Longview City Info Weekly

SR 432 / SR 411 Interchange Improvements off-ramp night closure

Clark and Sons Excavating, Inc. is scheduled to close the SR 432 / SR 411 Interchange off-ramp and on-ramp for construction work.

The closure of the off-ramp is scheduled to take place on Monday August 3, 2020 at 8:00 P.M. though Tuesday August 4, 2020 4:30 A.M.

The closure of the on-ramp is scheduled to take place on Monday August 3, 2020 at 8:00 P.M. though Tuesday August 4, 2020 5:00 A.M.

Intermittent one-lane closures on 3rd Ave should be anticipated as well as the construction work is completed. Traffic will be detoured.

In order to avoid delays, motorists are encouraged to use alternate routes.

 

Notice of Public Hearing for Cowlitz Transit Authority

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, in accordance with RCW Chapter 42.30, that the Cowlitz Transit Authority will hold a virtual Zoom Public Hearing on Wednesday, August 12, 2020 at 4:00 p.m.

 

The purpose of the hearing is to receive any comments concerning the adoption of the Transit Development Plan 2020-2025 and 2019 Annual Report for RiverCities Transit.

Any person interested may attend and be heard on said matter via a moderator. For information about Zoom accessibility, please contact the Clerk of the Board’s Office at (360) 442-5664

 

Please click the link below to join the webinar:

Https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84282391262

 

Dial any of the following numbers:

1 253 215 8782

1 408 638 0968

1 669 900 6833

1 346 248 7799

1 312 626 6799

1 646 876 9923

1 301 715 8592

 

Webinar ID: 842 8239 1262

No Registration Required

DATED at Longview, Washington, this 8th day of July 2020.

                                                                                   

Dennis Weber
Chair
Cowlitz Transit Authority

               

Mayor’s July Message

Hello Friends,

Since a 2020 reset is impossible, how about a recap to celebrate some of the highlights and happenings in Longview?
 

Shout out and Happy 244th Birthday America! Yes, the home of the brave. A place where we don't run from hard choices, we embrace them. Where we work hard and persevere, through the good times and the bad, because of - not despite - the challenges we face. And lest we forget the freedoms we enjoy because of those who fought bravely for our country and our unique Constitution that helped form our Union, we should always honor them and recall our privileges, during “sunny” days and “stormy” times alike. Our privileges, however, should never give us an excuse to behave badly. It should be our own responsibility to check ourselves against a broader scope of shared well-being when we choose to bravely assert our voices. As we forge forward in these extremely difficult times, let us all remember that we are in this together, and we face many challenges not as individuals but as a society.  We are stronger when we work together. And in the face of it all, let’s strive for kindness towards each other despite any differences in thought or opinion.

Shout out to our local Longview Police! The core values of the Longview Police Department: “Integrity without compromise, courage in adversity, teamwork above self and service above all”, make that group a treasured resource in our community. Being a witness to the promotion of Police Sergeant Jeremy Johnson, where he pledged his allegiance to “commit to honorably perform his duties with respect for the dignity of all people, integrity to do right and fight wrongs, wisdom to apply sound judgment and fairness in all doings and courage to stand against all prejudice while working as a partner within the community”, was humbling for me and should give us all great comfort knowing we have men and women of honor protecting our city. 

Yay for summer indoor and outdoor play! While it has not been “business as usual” at all of our city facilities, in measured ways we can enjoy our parks and playgrounds, the diking road trail, Mint Valley Golf Course and Racquet Complex, pickleball and tennis courts and soon Harlie's Hoops basketball court at Lake Sacajawea. Find silver linings during this time and create your own fun. Blow bubbles, skip rocks, play Frisbee, run through a sprinkler. And, doesn’t Hopscotch on a sidewalk bring about a nostalgic smile?

Summer construction has begun! Drive down Commerce Avenue and check out the new synced traffic signals that will also extend down Ocean Beach to 32nd in the fall. Take caution on the 432/ 411 Interchange (Tenant Way) on the Eastbound on-ramp and the Westbound off-ramp as the road widens and improves. Sidewalk and curb repair will continue throughout the city and improvements on West Main in Kelso will begin soon. Best of all, the Beech Street extension groundbreaking has begun and we look forward to new businesses popping up as soon as lots are available.

Thanks to one million dollars in CARES Act funding for Cowlitz County, 68% of monies allocated went to Longview business applicants.  Another million in CARES Act funding is underway to benefit even more businesses.  A tremendous blessing folks!

We have so much for which to be grateful. 
Find joy in each day and every moment and be blessed,
 
Mayor MaryAlice Wallis

 

Robert Huhta named as Longview’s Interim Police Chief

In anticipation of the transition of Chief Jim Duscha’s retirement, the City of Longview is pleased to announce the appointment of Robert Huhta as its interim police chief effective August 14, 2020. Robert has been a Captain for the police department since October 1, 2010 and says, “I am honored to continue serving the citizens of Longview. It is a privilege to work with all of the police department employees who are dedicated to the mission of the department and I am committed to leading our department’s efforts going forward.”

Huhta has worked in law enforcement for 24 years. He began his career with the Longview Police Department (LPD) in February, 1996 as a college cadet. He has served as a reserve police officer, community service officer, commissioned police officer, patrol sergeant, street crimes unit sergeant and captain. Huhta has also served in ancillary duties such as a certified bike officer, Field Training Officer, Firearms Instructor, and Emergency Vehicle Operations Course instructor and as a member of the Lower Columbia SWAT Team as an operator, assistant team leader and currently as the team commander. Additionally, Huhta currently serves as Deputy Incident Commander of the Cowlitz County Incident Management Team responsible for coordinating the local response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Huhta has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice.

"I am very delighted to announce Robert Huhta as Longview's interim police chief,” says City Manager Kurt Sacha. “Robert is a highly dedicated law enforcement professional, has shown himself to be a proven leader, possesses a strong work ethic and is well respected both from within and outside the department. The community will be well served by the Longview Police Department with Robert as their interim police chief.”

 

RiverCities Transit Bus Fares Reinstated August 3

Beginning August 3, 2020, fare collection on RiverCities Transit and RiverCities LIFT will resume, and regular Monday - Saturday service returns for the first time since March 30. Customers will have an opportunity to purchase passes at the Transit Center and Kelso City Hall starting July 27. Ridership has begun to increase since the initial government shutdown in late March. Reinstating regular service will allow passengers to spread out their essential trips during the less busy travel times between 6:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. and from 4:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Front door boarding will also resume in August, and riders are encouraged to exit the rear door of the bus. Plexiglass doors were installed to protect operators and passengers at the front door where fares are collected. Additionally, vehicle loads have been reduced to allow no more than ten passengers on the bus to encourage social distancing while riding. Face coverings are required by state mandate with some exceptions.

The Transit Center lobby will re-open on July 27 at 8:00 a.m. Up to five (5) customers will be allowed into the lobby to access the Customer Service counter at a time, but lobby seating, and the restrooms will not be available until further notice.

RiverCities Transit remains committed to the health and safety of the community it serves while continuing to provide an essential service. Follow the RiverCities Transit Facebook page for the most recent updates and service alerts, or contact Customer Service at 360-442-5663 or customerservice@rctransit.org. Route schedules, maps, and fare information are available on the RiverCities website www.rctransit.org.

 

The Longview Public Library is on YouTube

The Longview Public Library has a YouTube channel! Visit longviewlibrary.org/youtube.php to get a sample of the videos you can enjoy, as well as a link to the YouTube channel with all of the videos available right now.

The Longview Library’s YouTube channel has a growing selection of previous library events you can watch on-demand, resources for job seekers, as well as original videos created by library staff. Currently on the YouTube channel, Youth Services Librarian Becky Standal is presenting weekly Craft Challenges to go along with Summer Reading. These videos give kids, and families, fun and engaging DIY projects that allow them to show off their creativity and problem solving skills. Plus kids participating in the Longview Library’s Summer Reading Program can even earn additional points for their crafts!

The YouTube channel will have new videos every week, so don’t forget to subscribe!

Contact Longview Public Library at 360.442.5300 for more information. Visit longviewlibrary.org/youtube.php for a link to the YouTube channel.

 

SR 432 / SR 411 Interchange Improvements Construction

The City of Longview contracted with Clark and Sons Excavating, Inc. from Battle Ground to construct improvements on SR 432 / SR 411 Interchange EB on-ramp and WB off-ramp. The work includes widening the WB off-ramp to add a second left-turn lane, intersection modification at 3rd Ave / SR 432, improving the traffic signal operation and rebuilding the EB on-ramp curve radius and widen for two lanes.

The contractor started construction July 13, 2020, with project completion scheduled for February 1, 2021.

Motorists are advised that during this time, lane closures of the EB on-ramp and WB off-ramp should be anticipated, as well as lane closures on 3rd Ave and Tennant Way Frontage Road.

Construction updates will be provided regularly and posted on City of Longview’s Facebook and web site www.mylongview.com.

 

Changes to the Traffic Signal System

Have you noticed that the City of Longview has updated the signals along Washington Way and 15th Avenue?

New features that you may notice:

Left turn arrows. The left turn arrows now have four distinct modes:

Steady Red Arrow: Drivers turning left must stop and wait
Steady Yellow Arrow: The left-turn signal is about to turn red. Drivers prepare to stop.
Flashing Yellow Arrow: Yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians and then turn left when safe to do so. Oncoming traffic has a green light.
Steady Green Arrow: Drivers can proceed with the left turn. Oncoming traffic has a red light and must stop.

Lead Pedestrian Interval. This feature retimed the walk signals to give pedestrians four seconds to advance into the crosswalk before turning traffic gets a green light. This feature should make crossing pedestrians more visible to drivers that are turning.
Yellow Retroreflective Tape surrounds the new traffic signal heads.  The intent is to improve the visibility of the signal head at night.

These features have all been added to your traffic signal system to improve safety at our intersections.

Additionally we have installed new traffic detection cameras and radio communication equipment at the intersections.

 

What’s next?

In the fall of 2020 the City will be making similar upgrades to the signals on Ocean Beach Highway between 9th and 32nd Avenues.  At that time we will be installing a software system to allow the traffic department improved communication with signals. Lastly, once the new signals are in place and operational we integrate new signal timing plans.

In the end, these improvements should increase safety and improve the flow of traffic on three of our major corridors.

 

Mint Valley Golf Course is excited to be open!

We have implemented the Covid-19 restart requirements and recommendations that are in place statewide at all golf courses. 

Golf is widely seen as an activity that is viable and relatively low risk, however there are additional precautions that need to be in place to ensure the safety of players and golf course staff. 

In order to operate, we need your help!  The following requirements will need to be followed to remain open.

RESERVATIONS: We are requiring EVERYONE to schedule a tee time, no standing tee times will be held.  Tee times may be reserved up to seven days in advance.

GOLF OPERATIONS PRO SHOP: (These items will be assessed, and potentially modified, on a weekly basis)

RESERVATIONS: We are requiring you to schedule a tee time, no standing tee times will be held.  Tee times may be reserved up to seven days in advance.

PLAYERS: 4 Somes are NOW allowed - non household members as well. Driving range is available for all use.
TRANSACTIONS: Utilize our on-line tee time reservation system or call over the phone to set a tee time.  Payments can be made over the phone using a credit or debit card.  In person transactions will only be allowed by credit or debit card.  NO CASH WILL BE ACCEPTED.
CONTACT INFORMATION: Mint Valley is required to keep a log of all customers and contact information.  Once a profile is in our system we do not need to collect your information every time.  Please be ready to provide your phone, address, and email.
RENTALS:  We are unable to have club and equipment rentals at this time, please bring yours with you.
ENTRANCE & EXIT: We ask that you enter from the door on the 18th green side and exit on the hole 1 side.
SOCIAL DISTANCING: We will have designated areas to stand at least 6 feet apart while waiting in line at the counter.
FOOD & BEVERAGE: A limited menu of food and drinks will be available to go with you out on the course or to take away.  There will be no sit down service in the Pro Shop.

GOLF COURSE UPDATES: (Many of the same changes that were implemented before the initial closure)

CUPS: Cup liners will remain elevated, hit the cup and move one – eliminating the need to reach into the hole to retrieve the golf ball.  Cups and holes will be eliminated from the practice greens.
FLAGS: Flags/Pins are to remain in the holes at all times.  Please refrain at all times from touching the flag.
ON COURSE AMENITIES: Bunker rakes, ball washers, and other on course amenities that promote a communal use will be removed due to the inability to disinfect between uses.
DRIVING RANGE: Now available for all use

PLAYER REQUIREMENTS: (We need your help if we are to remain open and operating)

STAY HOME: If you are exhibiting any cold or flu-like systems, stay home.
SOCIAL DISTANCE: Practice social distancing of at least 6 feet at all times.
BE PREPARED: Bring your own personal protective equipment. (i.e. gloves, masks, and antibacterial gel)
WHEN FINISHED: Please leave when your round is complete to eliminate congestion and gathering on the property or in the parking lot.

FACILITY OPERATIONS: (These items will be assessed, and potentially modified, on a weekly basis)

STAY HOME: Staff will be sent home or will stay home if they are exhibiting any cold or flu-like systems.
CLEANING: Pro shop and restroom facilities will receive increases in cleaning and sanitizing.
SIGNAGE: Signs will be posted about the restrictions and needs for social distancing for all to view.

 

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.

 

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
Sport fields
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

Beginning August 3, 2020, fare collection on RiverCities Transit and RiverCities LIFT will resume, and regular Monday - Saturday service returns for the first time since March 30. Customers will have an opportunity to purchase passes at the Transit Center and Kelso City Hall starting July 27. Ridership has begun to increase since the initial government shutdown in late March. Reinstating regular service will allow passengers to spread out their essential trips during the less busy travel times between 6:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. and from 4:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Front door boarding will also resume in August, and riders are encouraged to exit the rear door of the bus. Plexiglass doors were installed to protect operators and passengers at the front door where fares are collected. Additionally, vehicle loads have been reduced to allow no more than ten passengers on the bus to encourage social distancing while riding. Face coverings are required by state mandate with some exceptions.

The Transit Center lobby will re-open on July 27 at 8:00 a.m. Up to five (5) customers will be allowed into the lobby to access the Customer Service counter at a time, but lobby seating, and the restrooms will not be available until further notice.

RiverCities Transit remains committed to the health and safety of the community it serves while continuing to provide an essential service. Follow the RiverCities Transit Facebook page for the most recent updates and service alerts, or contact Customer Service at 360-442-5663 or customerservice@rctransit.org. Route schedules, maps, and fare information are available on the RiverCities website www.rctransit.org.

 

Longview Public Library COVID-19 Resources

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

We now offer drive-thru service for picking up items that you request through the online catalog!

Mondays: 10 AM to 1 PM
Tuesdays: 1 PM to 4 PM
Wednesdays: 4 PM to 7 PM

Due to demand, staffing, and safety procedures, this process can take several days. Please don't come to the library until you've received notification that your items are ready. You can help us speed up this process and make sure you get the items that you really want by updating your contact information and managing your request list now.

The outside bookdrop is open for all returns!. If you have items to return when you come to pick up your requests, please drop them in the slot after you've received your pick-up order.

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
We are accepting returns in our outside dropbox
Offering drive-thru service

 

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.