Weekly Reader

Friday, September 6, 2019

Economic Development
Several members of the Executive Committee took a trip to meet with Pacific County elected officials to explore possible cooperative initiatives with an economic development focus but included a brief discussion on health care. Key takeaways from the discussion include a decision to meet quarterly to explore economic development issues of mutual interest. Issues discussed include the following items: housing, co-working space, cell service availability, resiliency (economic recovery), fish harvesting, forest practices, health care and tourism. If you are interested in being added to the distribution list for future meetings please let me know.

BLS update – Payroll employment increases by 130,000 in August; unemployment rate unchanged at 3.7%

A meeting of the Executive Workforce Advisory Council met this morning to discuss a variety of issues regarding workforce development. It was exciting to hear the school districts and the business community focus on regional approaches to solutions.

Articles to read from WSDOT – Why Speed Kills Cities: “Reducing speeds is the best, easiest, and fastest way to quickly radically improve safety, for both drivers and anyone in front of them.” Unsafe Streets’ New Liability: “Simply put, streets that are known to be unsafe are now the legal responsibility of their municipality, meaning that crashes caused by reckless driving on those streets cannot be dismissed as private, individual acts of recklessness, but must also be addressed on a systematic basis by the city.”

“A report from the American Automobile Association (AAA) Foundation for Traffic Safety documents 939 deaths that occurred in 2017 as the result of red light running by drivers, which represents 28% of all traffic deaths that occur at a signalized intersection. This also represents a marked increase in red light running deaths, hitting a 10-year high and a 28% increase since 2012.” Click here for the Story.

General Election Ballot Issue information – Click here for the general link form the Washington Office of Financial Management and here for the specific details on I-976. According to OFM “I-976 changes vehicle taxes and fees by lowering motor vehicle and light duty truck weight fees to $30; eliminating the 0.3 percent sales tax on vehicle purchases; lowering electric vehicle and snowmobile fees; and removing authority for transportation benefit districts to impose a vehicle fee. Total revenue loss to the state in the next six years is $1,921,901,238. Total revenue loss to local governments in the next 6 years is $2,317,121,034.”

Click here for information on an Association of Washington Cities webinar on the I-976 issue planned for Friday, September 13 at 1:00 pm. The CWCOG staff is hosting the webinar at our office with a local discussion following the AWC webinar. Let me know if you have interest in attending. We have limited space and want to make sure we have adequate accommodations. Click here for additional information from the Washington Public Transportation Association.

The June 30, 2019 edition of WSDOT’s quarterly performance report (Gray Notebook 74) continues to track the agency’s work toward implementing its strategic plan goals of Inclusion, Practical Solutions and Workforce Development. This edition can be found online.

Community Development / Other
Preparing the next generation of regional leaders. With new backpacks and school supplies in tow, students across the country are heading back to school. They probably are not thinking about the regional planning that went into creating the transportation system that brought them to school. Some regional councils are trying to teach the next generation that even being as young as they are, they can significantly impact their communities. Click here for the article from the National Association of Regional Councils.

HUD has posted the Federal fiscal year 2020 Fair Market Rents for public & assisted housing. They are effective October 1st. For the FMR’s in your market, visit.

FEMA Region X Newsletter – Click here.

Washington Department of Commerce filed a CR-101 on June 27 announcing its intent to complete rulemaking to support The Encouraging Investments in Affordable and Supportive Housing Act. The act directs Commerce to adopt rules that define the reporting requirements and process for cities and counties participating in the program. For more information, please visit the Department of Commerce’s rulemaking webpage or contact Emily Grossman at 360-725-2798 or emily.grossman@commerce.wa.gov.

Up-coming events and activities

  • Cowlitz Regional Information Forum, September 13, 7:30 am, at the Port of Kalama (Note Location Change)
  • Regional Transportation Planning Organization Board meeting, September 18, 10 am, Veterans Museum, Chehalis
  • CWCOG Board of Directors meeting, September 26, Noon, Cowlitz Event Center
  • CWCOG Executive Committee meeting, September 26, 1:15 pm, Cowlitz Event Center