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News / Clark County News

$150K OK’d for county’s enironmental services websites

Contract spurs questions from local organizations

By Kaitlin Gillespie
Published: March 5, 2015, 12:00am

The Clark County council’s approval Tuesday night of a $150,000 contract for on-call Web design services for the Department of Environmental Services has several local organizations questioning how that money will be spent.

Clark County staff, however, says there is nothing suspicious about the contract with Vancouver-based Formations Design Group, which went to public bid.

The Web development firm, which has contracted with Clark County in the past, will build and provide support for five currently existing Environmental Services websites that promote green living and recycling in Southwest Washington, according to the contract.

Those websites include ClarkGreenNeighbors.org, ClarkGreenBiz.com, VolunteerClark.com, SaveOrganicScraps.com and RecycledArtsFestival.com.

The three-year contract for $150,000 in services was approved Tuesday as a part of the council’s consent agenda, and was not pulled or discussed. The money will come from Environmental Services’ solid waste fund, not the county’s general fund.

The contract does not prevent the council from using its current Web and graphic staff, Acting County Manager Mark McCauley said. Environmental Services can only turn to Formations Design Group if information technology staff can’t do the work, and may spend less than the $150,000 allowed in the contract.

“We’re not guaranteed any of this money,” said Karen Laksamana, co-owner of Formations Design.

Members of the Clark County Citizens for Good Governance and the Clark County Democrats, however, are questioning why Environmental Services needs tens of thousands of dollars to build websites.

Deanna Pauli-Hammond, chair of the Clark County Democrats, questioned why that money couldn’t be spent on other county functions, like roads and parks.

“Why this vast amount of money on website design?” she said.

Council Chair David Madore declined to comment on the contract.