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County Board approves Strategic Plan


Jan. 9, 2010    The Columbia County Board of Commissioners yesterday approved a Strategic Plan for the county. The Plan, which was developed by a team of staff members from various departments and work levels, contains goals and outcomes that the county will work towards in the next one to three years. Internally focused, the plan identifies three major areas the county will address. They include Communications, Organizational Excellence, and Economic Stability and Economic Development. Individual strategic initiatives and action plans to achieve outcomes identified in the Plan will be developed and implemented by additional teams. Read the memo to the board and view the goals and outcomes →

Fiscal sustainability for Columbia County


The Columbia County Board of Commissioners has adopted a report that details new revenue sources that have the potential to improve the county’s fiscal position over the next three to five years. The report, entitled “Fiscal Sustainability in Columbia County: A Path Forward” is the result of months of technical work and discussion regarding revenues and expenditures as well as funding needs for the county. The board utilized the services of ECONorthwest to research more than a dozen possible revenue sources that would fund a variety of county services. An ad-hoc advisory committee of residents and representatives of county business, public health, education and economic development interests provided feedback on the possible methods and to inform the process.&n...

Property tax statements mailed; where does your money go


November 4, 2019 The Columbia County Finance and Taxation Department recently sent taxpayers their annual property tax statement. Payments are due by November 15. Property taxes pay for a number of critical services. These include public safety (law enforcement, fire and emergency services), parks, schools, refuse disposal, recycling, public transportation, public defense, elections, community justice and a host of other important municipal services. Columbia County will collect $78,991,571 in taxes from both businesses and private landowners this year.  But the majority of that amount doesn’t stay in county coffers – only 9.37 percent, or roughly $7.4 million goes into the county’s general fund. An additional 4.00 percent, or $3.1 million, goes to the Ja...

Historic courthouse undergoes continual restoration


October 17, 2019 The Historic Columbia County Courthouse is a fixture in this area. An icon emblazoned on logos, labels, signs and many other items, it is a meme of sorts, an image that identifies our local culture and pride. Built 114 years ago, the courthouse, which is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, emits a sense of stability, of long standing strength and dignity. But not all things are meant to, or are able to, last forever. Though the bulk of the County Courthouse is constructed of stone and is in good shape, some of the exterior wooden elements are showing their age.  Repairing and replacing historic structures can be tricky. No one wants to lose the details that make a building beautiful, but sometimes those details are difficult to replicate,...

“Road Closed” signs are there for a reason


October 17, 2019 Do you know how it feels when you’re in a hurry, or have travelled a long way, and you come up to a “road closed” sign? Frustrating, right? Have you ever thought about going around those signs? Well, I’m here to tell you – DON’T! If there’s one thing road managers hate to do, it’s close roads. But they do so for a reason – and very good reasons at that. Roads are closed when it’s unsafe to travel on them. Construction, flooding, and landslides are often the reason. Construction workers need space to work, and when a road is closed, they know they can move about safely. A motorist driving up to or through a construction area can take them by surprise or hurt them, let alone cause other significant damag...

Columbia County Schedules Public Hearing


August 22, 2019 Columbia County commissioners will host a public hearing on Wednesday, August 7, at 6:30 p.m. to discuss the formation of a service district to support CC Rider, the county’s transit service. Commissioners will take comments from the public before voting on a ballot measure title and description the new district. This is the second hearing on the subject; the first was on July 10, A service district will give CC Rider a permanent source of funding to plan for and grow the bus service. Currently, CC Rider is on restricted routes because of the lack of funding and debt obligations. A service district would also allow CC Rider to remain under the guidance of the County Board of Commissioners with support from county departments such as legal, finance, and ...

Improvements to Gable Road


June 13, 2019 Safety and access improvements on Gable Road west of Highway 30 began this week under a contract between Columbia County’s Public Works Department and TFT Construction Inc. of Scappoose, Oregon.  Sidewalks, bike lanes and new storm and sanitary sewer lines, among other upgrades, will be added to the roadway from Columbia Boulevard to Highway 30. Two flasher units to aid in safety to and from school for the students will also be installed at the west and east ends of the school.  The contractors are currently relocating utilities and have completed staging areas along the work zone. Major detours will begin after June 13 – the last day of school for students at St. Helens High.  Gable Road will remain open to two-way traffic from Colum...

Interested in Becoming A TRAC Member?


Interested in roads and transportation, and how Columbia County plans and manages our roads? Then apply to join our Transportation/Roads Advisory Committee. TRAC members act as a liaison between local communities and the County Public Works director. They gather public input on the county’s multi-modal transportation system and represent the community in regard to transportation concerns. These can include road operating policy, potential capital improvement projects or renovation plans, and overall department budget and funding. Apply online at: co.columbia.or.us/files/boc/volunteer_interest_form.pdf