About Kelso

About Kelso
City at Large

Rivers

Parks

Streets/Drainage

Traffic

Water/Sewer

City Employees

Tax Rate Information

Past Mayors

 

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About Kelso 

Kelso is the county seat of Cowlitz County. It is located in southwestern Washington on Interstate 5 at the confluence of the Cowlitz, Coweeman and Columbia Rivers. Kelso is 48 miles north of Portland, 125 miles south of Seattle, and 80 miles east of the Pacific Ocean.

There are 12,000 residents in Kelso and 85,000 people in Cowlitz County. The secondary market area for Kelso businesses includes approximately 20,000 residents of adjacent counties (Wahkiakum and south Lewis Counties in Washington, and Columbia County in Oregon). More people in Kelso work in direct production services and fewer work in management and technical areas than is the state norm.

The business and tourist travelers on Interstate 5 and the tourists traveling to the ocean on State Route 4 provide an additional market for Kelso businesses. The average traffic volume on I-5 in Kelso during 2003 was 42,733 cars per day. The retail sales volume within the Kelso community was $240 million 400 thousand during 2003.

Kelso is very accessible with a freeway (I-5) through the east portion of the city, an Amtrak station in downtown, Burlington Northern freight service, a municipal airport in South Kelso, and navigable water access via the Columbia River. In addition to I- 5, Kelso is located at the junction of State Highways 4, 411, 432 and 433.

City at Large

  •  Total Square Miles-7
  • Population: Approx 12,000
  • Direct Freeway Access (I-5)
  • 45.15 Acre Mall
  • Library
  • Train Station
  • Golf Course
  • Airport
  • Water Treatment Plant (3.6 Million Gallons of Water Per Day) 

 

Three Rivers

  • Columbia
  • Cowlitz
  • Coweeman
     


Parks

  • 8 Parks Totaling 50 acres with 4 playgrounds
  • 1 – Spray Park
  • 1 -  Skate Park
  • 6 miles of Bicycle and/or Multi-use paths
  •  


Streets & Drainage

  • 64 miles of Asphalt Streets
  • Approximately 75 miles of Sidewalks
  • 10 miles of improved alleys 2 miles of unimproved Alleys
  • Stormwater – 1200 catch basins, 500 manholes, 55 miles of pipe
  •  


Traffic

  • Over 2,000 street signs
  • Over 300 cross walks
  • Over 300 street lamps
  •  


Water/Sewer 

  • 73 miles of water pipe
  • 7 Water Pump Stations
  • 8 Reservoirs
  • 605 Fire Hydrants
  • 1400 Valves and 4 Pressure Zones
  • 52 miles of Sewer Main
  • 11 Sewer Pump Stations
  • 374 Manholes
  • 4660 Water Service Connections
  • 3954 Sewer Service Connections
  • Water avg. Annual Daily Demand – 2.248 MGD
  • DOH Capacity Rating – 3.6

WATER SERVES 3 WATER DISTRICTS

  • Williams Finney
  • Davis Terrace
  • Cowlitz Gardens
     


City Employees

  • Police – 25 FTE
  • Finance – 6 FTE
  • Public Works – 17 FTE
  • Library – 7 FTE
  • Community Development – 2 FTE
  • Administration – 2 FTE
     


Tax Rate Information

Retail Sales Tax is 1.4%. With state retail sales tax, the total sales tax collected is 7.9%

Business and Occupation tax is 0.001/0.002%, retail/service respectively per $1,000 gross receipts.

Total Real Property is $13.30 per $1,000 assessed valuation, payable in 2009.


Past Mayors 

The following are the past Mayors of Kelso, beginning in 1890 before the city was incorporated:

MAYOR & SERVICE YEARS
Edwin Pratt 1890
J.F. Van Name 1891
Robert Allen 1892-93

The city of Kelso reincorporated in 1894.
The first city council meeting under reincorporation was held in February 1894.

MAYOR SERVICE YEARS
J.G. Jones 1894-96
F.M. Bell 1897-99
J.R. Hargrove 1900
F.M. Bell 1901-1903
A.E. Talbot 1904-05
A.E. Cagwin 1906-07
M.J. Lord 1908
B.L. Hubbel 1909
Max Whittlesey 1910
M.J. Lord 1910
J.H. Swager 1910
W.S. Lysons 1911-12
George Poland 1913
B.L. Hubbel 1914
C.O. Talbert 1915-16
Dr. J. Ballard 1917
George Poland 1917 (Pro-tem)
W.C. Patterson 1917-18
George F. Plomondon 1919-20
E.J. McClane 1920
Albert Maurer 1922-23 (Pro-tem in 1922)
A. Ruric Todd - recalled for non-feasance of office for not signing warrants -- was found guilty. Recall election in 1925 elected Nat R. Smith as pro-tem. 1924
Nat R. Smith 1925-26
Willard O. Mallory 1927-28
Secor 1929-30
Herman Parrott 1931-36
Willard E. Chinn 1937-38
L.J. Frambach 1939-40
Willard E. Chinn 1941
Harry King 1941-48
L.O. Reynolds 1949-52
Don Talley 1953-68

January 4, 1968 was the last meeting conducted under the Mayor-Council form of government.
March 4, 1968 was the first meeting under the new Council-Manager form of government for Kelso.

MAYOR SERVICE YEARS
Joe Wenaweser 1969-1970
Grover Phillips 1971
Bob Altenhoff 1971
Grover Phillips 1972-1973
Joe Wenaweser 1974-1981
Dick Woods 1982-1990
Donald B. Gregory 1990-1994
Keith Lawrence 1995-2001
Donald B. Gregory 2002-2007
David Futcher 2008 to present