County takes action on ORV park, Wishkah levee, mileage

During a short meeting on March 20, the Grays Harbor County Commission took action on several issues including signing a lease for the ORV park in McCleary, penning an agreement for the Wishkah Road levee project, and adjusting the way the county reimburses its commissioners for mileage.

Commissioners Randy Ross and Wes Cormier excused Commissioner Vickie Raines, who was absent from the meeting.

ORV Park

Commissioners approved a five-year lease agreement with PNWMX LLC in which the event promoter will pay the county $27,500 per year for the duration of the lease of the county-owned Straddleline ORV Park.

Last December, the commissioners agreed to offer a lease to PNWMX after the former promoter declined to renew its contract. The new agreement will take effect March 27.

PNWMX is owned by four-time Supercross and three-time Motocross champion Ryan Villopoto.

In addition to several physical changes, including a new course layout, PNWMX successfully lobbied the commissioners to change the name of the park from Straddleline ORV Park to Grays Harbor ORV Park.

Levee project

The Wishkah Road levee project has taken another step forward with the commissioners approving an agreement with the state Recreation and Conservation Office for $5.25 million to construct the levee.

According to county engineer Rob Wilson, the project will go out to bid in April and likely will start construction in July. The project will take about four months to complete.

The flood wall would be built at Baretich Flats, between mileposts 2.2 and 2.7 on Wishkah Road.

The wall is part of an overall flood project along Wishkah Road that also would establish flood mitigation efforts at Ellison Dip (milepost 3.8), Long Swamp (milepost 5.0) and Vienna Tracts (milepost 7.6). Overall project costs could reach $15 million. All fall under the umbrella of the Chehalis River Basin Flood Authority.


Ross and Cormier approved an amendment to a resolution regulating how the commissioners can charge mileage to the county.

In August 2015, Commissioners Cormier, Raines and Frank Gordon approved limiting monthly mileage reimbursement to $300. While that resolution resulted in some conflict among the commissioners, it remained in place.

Earlier this month, Raines noted that she was recording low mileage for some months and exceeding the $300 limit for others. She suggested establishing an annual limit instead.

The amendment approved March 20 by Ross and Cormier allows the commissioners to bill up to $3,600 per year, which is equal to $300 per month.