Mayor Mike Canon presents 2018 Goldendale State of the City message



The State of the City Report is an annual year in review of activities (drawn from Department annual reports) carried out by the Goldendale City Council and City Staff, and recommendations of the four City Council Standing Committees during 2017. Some projections for 2018 are also included. Its aim is to inform residents of Goldendale of city government decisions and actions that impact their community. This report includes information on Council directed activities (i.e., public safety, economic development, tourism, code enforcement, etc.) and specific activities carried out by City Departments. This report is an effort to provide greater transparency, promote active discussion and interaction between the citizens of Goldendale and their local government.

In the 2017 elections, two new Council Members were chosen to replace two retiring Council Members and two others were re-elected to full terms.

The state of the city of Goldendale continues to be very good and improving with the 2018 budget balanced and adopted by the City Council, crime reduced and some indication of increasing economic interest in doing business in our City. The focus for 2018 will be:

  • Continued law enforcement collaboration to reduce drug related crime in our city,

  • prudent management of city resources with the aim to stay within the adopted budget,

  • continuing the ongoing effort to achieve greater savings in energy costs,

  • further strengthening of public safety, and

  • to retain, enhance and promote economic development, including tourism.

As Mayor, I appreciate the genuine cooperation of our citizens with City of Goldendale Staff as they strive to serve Goldendale residents with experience, dedication and professionalism.


Current Staffing: The Goldendale Police Department (GPD) located at 1505 South Grant Street presently consists of 9 officers: including Chief Reggie Bartkowski, two Sergeants, six officers, one of which is a police canine officer and one that is still in training at the Washington State Police Academy until January 18th. Additional support personnel include, an Administrative Assistant, two Reserve Officers, an Animal Control Officer/ Administrative Assistant, and Police Dog named “Harley”.

Goals: Many of the goals the police department set in 2017 were met. The police department has a great working relationship with other law enforcement agencies in the county. The police department plans to continue the goals of 2017 with an emphasis on drug related crimes.

In 2018, the Goldendale Police Department has made many goals. One of our goals is to work closely with the Goldendale School District. It is the hope to do more patrols in and around the schools and increase the presence of law enforcement within the schools. The police department would also like to do more assemblies/presentations at the schools to increase awareness of laws and to build relationships with the youth of our community.

Another goal for 2018 is to increase the Community Watch program. This program has been a success to the department. We have seen our calls for service increase because of citizens calling in suspicious persons and/or activity. On numerous occasions the police department has interrupted a crime in progress because of the community watch program participants.

Other goals of the department include expanding our training. The police department is actively working on getting all officers a good core of base trainings that include; interview, crime scene, child interview, basic traffic collision, and criminal procedures. These base trainings will be in addition to the annual trainings the police department already conducts. These trainings include; Firearms, Defensive Tactics, Taser, Emergency Vehicle Driving, Legal Update and Active Shooter trainings.

Total Calls for Police Service Total Reported Crimes

Year Total calls Year

2017 3025 2017 250

2016 2786 2016 290

2015 3096 2015 322

2014 2878 2014 254

2013 2902 2013 300

Violent and Property Reported Crimes

Violent Crimes Property Crime

2017 5 120

2016 12 105

2015 15 183

2014 6 194

2013 8 214

Violent Crime – Murder, Rape, Robbery, Aggravated Assault

Property Crimes – Arson, Burglary, Motor Vehicle Theft, Larceny (Theft)

Total Population and Commissioned Officers in 2017

Officers Population

Goldendale Police 9 3,470

KC Sherriff’s Office 20 14,356

COUNTY WIDE 33 20,861

For a small force of 9 officers, it requires a strong effort to manage officers’ time and any disruption can require extra off duty officers to respond. GPD human resources are often stretched very thin and community support and cooperation is essential to maintain public safety.

The message of our Police Department and City Council is that drug addicts, dealers and the criminal element are not welcome in this City and will not be tolerated. While crime statistics had been on the increase in our community, they declined in 2017. The coordinated effort of law enforcement (GPD, KC Sheriff’s office and State Police) to drive the criminal element out and to make citizens safer at every turn has had a positive effect with noticeable decreases in violent and property crimes. Our town has made it clear we do not accept selling or using narcotics in Goldendale. We have had enough.


The City continues to work actively with the Greater Goldendale Chamber of Commerce; the Klickitat County Economic Development Department, and the Klickitat County Public Economic Development Authority:

  • promote economic development through strengthening local businesses;

  • support energy development, especially the Pump Storage Project, and expanding wind energy projects;

  • continue its efforts to attract manufacturing and industrial development opportunities;

  • reach out to potential businesses interested in having a presence in Goldendale;

  • help facilitate the implementation of the 20 year economic development strategies plan adopted by the Klickitat County Public Economic Development Authority;

  • to restart the Airport Committee to bring a number of services and improvements to the Goldendale Municipal Airport;

  • ensure a stronger marketing effort to develop wine related tourism to bring additional visitors to Goldendale for longer stays; and

  • expand the existing Tourism Committee to include an economic development element;

  • expand stronger job training efforts; and

  • maintain city beautification.

The City is encouraged by recent interest in the development of a manufacturing plant at the industrial park, proposed development of a Performing Arts Center, expansion of vineyards and destination winery near Goldendale. We are especially excited about the passage of the state capital budget, which restarts the multimillion dollar Goldendale Observatory State Park to match its international importance as a leading West Coast observatory. The soon to be fully modernized Observatory Park is expected to draw thousands of visitors interested in astronomy.

During 2017, the City actively participated in the completion of the 10 year County led advancement of an economic development strategy. Goldendale is a member of the Klickitat County Public Economic Development Authority (KCPEDA) and continues its working relationship with Mid-Columbia Economic Development District (MCEDD), a five County two-State organization dedicated to developing regional economic activity. A working relationship also exists with the Washington State Department of Commerce and Washington State Legislators.

City Council has encouraged City staff to advance code enforcement activities to improve the appearance of the City. The aim of the City is to make sure it is prepared for future development opportunities and to participate in key regional partnerships for economic development.


For 2018, as in 2017, the City will continue working with the Greater Goldendale Chamber of Commerce, to help coordinate approximately 15 local festivals and tourism events in the Goldendale area. In 2017 that resulted in more than a thousand out of town tourists attending Goldendale events. City Council accepted the Tourism Committee recommendation to award $55,000 in tourism grant funds to support various community events and festivals, and the Visitor Information Center. Hotel and motel taxes collected each year by the State are returned to the County for support of the following year’s tourism activities. The funds also supported preparation of a coordinated web site for tourism. The hallmark of the upgraded web site is a colorful banner inviting travelers to “Experience Goldendale”. Efforts were further strengthened in 2017 supporting and coordinating tourism promotion. Tourism activities planned for 2018 are listed below:

2018 Date Events Promoting Tourism

  • 1/1 t Polar Bear Plunge at Maryhill State Park (10am);
  • 3/10th KVH Run;
  • 4/27 – 29 Home & Garden & Sportsman Show;
  • 5/1 – 10/15 Presby Museum (open)
  • 5/19 – 20 Puget Sound Trialers (Columbia Cup);
  • 5/18 – 10/6 Farmers Market at Ekone Park (Saturdays 9 – 2);
  • 6/1-3 Bluegrass Pickerfest;
  • 7/6 – 8 Community Days;
  • 7/7 GMA Show “n” Shine;
  • 8/11 – 12 W.E. Rock Crawl;
  • 8/17 – 19 Festival of Wheels;
  • 8/23 – 26 Klickitat County Fair;
  • 8/31 – 9/3 Maryhill Windwalk;
  • 10/6 GMA Concours de Maryhill
  • 10/31 Trunk or Treat
  • 11/11 Veterans Parade
  • 12/8 Candy Cane Lane Parade (begins

Cooperation and support extended by the Greater Goldendale Chamber of Commerce is leading to active interest in our City and its many activities by local citizens as well as travelers wanting to “Experience Goldendale”.



We should have our 6 year Water system plan update approved this year.

Quantity – last year we used 1286 ac-ft. we have a water right for 2082 ac-ft

Peak flow day last year was 2.5 million gallons or 1725 gpm

Sources can produce 3.3 million gallon or 2300 gpm.

Jim Shaw springs and Emerson springs source renovation and water quality samplingshave been completed. Both sites were approved by the Department of Health from our mountain springs flow. Jim Shaw added 250 gpm in March of 2017 and Emerson added 50 gpm in October 2017.


Quantity – 627 ac-ft. of water was treated and discharged to the Little Klickitat River

In 2017, Magnesium Hydroxide was added to our treatment process to assist during low pH and alkalinity in wastewater effluent. Since adding this solution there have been zero exceedances on NPDES permit parameters. In 2018, we plan on adding potable water to effluent to reduce temperature.

2500 feet of mainline was replaced as part of the 2017 Sewer project. This was completed in anticipation of the 2018 South Columbus Overlay project.


Our street improvements are coordinated with improved Stormwater collection.


South Columbus Avenue overlay is being planned for summer 2018. Broadway to Simcoe will be ground and a 3” asphalt overlay will improve north and southbound lanes. The project cost estimate is $375,000 ($295,000 in grant funding).

Bickelton Highway Overlay was complete in 2017 with federal funds (Surface Transportation Program – STP) from Klickitat County.

A red rock storage shed was constructed to keep our road sand dry to prevent ice chunks from forming.

Two 10 yard dump trucks were purchased from Klickitat County Public Works with sanders and snow plows.

Utility costs

Our electrical costs are a large part of our budget. We lowered our street light annual costs through the 2017 LED retrofit. Our pre-project monthly bill was $6118 and the post-project bill is $665 plus operations and maintenance. Our improvements in our spring collection system should result in reduced pumping costs. Our low flow from the mountain springs in 2016 was 350 gpm. The 2017 low flow, after both springs were renovated and mainline leaks were fixed, was 650 gpm.

Utilities mapping

The mapping project started in 2016 was completed in 2017. The City now has an accurate utility map listing all water, sewer, storm water, and street improvements. New projects can be literally pasted into this map as it is in Washington state plane coordinates. This map will be integrated into an overall asset management system and software to allow City employees access to record any and all work through smart phones. This will provide the critical information needed during emergencies with accuracy unavailable before. It is anticipated that 2018 budget will allow for this improvement toward the end of 2018.

Goldendale Fire Department

There are 23 active firefighters at the Goldendale Fire Department (GFD). For a community the size of Goldendale, 30 firefighters would be ideal. The new volunteer firefighters that joined in 2017 are very active and enthusiastic. In 2017 our fire department responded to a total of 145 calls, which includes 72 fire related calls and 73 EMS calls (ambulance). We obtained our EMS license for the ambulance. We currently have 7 firefighters taking the EMT basic class projected to be done at the end of April. These individuals are spending many man hours in the class and outside the class.

When major fires occur outside our County, fire departments loan equipment to the firefighting teams and receive substantial payment for equipment and staff helping to fight the fire. In recent years GFD has been able to send volunteers and equipment to help fight some of Washington’s largest wild land fires. This brings very useful income to fire departments that help finance additional equipment. Multi-use equipment (such as the attack tender) is an essential asset in a region known for fast moving wind driven wild fires and historic dryness. The attack tender was able to go to two different state fires. The attack tender project was mostly grant funded but the money that was non-grant money, the attack tender paid for itself going to these fires. We still continue to search out different grants for equipment and for updating our fleet. We hope to obtain a grant in 2018 for a newer and more reliable brush truck in addition to what is currently being used.

The GFD performance goal for 2018 is to continue to provide the best firefighting service possible to the citizens of Goldendale and surrounding areas. The Goldendale firefighters, led by Fire Chief Noah Halm, carry out an aggressive training regimen and meet weekly. Additional volunteers are always needed and welcome.


The State of the City report would not be complete without looking at the process used by the City Council and City Staff to identify and work out a range of issues that are brought to the attention of the Council. Council Committees, at the direction of the City Council, continue to work on public safety improvements, including updating radar speed controls, improving pedestrian crosswalks, enforcing community ordinances, addressing budget matters, and carrying out public works projects. A full range of community events including wine festivals, community bike events, downhill racers, and Community Days (to name a few) are also supported by the Council.

The objective for 2018 will be to continue working to make prudent use of funds provided in the budget and to make steady progress in providing effective public safety for our residents by working together (citizens, law enforcement, city staff, and Council) to identify and address criminal activities; further efforts to bring living wage jobs back to Goldendale and to provide community social events year round that residents and tourists can enjoy. There are interesting projects being worked on at the State and County level that will have a positive impact on our community.