Longview City Info Weekly

Celebrate Safely 

Each year in the United States, more than 16,000 reported fires are started by fireworks.  Sparklers account for roughly one-quarter of emergency room fireworks injuries. Follow these safety tips to help reduce the possibility of a fire or injury:
 
Be Prepared…before you light fireworks

Use only legal fireworks, purchased locally at licensed sales locations
Keep pets indoors
Always have a garden hose or bucket of water nearby just in case

 
Be Safe…when lighting fireworks

Only adults should light fireworks
Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area away from buildings, vehicles, and dry vegetation
Follow the directions on the device – do not hold in your hand or throw fireworks
Always place fireworks on a hard, level surface
Use eye protection and do not allow any part of your body to cross over the top of an ignited firework device
Light one device at a time and move away quickly
NEVER attempt to re-light a ‘dud’ – place it in a bucket of water
NEVER aim fireworks at people or structures

 
Be Responsible…after you finish

Soak ALL used fireworks in water overnight
NEVER PLACE USED FIREWORKS DEBRIS IN OR NEAR YOUR HOME!
Be a good neighbor – use fireworks in a manner that keeps debris on your property
Keep matches and lighters away from children

 

Celebrate Legally

 The best way to ensure the fireworks you use are legal is to make your purchases from licensed sales locations within the City of Longview. Fireworks purchased outside of the city (such as on Tribal lands or through the internet) are often of a variety not allowed in Washington State. See attached for more information.
 
The following types of fireworks are illegal:

If it is guided by a stick (bottle rockets) or fins (missiles)
If it has no other function except to explode (firecrackers, M-80’s etc.)
Homemade devices or modified consumer fireworks
To comply with the law, up to 10 authorized vendors may sell legal fireworks starting at noon Sunday, June 28 in several locations within the Longview city limits. The city’s Fire Marshall is responsible for inspecting all firework vendors in Longview to confirm they are eligible for permits.
Per Longview Municipal Code Title 18, fireworks can be used only during the following dates and times:
June 28th                    12:00 p.m. (noon) to 11:00 p.m.
June 29th to July 3       9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
July 4th                        9:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. (midnight)
July 5th                        9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
December 31st            6:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. (midnight)
January 1st                 12:00 a.m. (midnight) to 1:00 a.m.

 

Except as allowed via a permit for a public display of fireworks, it shall be unlawful for any person to possess, ignite, explode, or discharge fireworks of any description in any of the public parks within the City of Longview (LMC 13.01.090).

 

Violating the date and time restrictions could result in a misdemeanor cited into Municipal Court. Bail would be $500 under Washington law RCW 70.77.395, Sale/Purchase/Discharge Fireworks Outside Permitted Times.
 
For more information, please contact the Longview Fire Department at (360) 442-5503 or via e-mail at LFD@mylongview.com.

 

From the Mayor’s Desk for the month of June

Hey everyone!

Now having been in the Mayor’s seat for six months, I’d like to mention a few of the noteworthy events that have taken place so far. Consider the following scenes:

Scene 1:  On January 9, 2020, I took the Mayor’s oath to solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution and laws of the State of Washington, and all local ordinances, and that I will faithfully and impartially perform and discharge the duties of the office of Mayor according to the law and the best of my ability.

As Longview’s 23rd Mayor, I want to affirm to you that I take that charge seriously and am grateful for the opportunity to serve our community in the office that I hold. After all the unusual events that have commenced in 2020 (and dare there be more), I am doing my best to uphold that oath. I was elected to represent you, and I do all I can in my power and authority to weigh public policies and facilitate community action that furthers a consistent respect for our city code and for our state and federal constitutions. I continue to work tirelessly for our community each day, and I offer my time to citizens through calls, emails, and regular office hours (temporarily squelched by Covid-19) and have pledged to be transparent, impartial and accessible to the Council and citizens of the City.

 

Scene 2:  Enter the Novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and its disease COVID-19. Signing the proclamation for the Incident Management Team of Cowlitz County to disseminate official information and direction to our citizens was a bold and necessary step for each of the Mayors of all five cities in Cowlitz County. Doing so has allowed each city a seat at the table to participate in the Governor’s Four-Step Phasing, and the choice personally to participate by governing our actions with the measures that will protect the citizens (social distancing, facial coverings, modified work). This will help us achieve our ultimate goal of reaching Phase 4, where businesses can function near/full capacity and citizens can get back to regular daily schedules and enjoying all our freedoms. Our eagerness as a city to progress quicker has created quite the stir - so much so that at the time of this letter, Cowlitz County

is “stuck” in Phase 2 with consideration of a “partial” Phase 3 for the next three weeks. To be continued…

Scene 3: Deep-seeded hatred, blatant bias and racism have no place in our hearts or in our city. Come on folks, it’s 2020! I am absolutely a proponent of free speech – including expressions of peaceful protest; but deliberate lawlessness? NO! Looting, desecration of property and disregard for the law do not solve problems but rather create them. Supporting our police force and their tremendous bravery in taking on their difficult roles each day is a privilege. Trusting in our local officers and acknowledging their efforts on our behalf is critical to the morale of the department – and the community.

We have some work to do… 

 

Scene 4:  The Cowlitz County homeless population residing at Alabama Street has grown and continues to grow. It was the intention of the City Manager to close the camp for cleaning on March 30, 2020, but with Covid-19 on the scene, it would have been an irresponsible move. The Cowlitz County Ad-Hoc Siting Committee met multiple times to discuss new sites only to find that not one site was acceptable to the public or met the criteria of the committee and ultimately, to my disappointment, the committee was disbanded. To be continued… 

 

Scene 5:

The City Council, the City Manager and the City Staff have been busy! Project completions and building permits continue despite Covid-19. The Beech Street Business Park is underway. Soon there will be a brand-new section of street with 46 acres to accommodate 14 new businesses in Longview. Notwithstanding the difficult constraints placed on our community from State and local authorities through an abundance of caution to protect us all from the Covid-19 pandemic, Longview will rise responsibly out of this challenge and will be OPEN for business!

 

Our Revolving Loan Fund committee has recommended changes for entrepreneurs, including no loan fees, no application or administrative fees, low interest at favorable rates and a payment deferral.

 

A much-anticipated traffic signal improvement project is underway now in downtown Longview.

 

Through a successful grant acquisition, additional ADA requested improvements will be installed for 16 sidewalk ramps along 30th Avenue, and 46th Avenue will receive brand new resurfacing and improvements.

 

Council approved and instituted a new committee - the Complete Streets Advisory Committee - which allows assisting and advising city staff on best practices for complete streets for all varieties of active transportation in Longview.

 

Through our Community Development Block Grants, HOME grants and DOC recording fees, Council allocated close to $500k in funds for service agencies within our community and assisted in the utility rate reduction for nearly 300 seniors in our community.

 

Please be encouraged, friends. The City is in good hands and we are working hard on your behalf. Covid-19 will not prevail! Please be safe, wise and find ways to uplift and encourage one another. Be kind to each other. We are all worth it!

Blessings until next time,
MaryAlice

 

Longview’s COVID-19 Safe Start Plan update

As Cowlitz County continues to remain in Phase 2 of Washington’s Safe Start Plan, the City of Longview would like to remind our citizens and guests of our Longview Municipal Code (LMC) and park regulations. These rules are in place for the safety and enjoyment of not only guests to our parks, but park grounds and facilities, and the neighborhoods that surround our parks. Additionally, these regulations are in force even outside of the Covid-19 restrictions.
 
We are aware of events being proposed in local parks, including Lake Sacajawea. There have been no sanctioned, permitted events allowed during this time and nothing upcoming has been permitted. The Go4th Committee decided to cancel its annual 4th of July celebration out of a concern for the public’s safety. This was a difficult decision for that organization to make but they understood their need to act responsibly in the face of the current and ongoing pandemic.
 
Not only would a gathering of more than five people while Cowlitz County is in Phase 2 violate Governor Inslee’s directives, but depending on what is planned, it may well violate provisions of the Longview Municipal Code. (Even if Cowlitz County is approved of its modified Phase 3 application, outdoor recreation events are allowed up to 25 people.)
 
For example:
             LMC 13.01.200 prohibits sound amplification equipment in the park without a permit. No upcoming events have sought nor been granted a permit; and,
 
            LMC 13.01.062 prohibits placing any obstacle whatsoever in the park except with the written permission of the parks director. This would include stage equipment, portable sanitation, etc. No upcoming events have sought nor been granted such a permit.
 
            LMC 13.01.090 prohibits fireworks. Except as allowed by a permit for a public display of fireworks, it shall be unlawful for any person to possess, ignite, explode or discharge fireworks of any description in any of the public parks within the city. No upcoming events have sought nor been granted such a permit.
 
Additionally,
             Pursuant to LMC 7.40.020 a special event permit or authorization from the city is required for any event in a park, public place or on private property where it will significantly impact public sidewalks, public roadways or emergency services.
 
Park Use Regulations can be found in Title 13 of the Longview Municipal Code. It includes additional information such as parking, vendors (including food), and park hours. Of special note, from June 1 through Labor Day, City parks are closed 11:00 p.m. through 5:00 a.m. of the following morning.
 
If and when Cowlitz County is approved to move into the requested modified Phase 3 and playgrounds are allowed to reopen, please be aware that Longview School District grounds and facilities continue to be closed, which includes their playgrounds.

 

 

RiverCities Transit will continue to suspend fares for July 2020

In order to continue social distancing for our passengers and operators, RiverCities Transit has suspended fares for July 2020. Quarterly passes will not be available. Other social distancing techniques RiverCities has implemented include limiting the number of passengers on a bus to 10 and asking passengers to board through the rear doors. Once onboard, passengers are encouraged to practice social distancing by sitting away from each other and wearing a cloth face covering as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 

RiverCities Transit continues to provide service to those that need to access essential jobs and lifeline services but urges riders to follow Governor Inslee’s Stay-at-Home Order and limit their trips to keep all of our community members healthy. All fixed routes are running a reduced Saturday level of service Monday – Friday 8 AM – 6 PM until further notice.

 

Passengers who are unable to access essential services and jobs as a result of RCT’s service reductions are encouraged to contact RCT at (360) 442-5663 or customerservice@rctransit.org.

 

2021-2022 tourism funds available for projects that support or maintain tourism in Longview

The City of Longview is taking applications for the funding of projects that support or maintain tourism in Longview. An example of projects that qualify might include but are not limited to festivals or events, advertising brochures, etc. The deadline for submitting an application is 6:00 p.m. on  Tuesday, June 30, 2020. 
 
An electronic version of the application can be obtained from the City’s website at https://www.mylongview.com/348/Outside-Agency-Request. If you are unable to print the application, you may call the Executive Office at 360.442.5004 to have one sent to you. Completed applications must be mailed to the City of Longview, PO Box 128, Longview, WA 98632, or dropped off in the utility payment drop box near the postal boxes on the Broadway Street median across from City Hall
 
The request for funding application should clearly state the amount of support needed for each year of the biennial budget on the application (example: $2,000 in the year 2021 and $2,000 for the year 2022). All requests for funding will be evaluated according to availability of funds. Any request that meets the criteria for tourism funds will then be prioritized according to its benefit to citizens of Longview most directly, its meeting the human needs of the people as a whole, and its promotion of Longview.
 
Successful applicants will be notified in writing if they are selected to receive tourism funds.

 

 

Longview Recreation Summer Kids program seeks donations of supplies

Canning jars, pint size
Bingo/prize box prizes for kids
Empty 2-liter bottles soda bottles (need 12)
Clean Egg cartons for craft projects
Paper roll tubes
Bubble Wrap
Empty clear plastic or glass water bottles. The thicker plastic the better.

 

Drop off at the Recreation Office front porch or call our office at 360-442-5400 to discuss other options.

 

Longview Library Presents Free Small Business Seminar

Longview Public Library and SCORE invite you to attend Strategic Pricing as a Marketing Tool, a FREE small business seminar online. This webinar focuses on pricing strategies for small business and recognition that pricing of products or services is as much a marketing decision as it is a business financial decision. A number of issues will be covered including a discussion of twenty different pricing strategies that you may (or may not) choose to use in your business.

 

Takeaways from this SCORE Webinar

 

A better Understanding of Pricing as a Business Marketing Tool

What are the limits to Pricing Changes?

Where do you sit on Pricing: Price Setter or Price Taker?

How to Examine your Pricing and your Business Break Even Point

The importance of Product & Service Differentiation

 

Join us June 20, for this online webinar at 10:00 a.m. as we discuss an important and often overlooked small business topic. We'll include time for open discussion and offer several real-life examples garnered from actual SCORE client stories.

 

This program is being offered FREE to our Business Community through the generosity of the Friends of the Longview Library.

 

 

Additionally, each attendee may later personally meet with a SCORE mentor, without cost, to address business questions you may have.  To assure a superior educational experience, registration is limited to 40 attendees so please register early.

 

For more information and to register, please visit longviewlibrary.org or vancouver.score.org. http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07eh345rk465...

 

 

CARES Act Grant Program

The Cowlitz Economic Development (CEDC) was selected to administer $1 million in CARES Act funding designated by the Cowlitz County Commissioners for a county wide small business grant fund program.  The CEDC’s track record of successfully administering the Governor’s Working Washington Small Business Emergency Grant program (WWSBEG) in addition to our work with the SW Community Foundation rent relief program gave the county assurance that we would administer the CARE Act funding successfully.

 

The criteria to apply are as follows, the company must be located in Cowlitz County, the company must have been in business for over one year, the company may be a sole proprietorship and have no more than 25 full time equivalent employees.  The program is meant to be flexible as the eligible reimbursable expenses go farther than the WWSBEG.  The County intentionally made the grants business friendly with little paperwork and it even includes payroll for employees as an eligible expense.  Funding can be used towards traditional expenses, such as consulting, marketing, and training. In addition, this emergency grant can be used towards operational expenses, such as rent, supplies/inventory, utility bills, etc.  Unallowable expenses are revenue replacement, payroll for owner, capitalized equipment, travel, office equipment, computer software and lost profit cannot be reimbursed.

 

Requests from businesses can go all the way up to $35,000 while the WWBEG was capped at $10,000.  The deadline to submit the application is Friday, June 26th at 5pm.

The Cowlitz County Commissioners did not have to set aside this money for the program, they could have kept it for internal operations so we applaud them for looking out for Cowlitz County businesses!

 

The application can be found at the CEDC website www.cowlitzedc.com to go directly, follow this link - http://www.cowlitzedc.com/events/cowlitz-county-cares-act-emergency-busi...

 

 

A message from Cowlitz County Health and Human Services

This can be a stressful time. It is normal that you or your loved ones might feel anxious, sad, scared or angry. You are not alone. It is okay to seek out and ask for help. The resources here are a good place to start. https://coronavirus.wa.gov/information-for/you-and-your-family/mental-an....

 

Two programs are offering rental deposit assistance for Cowlitz or Lewis County residents working with Coordinated Entry until the end of June.

 

To qualify, applicant must be below 30% area median income, must be currently working with a landlord, and must come through Coordinated Entry. For more info call a coordinated entry access point at one of the following locations:

Family Health Center: 360-703-1103
Community House on Broadway: 360-846-0462
Emergency Support Shelter: 360-425-1176

It is a common strategy for Public health officials to ask people who are sick or who may have been exposed to an infectious disease, to stay at home and avoid contact with other people. This strategy has been used for decades to combat the spread of tuberculosis, measles, Ebola, and SARS. Isolation and home quarantine continues to be the best option and our recommendation for those who can do so safely. All of these actions are voluntary and confidential.

 

Play Structures Remain Closed

We have been working diligently with state agencies to determine when is the safest time to reopen the play structures within our 18 parks.

After reviewing the Governor's Phased approach to reopening counties and talking with other local jurisdictions, we are targeting opening once Cowlitz County has been approved for Phase III and some of the gathering restrictions have been alleviated.

The CDC still states specifically to avoid playgrounds https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/visitors.html

We understand that this is not the answer that you want to hear. Believe us when we say that we want to get back to having our parks fully utilized. We miss all of you.

Staying physically active is one of the best ways to keep your mind and body healthy especially during times of crisis. In many areas, people can visit parks, trails, and open spaces as a way to relieve stress, get some fresh air and vitamin D, stay active, and stay healthy.

We ask that you use our parks responsibility. If an area is closed, such as the playgrounds, please stay away and leave the closed signs, locks, and tape in their original locations. We do the best we can to keep the parks beautiful, clean, and safe and we ask that you do the same for us.

Thank you for your patience and we will continue to monitor any and all information pertaining to parks and recreation and keep you up to date if anything changes.

 

 

Summer Reading Online with Longview Library

The Longview Public Library’s annual Summer Reading program kicks off June 19! Though the program looks different for 2020, as it has moved almost entirely online, readers can still expect their favorite elements of the program, such as reading to earn prizes, choosing new books to read into the library collection, and participating in weekly story times and other events.

 

Readers of all ages, birth through adult, can pre-register today through our reading challenge service, Beanstack, at longviewlibrary.beanstack.org. With Beanstack, readers can track their reading, write book reviews, earn badges and prizes, and learn about online events. Swag bags for ages birth through high school will be available to pick up curbside soon after summer reading begins – these will include a free book thanks to the Rotary Club of Longview, among other goodies! For more information, please see our website: longviewlibrary.org. 

 

Longview Library Offers Drive-Thru Pickups

The Longview Public Library is beginning a pilot period of drive-thru pickup service on June 1, with a broad drive-thru pickup service beginning within a couple of weeks.

 

Library patrons who had items waiting for them when the library closed on March 18 have been contacted individually about participation in the pilot program. We are asking all library patrons to prepare their library accounts for our full drive-thru service. Patrons will be limited to five requested items to be picked up per week. Search our online catalog and place holds (requests) through our website: longviewlibrary.org. If you have more than five holds on your account, we will prepare your earliest requested items first. Items will be checked out to you for six weeks and you will be contacted with information about drive-thru procedure and times.

 

If you want to prioritize some requested items over others, or do not want to use drive-thru pickup at all, please log into your library account and suspend the holds you don’t want at this time. Please see our website (longviewlibrary.org) for information about suspending holds, as well as other frequently asked questions. If you need assistance requesting items, choosing books to read, or suspending your holds, please contact us during our phone hours, Monday – Friday 11 AM – 2 PM at 360.442.5300, or via our Ask a Librarian service on our website: www.longviewlibrary.org/askalibrarian.php

 

Washington Way/15th Avenue Corridor Traffic Signal Improvement Project 9th Avenue to Tennant Way

The City of Longview has contracted with Northeast Electric, LLC to construct improvements to the traffic signal equipment on Washington Way and 15th Avenue in June and July of 2020.

 

The intersections on Washington Way that will be affected are 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, and Commerce Avenue. The intersections on 15th Avenue that will be affected are Washington Way, Broadway, Hudson, Hemlock, Florida, Fir, Delaware, Douglas, and Tennant Way.  Work will begin June 1, 2020.

 

The contractor anticipates a minimum of one day of work for each intersection. Minor delays, lane closures, and four way stops will be part of the traffic control at each intersection. 

 

Order of work is subject to change based on construction progress and weather. In order to avoid delays, motorists are encouraged to use alternate routes.

 

City of Longview COVID-19 Response

To minimize the health impacts of COVID-19 in our area, the City of Longview is closing some buildings and offices to the public. The following City of Longview facilities are closed:

Park and Facility Closures:

We understand that using parks and getting outside is imperative during all of this. As of right now, parks and trails will remain open for active use such as walking and biking, please continue to practice social distancing and restrict all gatherings while at our public spaces.

Senior Center
Parks & Recreation offices
Mint Valley Racquet Complex
Longview Recreation offices
Playgrounds
Play structures
Skate park
Sport fields / courts
Park restrooms
Summer Camp has started and Recreation is providing a wide variety of virtual opportunities.

 

 

Permitting / Building & Planning / Engineering (by appointment only)

 

For building and electrical inspection requests, please call 360.442.5090.

For Building & Planning general questions, please call 360.442.5086.
For Engineering services, please call 360.442.5200 to make an appointment.

 

Finance / Utility Payments

The City of Longview currently offers the following options for paying your utility bills:

 

CASH ONLY payments will be accepted at Kelso City Hall drive-thru window at 203 S. Pacific in Kelso.

Pay by phone (credit/debit only): 877-349-8039
Online, 24 hours a day / 7 days a week (credit/debit only): https://egov.mylongview.com/
By check using our payment drop boxes located in front of City Hall and on the Broadway Street median near the ballot drop box. Please remember to include payment stub.
By U.S. Postal Service mail, include bill payment stub and mail to:

City of Longview Utilities, PO Box 128, Longview, WA 98632

You can find more information about these services on our website at: https://www.mylongview.com/402/Utility-Payments
For customer service and other questions, please call 360.442.5099.

 

Longview Police Department

The Longview Police Department will strive to maintain core services and respond to calls for service during this period of COVID-19 pandemic. In order to focus on maintaining core services the following changes will be adopted effective immediately:

 

There will be no public fingerprinting services.
No public access to the LPD lobby. Payments can be made by mail.
Officers are directed to utilize phone calls when appropriate to handle non-emergency calls for service.
Online reporting by citizens is encouraged. Go to mylongview.com, file a police report
All ride-along's and LPD volunteers are suspended until further notice
On-line payments for parking tickets are available at https://www.mylongview.com/337/Parking-Enforcement.  Click the “remit online” button.
Concealed pistol license RENEWALS  can be completed by downloading the application form from the police department’s website and mailing the complete application along with payment to the police department.  For instructions, go to https://www.mylongview.com/300/Concealed-Pistol-License

 

RiverCities Transit

RCT Buses will run reduced service (Saturday Schedule) Monday -- Friday.
Service will start at 8:00 a.m.
There will be no service on Saturday.
No Routes 30, 44.
The Longview Transit Center is closed effective March 25, 2020.
RiverCities LIFT will continue normal operation.
Riders are asked to board and exit through the rear doors. Front door will be for ADA access only.
RiverCities is suspending fares through July 2020. You will not need to show a pass or pay a fare to ride.
Visit rctransit.org for more information.

 

Longview Public Library COVID-19 Resources

The Longview Library building is closed for now, but their digital branch is open 24/7!

 

The Library has a collection of links to resources on their website and beyond for our community to refer to as we deal with the coronavirus outbreak. It is a work in progress and being updated as they receive new information, so please check back.

 

Longview Public Library website: http://www.longviewlibrary.org/
Living in the Time of COVID-19: http://www.longviewlibrary.org/COVID19.php
Small Business/employment: http://www.longviewlibrary.org/business.php
Kids stuff: http://www.longviewlibrary.org/kids.php
ebook and more resources: http://www.longviewlibrary.org/wal.php

 

 

Longview Fire Department

Closed to the public and all non-essential visitors.
Employees will not be doing in-person car seat installs.  You can call and ask our car seat technician for help though!  If you have questions on installs please call Sarah directly at 360-442-5501 Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.