself it holds no moral belief. But it is definitely more than a virus…it has made the mighty kneel and brought the world to a halt like nothing else could. Our minds are still racing back and forth longing for a return to ‘normality’, trying to stitch our future to our past and refusing to acknowledge the rupture. But the rupture exists. And in the midst of this terrible despair, it offers us a chance to rethink the doomsday machine we have built for ourselves. Nothing could be worse than a return to normality. Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It’s a portal, a gateway between one world and our next. We can choose to walk through it dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers, and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk though lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.” Arundhati Roy This opportunity to reimagine your business, your industry, and your own priorities allows you (all of us) the chance to DECIDE what we will carry forward instead of automatically continuing what was. Depending on your industry you may have already experienced vast changes; some of which you now see as great improvements in how you do business. Customers are also using the opportunity to set new buying patterners and processes. How have or will you change your business? Have/will/should your customers change? If so, how? What are you doing to successfully engage and sell to those new/different customers and markets? As you scan your market you may discover there are fewer competitors to contend with – there may be different, nontraditional competitors now operating in your marketplace. All these situations present new ways for you to go forward. 6 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | July 2021

To the degree that your business is talent dependent; especially technical expertise you will want to pay attention to an emerging phenomenon being called out by many expert observers and futurists. TALENT IS MOVING! The research suggests people with skills and talent that could be provided virtually have been usually with the same company they entered the pandemic with. With the choice to work remotely vs. in a fixed business location ‘knowledge workers’ are actively deciding what is most important for them and their families. Businesses that decide to ONLY allow/require all work must be done in person at company determined sites may put themselves at a disadvantage in the market for talent. Employees will likely expect flexibility (especially since the work has been performed successfully for the last year remotely) from potential employers. I think the wise employers will determine early on what functions really can be performed remotely and allow the maximum flexibility vs. the impose the maximum constraint or requirements for everyone everywhere to be in the office – period. These companies may find themselves experiencing high turnover in key roles while their competitors position themselves to be the employers of choice. Talent is the next frontier in the evolution of business. Here are a couple of articles to consider as you position your business for success: https://www.forbes.com/sites/ forbeshumanresourcescouncil/2021/06/16/talent-warsthe-post-pandemic-hiring-race-for-a-competitiveadvantage/?sh=4dcc51c5ca46 https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/talentacquisition/pages/turnover-tsunami-expected-once-pandemicends.aspx Let’s all decide how we want to go forward by actively deciding and creating the future. As the famous philosopher Yogi Berra said: “The future ain’t what it used to be.” This article was prepared by Jerry Petrick, certified business adviser with the Washington State University (WSU) Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Jerry provides no-cost, confidential business advisory services by appointment. He can be reached via email jerry.petrick@wsbdc.org

T hank You to our 2021 Sponsors Title Sponsor Hole 1 Red Canoe Credit Union

Par 3, Hole 15 Global Security

Dinner Sponsor Twin City Bank

Hole 2 Stewart Title

Hole 16 Les Schwab

Par 3, Hole 3 ServPro Longview

Par 3, Hole 17 Pawn Shop & More

Lunch Sponsors Shamrock Grill & Spirits Elam’s Furniture

Hole 4 Riverwoods Chiropractic

Hole 18 American Workforce Group

Hole 5 Sho’me Real Estate

Tee Prize Sponsor Pacific Office Automation

Hole 6 Three Rivers Eye Clinic

Hole in One Express Employment Professionals

Hole 7 Carl’s Towing and Repair Par 3, Hole 8 Futcher Group CPAs Hole 9 McDonald’s of Longview Hole 10 Edward Jones - Nick Lemiere Hole 11 D & C Lemmons Hole 12 State Farm—Scott Fischer Hole 13 Heritage Bank Hole 14 Bud Clary Automotive

Dessert Sponsor Coldwell Banker - Bain Cart Sponsor CalPortland Driving Range Sponsor Cascade Title Registration Table Cowlitz County Title

Putting Contest Fibre Federal Credit Union

Score Card Sponsor The Daily News

Scoreboard Sponsor Lower Columbia Contractors Association

Swag Sponsor Ilani Resort

19th Hole Sponsor Signature Transport Photo Sponsors Propel Insurance PNE Corporation C’s Photography Reprographics Gibbs & Olson Cup Sponsor Alpha Partners Flag Sponsor Alpha Partners

Special Thank You to: Dave Taylor, Master of Ceremonies & Golf Committee Foster Farms Lance Satcher, Head Pro Three Rivers Golf Club and Staff Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce Staff, Ambassadors & Volunteers

Cowlitz-Wahkiakim Council of Governments Bill Fashing CEO

Invest in, start or grow business with Lower Columbia Investment Network


he Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments (CWCOG) and area economic development partners are continuing to develop a program to promote local investments in local businesses. The Lower Columbia Investment Network (LCIN) connects local investors who want to see their money improve Cowlitz and Wahkiakum communities with local business owners or entrepreneurs in need of capital in order to grow or start a business. LCIN members are area residents who understand that keeping their funds local facilitates economic self-sufficiency and job growth in Cowlitz and Wahkiakum counties. Business opportunities are distributed to members as they are received, and members come together for business profile and networking events three to four times per year. In person meetings will begin soon. Watch local media for additional information and email me to get on the email notification list. Information is included below for both possible investors and for possible business interests.

Business Recovery Toolkit The CWCOG has recently completed and is testing a Business Recovery Toolkit for area businesses. The Toolkit is designed to serve as a guide to support businesses continuity and area businesses ability to weather varying economic conditions. The Toolkit is divided into six segments that build upon each other and, the segments can be addressed independently and prioritized by need. The Toolkit also contains snapshots of local resources and services available to businesses, many of which are offered at no cost. The CWCOG is available to connect businesses with service providers in the region that can assist at all stages of the business lifecycle. Check www.cwcog.org for additional information. If interested in giving feedback on the current draft, please reach out to Brandon Robinson at the CWCOG.

I want to invest in Lower Columbia businesses… Anyone interested in investing their money into a Cowlitz or Wahkiakum County community business is welcome to join LCIN. The LCIN is not a bank or loan fund and members do not make collective investment decisions. CWCOG acts only as a matchmaker and members work directly with businesses on investment opportunities. LCIN is a way to see where your money is going, who it is helping, and the direct impact it makes. It enables you to invest in local businesses of your choosing that make your community the unique place it is. LCIN is not a venture fund, a bank or a financial institution. LCIN consists of individuals who support surrounding businesses by investing locally – putting their funds to work within their neighborhoods. By investing in a local enterprise, you support your local economy, facilitate greater economic self-sufficiency and increase the local quality of life. I want to start or grow a Lower Columbia business… Any business based in Cowlitz or Wahkiakum County is welcome to seek out funding partners. Business owners must be prepared to share detailed information about their business with the possible investor, submit an Investment Opportunity Submission Form and present their idea to investor members. LCIN is an alternative to banks or other commercial lenders. It offers businesses the opportunity to borrow money from your neighbors, customers and others interested in your success. More information on the program will be provided at www. cwcog.org as it become available. If you would like to be included on the mailing list for future meetings, please contact us. 8 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | July 2021

Business Toolkit Segments

Alternative Lending Funds available The CWCOG, in partnership with the City of Longview, has received CARES Act funding through the Economic Development Administration to supplement the existing Longview Revolving Loan Fund. Funds are currently available for small business loans within the City of Longview and surrounding areas. Target loans range from $20,000 to $100,000. Loans are for new and existing firms desiring to initiate or expand operations in the community. Projects must be within or near the Longview city limits, and the city council may approve loans outside of the city limits. This lending program is intended for businesses that cannot otherwise obtain traditional bank financing. These loans provide access to capital as gap financing to enable small businesses to grow and generate new employment opportunities with For more CWCOG, see page 9

CWCOG from page 8

competitive wages and benefits. Anyone desiring to participate in the program can contact the CWCOG staff and request an application. Since the program’s inception, over $2.2 million has been loaned creating and retaining over 630 jobs in the community. A complete application and supporting materials are needed for consideration. The Longview Revolving Loan Fund application and program guidelines are available online at www.cwcog.org or by request at: CWCOG at Administration Annex / 207 North 4th Ave., Kelso, WA 98626, 360-577-3041. Questions may be directed to Bill Fashing at CWCOG by regular mail at the address above, via email to bfashing@cwcog.org.

About the CWCOG The Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments is a governmental planning and services agency composed of local governments in southwest Washington state. Its board consists of representatives from Cowlitz and Wahkiakum counties but it serves throughout the region including Grays Harbor, Lewis and Pacific counties as well as Rainier, Ore. It provides a forum for members to work together on issues with crossing jurisdictional lines and creating cooperative solutions. In addition, the agency provides planning, technical assistance, and grant resources in the areas of transportation and economic development, contracts to provide long-range community development planning, and coordinates insurance pooling to select members. The CWCOG serves as a Census Affiliate.

We keep your family safe and healthy As the largest healthcare provider in Cowlitz County, our team has the experience and comprehensive services to coach you through whatever life throws your way.

§ Pediatric Care § Advanced Heart & Vascular Care § Behavioral Health Services for adults and children § Comprehensive Women’s Health Services and modern Family Birthing Center


Kelso Longview Business Connection | July 2021 | 9

Workforce Southwest Washington Alyssa Joyner

Senior Project Manager for Manufacturing

Workforce resources available to assist manufacturing companies


anufacturing and technology are keystone industries to Washington’s thriving economy. Through a symbiotic relationship the two industries bolster Washington’s economy contributing to job creation, high wages, and increased foreign and domestic exports. According to the Association of Washington Business (AWB) Manufacturing and Technology study, the manufacturing workforce during 2019 included 6,600 non-aerospace jobs in Cowlitz County and 14,100 in Clark County. Given that manufacturing accounts for nine percent of the state’s non-farm jobs, ensuring the industry has access to a skilled workforce and resources to grow benefits us all. The state of Washington offers numerous competitive programs that allow manufacturing and technology industries to thrive. The AWB study highlighted the following programs as key incentives: • Job Skills Program, run through the state community and technical college system, offers 50:50 cost sharing between state and employer • Reduced Business and Occupation (B&O) tax rates, B&O tax credits and tax exemptions for select industry-related activities within the manufacturing sector • Tax credits and exemptions to invest in rural communities These programs are key to creating an environment where competitive industries can continue to succeed. For our local companies, Workforce Southwest Washington (WSW) supports various initiatives to provide financial and other support to grow a highly-skilled workforce. For the next few months, WSW is offering grants to companies with jobs in high demand, like manufacturing and technology, to support the onboarding and training of new employees and for companies providing internships. Learn more about these grant opportunities here.

On July 14, WSW and WorkSource will host another virtual hiring event. This one is centered on hiring opportunities for veterans. Numerous companies in the manufacturing industry are participating. Learn more about the veteran-focused hiring event here. During July, WSW and its partners in the Columbia-Willamette Workforce Collaborative (CWWC) are set to host a Regional Manufacturing Industry Panel. During the panel, CWWC will engage in a dialogue with manufacturing partners with the goal of understanding industry needs to support regional economic growth and guide workforce investments. The panel will focus on current projects and initiatives, resource development, talent acquisition, and sustainability practices in the manufacturing sector. During the upcoming year, CWWC will craft a dynamic and sustainable three-year manufacturing industry workforce plan to meet the needs of businesses and workers in the PortlandSouthwest Washington Metropolitan Area. I am eager to hear from and assist manufacturers interested in learning more about resources and support to attract and retain talent. Please reach out and contact me at 503-410-0408 or ajoyner@workforcesw.org. Job seeker assistance For individuals interested in manufacturing positions in Clark, Cowlitz or Wahkiakum counties, numerous jobs are available. As of June 11, there were 657 open manufacturing positions across 255 companies in southwest Washington. Many of our business partners are willing to train new employees so individuals with little or no manufacturing experience should apply. To get help finding a job or learning about training options, job seekers should call the local WorkSource center in Kelso at 360577-2250 to schedule an in-person appointment or visit www. WorkSourceSWWA.com. Help for young adults

To help companies and job seekers connect during the pandemic, WSW partnered with WorkSource to develop and host a series of virtual hiring events for Cowlitz, Wahkiakum and Clark counties. The most recent in May was a virtual manufacturing hiring event. Forty-three companies representing a diverse array of industries within the manufacturing sector, from The Neil Jones Food Company to Benchmade Knife Co., participated to fill their open jobs.

Young adults ages 16 to 24 looking for career and employment services or wanting to obtain a GED can get assistance at WSW’s Next youth center operating out of Goodwill in Longview. Email cw@nextsuccess.org or call 360-890-7769 for assistance and visit the website www.nextsuccess.org to learn more.

The event gave 121 individuals the ability to meet with companies and learn of current and upcoming career opportunities. During the event 248 conversations were held between companies and job seekers. Follow-up interviews have been scheduled and several individuals have already been hired.

Workforce Southwest Washington (WSW), a nonprofit organization, is the Local Workforce Development Board (LWDB) designated by federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) legislation to oversee the public workforce system in Cowlitz, Wahkiakum and Clark counties. Learn more at www.workforcesw.org.

10 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | July 2021

Alyssa Joyner is the senior project manager for manufacturing at Workforce Southwest Washington. Reach her at ajoyner@ workforcesw.org or 503-410-0408.


Are you looking for a better night’s sleep? Visit Elam’s Mattress Gallery today!




*Sale price $749 for queen mattress only.

Shop Local - Shop Elam’s

Ashley Tibbee Sofa

Sale $

44900 We carry a wide selection of lift chairs and recliners for every taste!

Morrison Recliner

Sale $

Stanton Power Recliner

Upgrade your recliner to full power for ultimate comfort!


Elam’s Mattress Gallery 1416 14th Ave Longview, WA 98632

(360) 232-8036


“Locally Owned, Family Owned, and Here to Stay!”


Elam’s Home Furnishings 1413 Commerce Ave Longview, WA 98632

(360) 575-9804

City of Kelso

City of Longview

Mike Karnofski

MaryAlice Wallis

City Council Member

The City of Kelso poised for recovery


he recent Chamber Quarterly meeting was titled “Cowlitz County: Road to Recovery”. Kelso is poised for recovery with many existing positive attributes, great parks, a scenic

walking path, property for economic development, reasonable housing prices, great schools, resilient businesses, and great community spirit. Kelso needs to build on these attributes and be prepared to welcome businesses and families as they continue to move into our community. Kelso was fortunate to not lose significant businesses due to the pandemic, two exceptions are Izzy’s and Pier 1. Looking on the positive side, loss of these businesses opens prime locations in the mall area for new business. Also, on the positive side, due to the pandemic, we learned from businesses regarding training they needed. The Council of Governments (COG), and Cowlitz Economic Development Council (CEDC), working with Lower Columbia College have been offering a series of classes to help businesses become more successful and efficient. While visiting businesses on behalf of CEDC I have heard positive stories about how the pandemic made them review their practices and helped them make positive changes. Kelso and other local communities will become stronger. Completion of the West Main and the Hazel Street overpass projects will open other areas for new businesses and other activities. The mall is certainly poised for possible significant changes and the area around Exit 36 will certainly see some changes. As always completion of these activities requires positive community spirit and cooperation. Cooperation is also one positive outcome of the pandemic, with Kelso, Longview, and the county working with the Chamber, CEDC, COG and the Community Action Program to provide funds for individuals and businesses to survive and grow during the difficulties of the pandemic. We are on the road to recovery. 12 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | July 2021


Festival season begins with Go Fourth


hether you are “new” to Longview, were born and raised here, or have lived here most of your life like me, there is something special about living in the greater Longview community. Lake Sacajawea, one of our greatest gems, is a bit like a scene from Mayberry when the cherry blossoms and old growth oak trees are in full bloom. In a single snapshot, the sun glistens ever so perfectly over the lake, children giggle and squeal with delight while enjoying a nearby playground, birds are merrily chirping, squirrels are foraging, joggers and walkers are on the path intent on getting in their steps, a soccer or volleyball game is in the works in an open grass area, a magnificent blue heron can be spied near tall reeds, and a bald eagle glides peacefully overhead surveying it all. Longview is an incredible place to live, play, and reside! I get a bit giddy at this time of year anticipating the activities and excitement to come throughout the summer months. Many of these activities have been funded in part through Longview tourism funds that were allocated by Longview City Council last fall. There is no shortage of activities from which to choose, and now with COVID-19 restrictions nearly in our rear-view mirror, let’s check out some of the summertime fun on the horizon. Go Fourth Festival: July 2-4: Cardboard boat regatta, parade, music, vendors, food, and fireworks. Concerts at the Lake: Thursday evenings: July 8 – Third Stage; July 15 – Five Guys Named Moe; July 22 – Rock Bottom Boys; July 29 – Ted Vigil; Aug. 5 – The Coats; and Aug. 12 – Rockit Radio. Cowlitz County Fair: July 21-24, Noon-10 p.m., Cowlitz County Event Center – rides, music, food, fun, livestock, rodeo and more. sQuatch Fest: July 30, 4-9 p.m.; July 31, 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Cowlitz County Event Center – speakers, vendors, craft brew and food. Movies at the Lake: Friday nights at dusk, Aug. 13, Aug. 20 and Aug. 27, Lake Sacajawea. Squirrel Fest: Aug. 21, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., RA Long Park at Civic Circle – local vendors, activities for children, music performances and food. Unique Tin Car Show and Cruise: Aug. 28, all day, Cowlitz County Event Center. Whatever your summer plans are, come join us – and be sure to keep a spare lawn chair in your trunk so you can grab a front row seat in a scene somewhere in Longview’s Mayberry.



Large land site perfect for lodging/hospitality, retail, etc.

• CONVENIENTLY LOCATED OFF I-5 Just 30 minutes from PDX & the amenities of Portland

• 45 ACRES OF PRIME, SHOVEL-READY LAND Environmental permits & road improvements in place

• COMPETITIVE UTILITY RATES + INCENTIVES Designed to promote growth & ensure your succes



www.PORTOFKALAMA.com BusConnectionsFULLnew.indd 1


(360) 673-2325


110 WEST MARINE DR., KALAMA WA 98625 3/25/2021 3:38:36 PM

Kelso Public Schools

Longview Public Schools

Mary Beth Tack

Dan Zorn



Hats off to the Class of 2021

Looking forward to fall return to classrooms

s a most unusual school year comes to a close and we send the Class of 2021 off with well-wishes, we have high hopes for them and their futures. More than that, we have great confidence. The challenges this class has worked through in the last 15 months have been difficult, but they have also created strength and resilience: two things that will serve them very well. As the motto of Kansas goes, ad astra per aspera (to the stars through hardships).

t Longview schools we finished the 2020-21 school year with a flourish. Both Mark Morris and RA Long high schools put on wonderful, traditional graduation ceremonies, and events afterward for families to celebrate with their graduate. Discovery High School also had a fantastic graduation ceremony, which included our first graduates from the Longview Virtual Academy. Congratulations to all the 2021 grads!


On June 12, 330 Hilanders earned their high school diploma. Twenty-seven (8 percent) of them also earned an associate’s degree from Lower Columbia College. Ninety-five students (29 percent) were recognized for academic achievement and scholarships. Sixty-eight seniors (21 percent) received scholarships. Of the $741,234 in scholarship awards for the Class of 2020: •

65 scholarships totaling $123,650 were awarded by Kelso Public Schools Foundation

25 awards were given from community organizations totaling $59,350

14 colleges and universities gave a total of $558,234 for athletic and academic scholarships

We are so proud of the accomplishments of every student in our district. Whatever path they take from here, be it entering the trades, an apprenticeship, the military, college, or career, we have a pretty good idea of their destination. The stars. Shine bright, Hilanders.


Summer school is now underway and serving students at all grade levels. To help our kids achieve their academic goals we are offering expanded summer school this year. Summer school at lower grade levels will focus on literacy and math, while high school students who have fallen behind will have the chance to get back on track with graduation requirements. We are looking forward to the start of school this fall. For planning purposes, the first day of school is scheduled for Aug. 31. Students at all grade levels will be attending class in person, full-time five days per week. After school activities will resume normal schedules and seasons, which we are excited about. For those who want it we will continue offering remote learning for grades one through five and Longview Virtual Academy for sixth through 12th grade students. Some parents have called asking questions about mask requirements for next year. We are being told by state officials that updated health safety protocol information will be sent to schools this summer. We will be sending you information and posting it to the district website once it becomes available to us, so more information will be coming on this. During the summer the district works very hard improving facilities and classrooms. From a facilities standpoint you will see some of our buildings being painted, getting a new roof, signage or other important maintenance. What you won’t see is the work going on inside the buildings as old classroom technology is updated, new flooring installed or numerous other projects get completed while kids are enjoying time off for the summer.

1157 3rd Avenue, Suite 218

1157 Longview, 3rd Avenue, WA Suite 98632 218 1157 3rd360.952.3100 Avenue, Suite 218 Longview, WA 98632 Longview, WA 98632 www.amadaseniorcare.com 360.952.3100 360.952.3100 www.amadaseniorcare.com www.amadaseniorcare.com 14 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | July 2021

Finally, I’d like to thank all the parents and families of students who worked so hard this past year supporting their child’s education. It was a year of full of challenges and changes that we all worked very hard to adapt to. Thank you again for your support, patience, and dedication to learning. I hope you enjoy the summer and get time to read to, and with, your children.

2021 January 12: OPEN February 9: March 23: JoJo CoCo & Wander April 13: Teri’s May 11: Cowlitz Title June 8: Catlin Properties July 13: American Workforce August 10: Snap Fitness September 14: ServPro October 12: Farm Dog Bakery Life Works November 9: Fidelity National Title December 14: (Holiday Mixer)

Interested in hosting a Business After Hours in 2022? Contact the Chamber at 360-423-8400 or email ahallock@kelsolongviewchamber.org

Lower Columbia College Chris Bailey President

Not bad for a pandemic year!


t’s been quite a year at Lower Columbia College (LCC). I’d like to give a shout-out to LCC’s amazing faculty and staff for their persistence, resilience, and success during the pandemic. While many organizations retrenched and limited their activities during these “unusual times,” I am extremely proud that Lower Columbia College, and its students, continued to progress and grow. Listed below are just a few specific examples of LCC success that occurred during the 2020-21 academic year. First, I am incredibly grateful for our work in converting to and maintaining a virtual environment to meet our students’ needs. And I am also grateful for everyone who worked and are working to meet the needs of students who really need face-to-face options to survive and progress in their educational goals. Lower Columbia College continues to make gains in its Guided Pathway work, a campus-wide initiative to get greater completion rates for its students. LCC has received praise from its Guided Pathways coaches for the work being done here. In conjunction

Service is the difference!

Glenda Beam


Escrow Officer

Escrow Assistant

Leah White

Melissa Peterson

Steve Quaife

Theresa Campbell

Hailey Parsons

Megan Howerton

Pam McCormick

Order Desk

Jason Hanson Title Officer


Darren Plank Title Officer

Escrow Assistant

Title Typist

Leah Stanley Title Officer

Branch Manager


Breshae Brunette Title Plant Admin

Most in-depth title plant in the county. Accurate Reliable Timely Locally Owned 1159 14th Avenue , Longview, WA 98632 360.423.5330 www.cowlitztitle.com 16 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | July 2021

with that work, LCC began some significant efforts to address equity gaps and has set a course for some serious diversity and equity work in the next two years ahead. Despite the economic uncertainty, LCC administration and faculty representatives were able to negotiate a significant pay raise for LCC faculty and convert 11 full-time faculty contracts to tenure-track positions. In June, Lower Columbia College graduated its first bachelor’s degree cohort from LCC, in teacher education! And LCC recently received approval for our second Bachelor of Applied Science in Organizational Leadership and Technical Management, with first classes scheduled for fall. Lower Columbia College started a major library renovation that we hope to finish sometime in November. LCC also received legislative funding for the design of a new 55,000-square-foot vocational building. In athletics, Lower Columbia College had AMAZING success. LCC’s six teams compiled a record of 70 wins, 14 losses, and two ties for an 83 percent winning percentage. LCC’s softball team and LCC’s women’s basketball team each had a perfect, undefeated season! With spring results pending Lower Columbia College student athletes had a cumulative 3.34 grade-point average with 18 student athletes earning perfect 4.0. There were 566 rapid COVID tests of LCC student athletes with only two positive tests, a positivity rate of just 0.35 percent. LCC’s volleyball coach Karri Smith was named Northwest Athletic Conference (NWAC) Coach of the Year. And LCC’s Emma Nelson was named National Two-Year Player of the Week and first team National All-American by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. LCC softball’s Kinzey Williams was named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) NWAC All-American Team. Finally, there’s the Lower Columbia College Speech and Debate Team: The Fighting Smelt. A national powerhouse, the Smelt are considered to be one of the top five community college programs in the nation under virtually any metric. Ilinca Slabu of Longview, and daughter of LCC employees, Minel and Claudia Slabu, won a national debate (top speaker) in an International Public Debate Association tournament this year. Wow, not bad for a pandemic year! LCC Proud!

New Members Add your business to our growing membership. Call 360-423-8400 Today!

Business Association with opportunities to promote trade through Chamber socials, special events and committee participation.

Look Who Joined in June Mary Cranston, LLC

Mary Cranston 7 Jeffery Place Longview, WA 98626 360-485-2375 coachmcranston@gmail.com

• Annual Meeting and Banquet • Networking Events • Committee Participation • Business Contacts • Quarterly Membership Meetings • Civic Representation

Kelly Connect

Bob Nocis 8300 28th Court Northeast Lacey, WA 98516 702-423-1274 Bob.nocis@kellyconnect.com

• Monthly Business After Hours

Business Services include marketing for your business, referrals and access to Chamber publications and research data. • Mailing Labels • Membership Window Decals • Member Referrals • Ribbon Cutting • Website Links • Member to Member Discounts • Membership Directory • Tax Deduction • Newsletter • Business Card Display • Use of Chamber Logo

Representation through action committees, candidate forums and up-to-date action alerts. • Legislative Representation • Issues Tracking and Information • Task Forces

Consistent Courteous Complete Title and Escrow Services

• Candidate Forums • Legislative Update Breakfast • Demographics Publication

Membership Packages Basic • $275 or $26 per month Bronze • $500 or $46.66 per month Silver • $1,000 or $86.33 per month Gold • $2,500 or $211.33 per month Platinum • $5,000 or $416.66 per month Diamond Club • $10,000 or $834 per month Nonprofit • $180 or $18 per month

1425 Maple Street • Longview, WA 98632


www.cascade-title.com Kelso Longview Business Connection | July 2021 | 17

Calendar July 2021 Sunday










4 Fourth of July

5 Office Closed



8 Chamber





13 Chamber







20 Chamber










30 sQuatch Fest,

31 sQuatch Fest,



Fourth of July

Executive Board, Noon, Mill City; BAH, 5:30pm Board Meeting, Noon, Mill City Grill

Ambassadors, 7:30am, Columbia Bank

Cowlitz County Event Center, 4-9pm

Cowlitz County Event Center, 10am-8pm

August 2021 Sunday









5 Chamber





10 Chamber









19 Business After













Executive Board, Noon, Mill City Grill

Board Meeting, Noon, Mill City Gril

18 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | July 2021

Ambassadors, 7:30am, Columbia Bank

Hours, ServPro, 5:30-7:30pm

Quarterly Membership Luncheon Road to Recovery

Thank you to our sponsors, members and those who helped make our Quarterly Membership Luncheon a success June 25 at the Kelso Elks Lodge. We are grateful to our speakers: Representatives Joel McEntire, Jim Walsh, and Ed Orcutt and Senator Jeff Wilson for making themselves available to speak about legislative issues affecting us locally.

Kelso Longview Business Connection | July 2021 | 19

Mind Your Own Business (At The Library) Chris Skaugset Director – Longview Public Library

Summer Reading opens for everyone


s I write this column, temperatures are rising to unprecedented levels, or seemingly so, and it is hot. Do you know what else is hot? Summer Reading at your Longview library! This year’s theme is Tails and Tales, and as you might suspect is all about animals. As you may remember, the library wasn’t open to the public last summer due to COVID. We did have Summer Reading, but it was virtual using the online program Beanstack. We count minutes read and as participants read more, they can earn prizes. This year is going to be a hybrid model of Summer Reading where people participating will again be using Beanstack. However, this year you can come into the library to get books and see the wonderful Summer Reading murals Library Technician and resident artist Mark Counts creates for us every year. Even more importantly, on Thursday mornings, we will have a family story time out on the library lawn on the west side of the building where the Shay Locomotive is located. We will also continue to have an online baby story time on Wednesdays. Adults don’t have to feel left out; we are also having Summer Reading for adults that functions pretty much the same as for children. To sign up for either, you can go http://www. longviewlibrary.org/kids.php.

own reflections with those of many other writers as she considers the indelible connection of identity to geography. This work is a graceful and lovely homage to people and place. “Cosmic Queries” by Neil deGrasse Tyson and James Trefil. Based on the popular talk show and podcast StarTalk, this collection of essays explores many of the universe's most intriguing mysteries. From dark matter, the Big Bang, and other space oddities to quarks, multiverses, and other quantum curiosities. Written in a conversational style much like the eponymous podcast, the authors attempt to break down these subjects into interesting stories and fun facts, making them readily accessible to a general audience with little or no familiarity with astrophysics and quantum mechanics. Its stunning color photographs enhance the enjoyment of this cosmic reading journey.

“Classical Mythology from A to Z” by Annette Giesecke. This companion to Edith Hamilton’s classic 1943 work, “Mythology”, is divided into four sections covering Greek and Roman deities, humans, monsters, and places. The writing style is inviting and highly readable. Entries vary in length from a few sentences to several pages. Quite apart from the information contained, this is a beautiful book: the layout is pleasing, with pages bordered in a sepia-toned Greek key design and frequent woodblockstyle illustrations. Occasional full-page color plates in the same woodblock style add to the appeal. Charts showing, for example, the genealogy of the ruling house of Troy, are double-page spreads, clearly laid out and beautifully ornamented. This is an excellent, and beautifully illustrated, introduction to classical mythology.

“Great Adaptations: Star-Nosed Moles, Electric Eels, and other Tales of Evolution’s Mysteries Solved” by Kenneth Catania. By blending accessible writing with cutting-edge science, Catania, demonstrates how exciting the process of scientific investigation can be in his invigorating debut. He shares his experiences asking fascinating questions about a number of odd animals including the star-nosed mole, the electric eel, the water shrew, large Florida earthworms, and the emerald jewel wasp. In each case, he describes how his research led to new discoveries, such as how the mole’s nose functions as perhaps the most sensitive, and high-resolution touch, system on our planet, and how the wasp controls the behavior of far larger cockroaches by injecting them with a potent venom. He also explains how his findings may yield insight into other subjects. The wasp venom, for example, may help treat Parkinson’s disease, while the eel’s electrical pulses relate to echolocation in bats, and the mole’s elaborate sense of touch, its primary sense, is surprisingly similar to human vision. Throughout, Catania introduces neuroscience basics in an accessible manner, while also making clear what a large role serendipity can play in scientific investigation. The joy Catania takes in the process of exploring the natural world will delight readers.

“Dark, Salt, and Clear: The Life of a Fishing Town” by Lamorna Ash. Making an engaging book debut, Ash offers a gently told memoir recounting several extended visits to Newlyn, a Cornwall fishing village to which she feels “unwittingly bound.” Her mother was born there and named Lamorna for a small local cove. Ash captures the color and rhythms of a close-knit community where life, livelihood, and death center on the sea. Generously welcomed by fishermen and supplied with seasickness pills, she embarked on day-boats and trawlers, sometimes for days at a time. In evocative detail, she depicts the unique personality of each boat and each fisherman, some of whom became her confidants, others, drinking buddies. Younger fishermen, especially, expressed their urgent concern with sustainability and worry about humankind’s potentially devastating impact on the oceans. Ash deftly weaves her

“The Best of Me” by David Sedaris. Sedaris’s brilliant knack for observational humor is on full display in this terrific retrospective essay collection. Gathered from his previously published volumes and magazine pieces, this work focuses on the dynamics among the six Sedaris siblings and their parents. Whether searching for the perfect Paris apartment with his partner, Hugh, recalling long-ago family vacations, or describing his sister Amy’s freaky encounter with a psychic, Sedaris finds ample fodder for his keen satiric sense in his life and the lives of those around him. Sedaris can take even the most serious subject–such as his sister Tiffany’s suicide–and evoke both empathy and laughter. He can also be just plain hilarious and make you laugh aloud, often, and in public. This is the perfect introduction for the uninitiated, while Sedaris’s fans will enjoy rediscovering old favorites.

Here are some of our most recent books that have tales or tails in them. You can find these and many more at your Longview library.

20 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | July 2021

News & Events Updated COVID-19 requirements for employers as Washington state reopens Businesses in Washington state are able to open at full capacity and have fewer requirements to follow to protect employees from COVID-19.

Both OSHA and L&I continue to recognize COVID-19 as a workplace hazard for unvaccinated individuals. Employers have an obligation to provide a safe and healthy workplace and assess the level of hazard to determine if additional steps should be taken to protect workers who are not fully vaccinated. Updated rules and guidance detail the changes employers need to know. Employers must: •

Ensure unvaccinated employees wear a mask while working indoors.

Verify vaccination status before lifting employee mask requirements, and be able to show the process used for verification.

Keep employees with possible or confirmed cases of COVID-19 from working around others.

Provide handwashing facilities and supplies.

Train employees to recognize and respond to workplace

hazards, including COVID-19. •

Assess recognized hazards, including COVID-19, as part of the ongoing requirement to provide a safe and healthful workplace and, where appropriate, take additional steps to protect unvaccinated employees.

Notify employees in writing within one business day if someone they had close contact with tests positive for COVID-19 (without disclosing the person’s identity).

Report COVID-19 outbreaks of 10 or more employees at workplaces or worksites with more than 50 employees to L&I within 24 hours.

Masks and face coverings •

Employers must provide cloth face coverings or a more protective mask to employees, free of charge, when use of a mask is required.

Employers may still require or encourage mask use, regardless of employee vaccination status.

Employees have the right to wear a mask or other protective equipment, regardless of their vaccination status, as long as it doesn’t create safety issues.

Industries where masks are still required for all workers

Our focus is on your business.

Health care (long-term care, doctor’s offices, hospitals)

Public transportation (aircraft, trains, buses, road vehicles)

K-12 schools, childcare facilities and day camps in locations where children are or are expected to be present

Correctional facilities

Homeless shelters

Verifying worker vaccination status

We’re committed to serving your banking needs, providing capital and guiding you in taking advantage of every tool we have at our disposal to help your business. Contact one of our business banking experts or visit HeritageBankNW.com to learn more. Kelso | 1000 South 13th Ave. 360.423.7800 Longview | 927 Commerce Ave. 360.423.9800 Equal Housing Lender | Member FDIC

HeritageBankNW.com |

Employers must be able to show the process used to verify employee vaccination status. They do not need to keep an actual copy of the employee’s vaccination records.

Acceptable types of verification include:

Vaccine card or photo of vaccine card.

Documentation from a health care provider.

State immunization information system record.

A hard copy or electronically signed self-attestation from the employee. From the Washington state Department of Labor and Industries Kelso Longview Business Connection | July 2021 | 21

News & Events

News and events come from our website, press releases, and public information shared with us. To see more visit kelsolongviewchamber.org

State tax revenues projected to come in $2.6 billion higher than expected

Washington’s quarterly revenue forecast last week showed a substantial increase in tax revenue: $2.6 billion more than was previously expected when lawmakers wrote the 2021-23 budget earlier this year. Video of the forecast council’s meeting is available here. The state’s revenue projection through mid-2023 is back to where it was in pre-pandemic levels, a complete turnaround since last June, when numbers warned of a nearly $9 billion shortfall, The Associated Press reports. Rep. Ed Orcutt, R-Kalama, said the turnaround means it’s time to start looking at tax relief, but Sen. Christine Rolfes, D-Bainbridge Island, the chief Democratic budget writer in the Senate, said it’s too early to think about making changes in the budget.

Total state revenue subject to the budget outlook process is forecasted to increase by $838 million in the 2019-21 biennium, $1.8 billion in the 2021-23 biennium and $2.2 billion in the 2023-25 biennium. Total state tax revenue is now forecast to be $53.2 billion in the current biennium, 15.4 percent higher than 2017-19 biennial revenue. Forecasted total revenue for the 2021-23 biennium is $58.4 billion, an increase of 9.9 percent over expected 2019-21 biennial revenue. Forecasted total revenue for the 2023-25 biennium is $62.2 billion, an increase of 6.4 percent over expected 2021-23 biennial revenue. “Happy days continue,” the Washington Research Council says in its summary of the revenue forecast. Contact Government Affairs Director Tommy Gantz to learn more about tax and fiscal issues.

From Association of Washington Business

Your Locally Owned and Operated Community Bank • Checking, Savings and CDs • Business Loans • Construction Loans • SBA Loans 729 Vandercook Way, Longview

(360) 414-4101 www.twincitybank.com

There’s a Difference. 22 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | July 2021

The Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce would like to THANK the following loyal members for renewing their partnership with us this month. Animal Health Services, Inc, PS Behrends Body Shop Bob's Sporting Goods Collins Architectural Group, PS Day Wireless Systems Fiesta Bonita Mexican Grill and Cantina Foster Farms Gallery of Diamonds Global Images Graphic Design and Marketing


Ribbon Cutting Location. Location. Location.

With warm weather here and restrictions lifted, our Red Coats have been hitting the pavement welcoming new members to the Chamber.

a Katie Keaton Reality One.

Hilander Dental Kelso Rotary Les Schwab Tire Center Northwest Motor Service Peter C. Wagner, DMD, PS Stirling Honda Sweet Spot Frozen Yogurt Taco Time The Roof Doctor, Inc Twin City Glass Company Twin City Service Company Weatherguard, Inc Wilcox and Flagel Oil Company Kelso Longview Business Connection | July 2021 | 23

Cowlitz County Commissioners Dennis Weber

County Commissioner, District 2

Catching up with County news makers


owlitz Transit Board – Transit Manager Amy Asher has accepted a position as transit manager for Mason County and is leaving on July 6. She has served River City Transit for five years and guided the organization through some staffing challenges, bus route changes, and construction of a new transit center in addition to handling the COVID-19 pandemic.

District Court Administrator Dee Wirkkala is filling additional clerk positions, along with more judges pro tem to assist with increased workloads due the change in drug possession laws and court-ordered caseload limits. Judges are having a few interesting virtual court hearings, especially as some defendants are appearing from home partially clothed!

Because the City of Longview operates River City Transit on behalf of the Transit Board, Longview’s Public Works Director Ken Hash, has appointed Assistant Transit Manager Jim Seeks as interim transit manager. Hash will lead the search for a permanent transit manager, likely using an outside recruitment company to assist with this task. It can take three to four months to go through the process of recruitment and hiring.

Public Defense Director Kari Reardon recently received a $77,000 state grant for new staff just to handle the ongoing Blake cases and she expects another grant in August for approximately $293,000, again just to cover Blake-related cases.

Financial Management – County Treasurer Debra Gardner reported that first-half property tax collections came in at 55.8 percent, compared to only 53.9 percent a year ago. Although limited to around 1 percent increase annually, property taxes are the major source of revenue for county government, which only gets 15 percent of the sales tax generated in cities. Gardner also reported that real estate excise revenues also are coming in higher than last year. Finance Director Kurt Williams reports that sales tax revenue “continues to defy logic.” As of June 30, the county received 18 percent more than last June, which was 24 percent more than 2019. He is worried that growth is unsustainable, especially as the supplemental unemployment checks end and recipients are once again required by the state to seek employment. Combined with growing inflation, he is concerned that the 2024-25 budget will be difficult to balance. Law and Justice Departments – Looking forward about $2.75 million more has been requested this year to cope with the lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, plus several recent expensive decisions by the state Supreme Court and Legislature, especially the Blake decision that is forcing prosecutors and defense attorneys to reconsider previous sentences. The state did budget $44 million to help counties statewide with this. Corrections Chief Marin Fox reports the jail census hit over 160 on a recent weekend, getting closer to pre-pandemic levels. But if COVID infections increase, more prisoners must be isolated in quarantine. Making it worse is the uptick in people having severe mental illness crises in jail, forcing even more prisoners to be in isolation. Consequently, some non-violent prisoners are being released early to make room for more severe cases. Since jail revenue is paid by cities based on misdemeanor convictions and jail time, when those numbers decline, the county must pick up the difference in funding staff which can’t be cut with so many cells still being filled by single prisoners. 24 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | July 2021

Public Works – Road and Bridges – Public Works Director Mike Moss reports that dry weather means a lot of road and bridge projects are under way, including the annual overlay and chip-sealing projects. Supply issues, though, are causing some unexpected delays. Two very old bridges are in the queue for replacement, including the Rocky Point Half-Bridge over the BNSF mainline that dates back to 1919. A Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster assistance grant is being prepared to replace the collapsed culvert that has closed a portion of Pleasant Hill Road. Public Works – Landfill – The county’s Headquarters Landfill continues to be profitable as non-county customers are being charge rates multiple times the rate charged to county residents and businesses. The volume is still within the limits agreed to by city leaders a year ago but is only 75 percent of the maximum allowed – thus preserving plenty of years to continue in operation. Moss also reported that an additional 22 acres is being prepped for the next “cell” for storing garbage. This is only Cell No. 9 out of 22, and the solid waste management plan calls for filling each cell a second time over the years after the waste compacts and decays. Public Works – Energy Production – On a related front the Commissioners approved an agreement with Cowlitz County PUD to allow them access to determine if technology is now available to process the landfill’s methane gas into electricity. It is currently being burned in two stacks at temperatures of 1,700 degrees Fahrenheit. If feasible, the PUD will produce a win-win operation for county customers. Public Works – Volcanic Sediment – Continuing movement of sediment down the Toutle and Cowlitz rivers has led federal budget writers to add resources for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to continue monitoring the flow in anticipation of the need for dredging the lower valley, as they prepare to raise the sediment retention dam in the upper Toutle at Kid Valley. In addition, the state legislature did add funding for Cowlitz County to use to acquire dredge storage sites. For more County Commissioners, see page 25

Building Business Relationships “

Our business members are our financial partners, so our goal is to ensure every business, no matter how large or small, receives fast and efficient service. We strive to meet business members’ individualized needs with top-notch products, competitive rates, minimal fees, and extraordinary service. Whether you’re established and looking for a new financial partner or you’re just starting out on your business venture, we look forward to building a partnership with you.

Karla Seaman, Business Relationship Coordinator

Bring your business to Fibre Federal for Business Plus Checking, Business Online Banking, Remote Deposit, low-cost loans, and incredible member service.

360.423.8750 1.800.205.7872 www.fibrecu.com

County Commissioners from page 24

Expo Center – Fair and Tourism Manager Kim Bowcutt announced the Cowlitz County Fair and Thunder Mountain Rodeo have been scheduled for July 21-24. Then the KelsoLongview Chamber of Commerce will hold its sQuatch Fest on July 30-31. And the Unique Tin Car Show is set for later this summer. Plus, they continue to host Superior Court trials and warehouse personal protection equipment supplies. So, she cautioned that means there would not be room for still life exhibits, such as photography, flowers, quilts, and cooking. Information Technology – Managers are reporting continual challenges facing county IT-users by hackers trying to attach malware into the computer system. But the protection software being used successfully blocks spam to the tune of as many as 6,500 per hour some days.


computer • tablet • phone Sign up today and receive a $ credit


Sign up today! Call 360.423.2210 or

https://www.cowlitzpud.org/ebill Federally insured by NCUA

Banking made easy

Kelso Longview Business Connection | July 2021 | 25



Business After Hours Getting to Know You

Catlin Properties hosted our June Business After Hours event. The Kelso-based property management business offered facility tours, refreshments and plenty of networking opportunities. Thank you!

a Guests mingled and networked b Rob Dahl was a basket winner c Lisa and Ray Pyle with another winner d Chamber Ambassadors Tiffani Whitten and Katie Keaton e Catlin Properties staff


e 26 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | July 2021


Your Chamber Connection

EVERY Wednesday on KEDO 1400AM Join our hosts Carey Mackey, Red Canoe Credit Union; Karen Sisson; Shawn Green, ServPro Longview/Kelso and Marc Silva, Columbia Bank for local guests and current events. Would you like an opportunity to be on Your Chamber Connection? Contact Bill or Amy at the Chamber 360-423-8400.



a Heather Sneider with Fibre Federal Credit Union b Kelly Godden with Specialty Rents and Events and Axecutioner Axe Throwing c Raegan Royale with Pucci Pups Stream Your Chamber Connection live at www.kedoam.com


Virtual Performances by local artists! SATURDAYS AT 5PM WATCH ON THE COLUMBIA THEATRE'S FACEBOOK & YOUTUBE SEE ALL PAST VIRTUAL SHOWS AT WWW.COLUMBIATHEATRE.COM Columbia Theatre Longview Box Office: 360.575.8499/ www.columbiatheatre.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/CTPAtheatre YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/TheColumbiaTheatre

28 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | July 2021


Tune in to…

Your Chamber Connection Recorded on Wednesdays 11:00 am to 12:00 noon Listen at 6:00 pm KEDO 1400 AM or 99.1 FM Featuring your hosts: Carey Mackey - Red Canoe Credit Union Karen Sisson Shawn Green - Longview Kelso Servpro Marc Silva - Columbia Bank

Business Connection Advertising Rates Effective January 1, 2020 Kelso-Longview Business Connection monthly newsletter is published the first of each month, posted electronically on our website and over 6,400 emailed to local business professionals, city and county officials. To be included in this monthly email, call the Chamber office at 360-423-8400. Size 1/16 Page 1/8 Page 1/4 Page 1/2 Page Full Page

1 - 3 Issues $110 $175 $205 $325 $625

4-7 Issues $90 $140 $170 $290 $570

8-10 Issues $70* $105* $140* $245* $480*

12 Issues $50* $75* $100* $190* $400*

2" x 2.5" 4" x 2.5" 4" x 5.25" 4" x 10.5" 8" x 10.5"

Dimensions (*Includes ad on website) (*Includes ad on website) (*Includes ad on website) (V) or 8" x 5.25" (H) (*Includes ad on website)

All ads include full color and any design work. Deadline is the 21st of the month prior to publication. Digital files: PDF is preferred. JPEG accepted at high resolution(at least 300 dpi). Non-Members of the Kelso-Longview Chamber of Commerce, please add 30% to above rates. To advertise or request additional information please contact: Amy Hallock at 360-423-8400 or ahallock@kelsolongviewchamber.org or CEO Bill Marcum at 360-423-8400 or bmarcum@kelsolongviewchamber.org

Advertising Agreement


Business Name: _____________________________________ Phone: ____________________________ Contact Name: _________________

___________________ Cell: _______________________________

Address: ____________________________________________________________ Zip _______________ Email: _____________________________________________ Fax: _______________________________ Number of Issues: 12 month agreement


Credit Card


Plus Web Ad: 300W X 100H. Ads can be changed monthly. Signature__________________________________ Ad Rep Signature___________________________



Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.