Weekly Reader

Friday, July 10, 2020

The Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments (CWCOG) is conducting a Regional Economic Vitality Survey. The purpose of this survey is to provide information to the CWCOG to assist in its efforts to serve its member agencies and improve economic vitality and quality of place throughout the region. This survey is a follow up to the 2019 Economic Vitality Survey, which was available July 2019 through August 2019. The CWCOG plans to continue this annual survey for the next several years in an effort to document the progress within the community. Thank you for your participation and feedback!  Click here to access the survey. Please share this with your stakeholders, family and friends.

Economic Development
Interested in checking your internet speed? Click here for Washington State Broadband Office speed test information.  Here is a visualization of the data collected so far. It could help the region to document the portions of our communities that have poor internet access to have as many tests as possible documented. Please share with others.

Here is a training opportunity for next week that might be of interest. The Cities at a Crossroad webinar hosted by the National League of Cities looks to be an interesting session. According to the promo from NLC, “Today’s simultaneous COVID health pandemic, economic recession and social justice crises are rapidly changing the economic landscape. Will this moment be a catalyst to accelerate economic trends, or will they begin to reverse?  And what are some cities doing now to build a better future? Join TIP Strategies as they share data-driven insights and concrete examples of how some city leaders are shepherding their communities through this high-stakes juncture and into a more resilient future.”

From WSDOT – With the arrival of summer and more counties relaxing restrictions under Gov. Jay Inslee’s Safe Start plan, the Washington state departments of Health, Commerce and Transportation have joined together to provide more access to public roadways in support of active, healthy communities and business recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Safe, Healthy and Active Streets Program allows temporary lane reallocations on some state roadways to allow walkers and cyclists more space to maintain physical distance, and to provide greater access to businesses along “main street” highways. This temporary change to some traffic lanes could let towns increase space for people walking or biking, or create outdoor seating for restaurants and sales areas for retailers, while maintaining physical distance to help reduce exposure to the virus. WSDOT asks interested local jurisdictions to ensure that they’ve communicated with the people and businesses affected by the changes and that they report on how the roadway changes work. Towns could use this reallocation to test and learn from changes that they might want to consider implementing in the future.  WSDOT news release

Have you heard the term road diet? Here is some information to learn more about the type of project implemented in Kelso on Grade Street and that you might be seeing more of throughout the region.

Community Development / Other
Congratulations to Wahkiakum County for reaching their 2010 response rate milestones for Census self-reporting!   More than 44% of the state has reached this important milestone.

Households can still respond now by completing and mailing back the paper questionnaire they received, by responding online at 2020census.gov, or by phone at 844-330-2020. Households can also respond online or by phone in one of 13 languages and find assistance in many more. Those that respond will not need to be visited to obtain their census response. We still have a long way to go to reach a full count of our population.

Insights on reopening schools from the Brookings Institute. “The gradual reopening of schools after the COVID-19 crisis provides a unique opportunity to rethink the day-to-day experiences of students and teachers. Emiliana Vegas discusses what can be learned from Denmark and Finland.”

Here is an article from MRSC regarding looking beyond city and county lines as you look at disaster plans. The CWCOG does this all the time as it works on the region’s economic development and transportation plans.

Here is a quick project that CWCOG staff recently completed for the Port of Longview.