The Grays Harbor County Commissioners approved the purchase of property on Wishkah Road that will be used for a flood management project.
The purchase has been in the works for several years, with disagreements on its value and over whether it should be acquired by eminent domain.
On Monday, commissioners agreed to buy the property for $150,000 so that a flood way can be built. Though the county facilitated the acquisition, the purchase was made using funds from the Chehalis River Basin Flood Authority. TH flood wall is a flood authority project and the county is serving as a project sponsor. County Commissioner Vicki Raines is the chairwomen of the flood authority.
The purchase closes out a years-long process of discussion and disagreement with the property owner.
In 2014 the commissioners discussed using eminent domain to acquire the property for the project. Cormier was opposed to using eminent domain, philosophically, Gordon supported eminent domain, and Welch was undecided. They never ended up using eminent domain.
The county assessor's office valued the land and the building at a combined $10,920. The former owner paid $65,000 for the property in 2002 and believed the value to be so low because the timber on the property is part of the designated forestland program which gave the owner a tax break.
The wall would be built at Baretich Flats around milepost 2.2 on Wishkah Road. The wall has an estimated price tag of $4 million.
The wall is a smaller piece of an overall flood project in the Wishkah that would see flood mitigation efforts at Ellison Dip, Long Swamp and the Vienna Tracks. Altogether the project will cost $15 million. The project is expected to break ground in 2017.