Port signs economic development agreement

Contract is with former Camas mayor

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"Hopefully, we can move forward with the full support of the community. It's an important step in light of the economy, to pool resources."

-- Bill Ward, Port commissioner

“Hopefully, we can move forward with the full support of the community. It’s an important step in light of the economy, to pool resources.”

— Bill Ward, Port commissioner

The Port of Camas-Washougal Commission has approved a professional services agreement with Cascade Planning Group, to perform economic development services.

Former Camas Mayor Paul Dennis, owner of Cascade, will serve as the executive director of the Camas-Washougal Economic Development Association. Cascade will be the primary service provider, and E.D. Hovee and company would serve in a supporting role.

The scope of work includes creating a governing board, developing a strategic plan, maintaining a list of land and buildings available for business development, providing status reports, developing business contacts and reporting periodically.

Cascade Planning will be compensated at an hourly rate of $120 during the first year, in an amount not to exceed $11,000 per month. The port will reimburse the company for meal, travel and hotel expenses.

Prior to and after the port commission’s June 21 approval of the agreement, Camas resident Margaret Tweet continued to state her opposition to the hiring of Dennis’ company due to a conflict of interest.

She said Dennis was an active participant in the formation of the CWEDA.

The port included $100,000 in its 2011 budget for the economic development association, while the cities of Camas and Washougal each paid $50,000.

Tweet said her concern is with the money from Camas, since Dennis created the budget and roads are a higher need in the city.

Port Commissioner Bill Ward said he was looking forward to a “positive direction with CWEDA.”

“Hopefully, we can move forward with the full support of the community,” he said. “It’s an important step in light of the economy, to pool resources.”