Conservation grants totaling more than $1 million sought for four Hoquiam projects

Hoquiam City Administrator Brian Shay was given the OK by the City Council Monday to apply for recreation grants for four major projects in the city, including more than $900,000 for an Adams Street shorelines restoration project grant through the State Recreation and Conservation Office that would require no matching city funds.

Shay also announced he was seeking $800,000 from the Chehalis Basin Flood Authority in grants to do pre-design studies on the westside levee, which would extend the protection of the northshore levee north to the Woodlawn area.

According to Shay, the Adams Street shorelines restoration project would remove the asphalt and concrete riprap — materials used to stabilize the shoreline — from the shoreline, or south side of 5th Street at Adams Street. Derelict pilings would be removed, particularly those that are treated with creosote, to improve water quality. A former building footing and other debris would be removed and planted with native vegetation.

The project would restore the shoreline to a more natural state and provide opportunities for public access, according to the city’s grant application. It would also provide a more habitable place for juvenile salmon and other fish species.

Another project on the list is the Adams Street waterfront park. This project is in the same area and would create a new waterfront park in the area. The project would include a picnic shelter, interpretive signage, a paved parking area, a small unmotorized craft launch, and waterside pathways for viewing of the shipping lanes and wildlife watching. This grant would be for a total of $80,000 from the state’s Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account with a sponsor match of $80,000 for a total of $160,000.

As Shay pointed out, however, these two Adams Street projects are overlapping. If the city is able to secure the Adams Street shorelines restoration grant, the $900,000 grant with no matching funds, it will cover everything listed in that project, along with everything in the Adams Street waterfront park project, so the latter grant with its matching funds from the city of $80,000 would not be needed.

Two more projects deal with lighting at Olympic Stadium and Gable Park Athletic Field.

The Gable Park project would require $80,000 to have city workers install 40 new LED lights on eight existing light poles covering the two ball fields. The state would provide $64,000, and Shay said the Hoquiam Girls Fastpitch Association has pledged to cover the matching funds required, $16,000.

The Olympic Stadium lighting project would cost more, $225,000, and require city matching funds of $25,000. The 146 lights currently covering the field are 30 years old, and those would be replaced with much more efficient LED lighting.

Westside levee

While not among the grants listed on the agenda for Monday’s City Council meeting, Shay added that he was also finishing up a grant proposal for the Chehalis Basin Flood Authority for pre design work on the westside levee.

This levee would protect areas not included in the current northshore levee design north of Hoquiam, including the Woodlawn area. The grant would be in the amount of $800,000 and would cover the costs of project review, including sending the proposal to FEMA to make sure it would be worth the cost in terms of removing properties from the mandatory flood insurance requirement.