County gets CREDC bill for $100,000

Commissioners voted to stop payments to group

By Erik Hidle, Columbian staff writer

Published:

 

Clark County Administrator Bill Barron held up an invoice from the Columbia River Economic Development Council during a Wednesday meeting of Clark County commissioners.

The invoice, for $100,000, is due March 29, and Barron had a simple question to commissioners:

What should we do?

Commissioners David Madore and Tom Mielke voted to put a halt to county money going to the CREDC in January. In a letter explaining their action, the commissioners said the move stems from the CREDC's support of the Columbia River Crossing.

Commissioner Steve Stuart did not sign the letter.

Commissioners did not change direction after being presented with the invoice, but they did ask if the paperwork could serve as documentation in preparation of a breach-of-contract claim, should the CREDC pursue that.

Before Madore joined the board, the previous board of county commissioners approved a two-year contract with the CREDC in December.

Barron said he would ask the county's legal counsel to look into the matter.

Bill Dudley, chairman of the CREDC board, said Wednesday night that the group currently has no plans to pursue legal action against Clark County.

"CREDC has no intent whatsoever to do that," Dudley said. "None whatsoever."

Dudley said the invoice is sent out as a matter of process, and that "this isn't a unique thing for posturing, or anything like that."

He added, "I would say we are continuing to have conversations with them, and to work through issues."

Erik Hidle: 360-735-4547; http://twitter.com/col_clarkgov ; erik.hidle@columbian.com.