D&C Briefs

VHA wins national excellence awards

The Vancouver Housing Authority has won two national awards honoring superior assisted housing and community development programs. The VHA won in the categories of Project Design and Program Innovation: Community Revitalization for its Plum Meadows community.

The 2005 Awards of Excellence come from the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials. The Plum Meadows community is two of 21 programs nationwide to receive the 2005 award, from a pool of 296 applicants.

SBA, GSA make path for small business contractors

The U.S. Small Business Administration and U.S. General Services Administration have provided a toll-free number, 1-800-FED-INFO (800-333-4636), to help small contractors and subcontractors learn about Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, contracting and rebuilding opportunities.

The SBA has designated personnel from each district office to make referrals to the SBA’s procurement center and others as necessary. The National Contact Center has responded to more than 190,003 calls and e-mails via the number and FirstGov.gov since Katrina first impacted the Gulf Coast. Businesses can also learn more on www.sba.gov.

Otak to survey Columbia Business Center

Planning firm Otak Inc. has been selected by Schnitzer Northwest to perform surveys on the Columbia Business Center in Vancouver. Otak will perform a land-title survey on 33 parcels of the 219-acre development, as well as Lot 1. The firm expects to complete its survey work in 2 months. This project is an update of the original survey performed by Kenneth Cochran Surveyor, who is now a member with Otak’s survey group.

EPA orders developer to stop filling BG wetlands

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ordered Michael Achen and CMK Investments to stop the filling of wetlands on the proposed Rasmussen Business Park located off of SR 503 in Battle Ground. Achen and CMK Investments violated the Clean Water Act by failing to obtain a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers CWA permit prior to conducting mechanical land-clearing work at the proposed site. Because Achen had previously violated the CWA in the Battle Ground area, EPA took over federal responsibility for investigating the August 2004 CWA violation and found that land-clearing operations at the site in July 2005 further impacted the wetlands on the site. EPA has issued a Compliance Order that directs Achen and his company to stop all unauthorized work on the site and initiate a restoration effort to restore approximately 6.5 acres of wetlands.

City seeks applicants for Planning Commission vacancies

Vancouver is seeking applicants for two vacancies on the Vancouver Planning Commission. One vacancy is for a term expiring in November 2009 and the other is a mid-term vacancy expiring in October 2006. Full terms are for four years. The seven-member Planning Commission serves as a citizen advisory body and makes recommendations to the City Council. Commissioners work in a voluntary capacity to conduct studies and public hearings on comprehensive plan amendments, zoning amendments and other land use matters. Applicants from the Urban Growth Area and within the city limits are eligible. The commission is seeking candidates with skills and experience in transportation planning, comprehensive and land use planning, housing development and who are active in business, neighborhood or community affairs.

For applications or further information, contact Myk Heidt in the city manager’s office at 360-696-8181. Online applications are available at https://cityofvancouver.us/boards. Applications must be submitted by 5 p.m., Monday, Oct. 31.

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