There was some question about the validity of Tuesday night’s Goldendale City Council meeting. Councilor Filberto Ontiveros asked if the meeting could even be held since public notice hadn’t been posted online until that morning, just 11 hours before the meeting, and public meeting laws usually require public bodies have to give notice of any meeting 24 hours in advance. But Washington’s RCW 42.30.077 is a bit more forgiving. “Nothing in this section,” it reads, “prohibits subsequent modifications to agendas nor invalidates any otherwise legal action taken at a meeting where the agenda was not posted in accordance with this section.” As it happened, no serious votes were required at the meeting. The only votes taken were to approve the agenda and to adjourn.
Most of the meeting was taken up with information. Scott Lewis of Apollo Solutions presented councilors with an audit done of the city’s energy consumption, looking to see if there were investments in energy efficiency that would pencil out as profitable for the city. He reported he was only able to identify one, that being construction of a 100 kilowatt solar array inside the fenced-in site of the wastewater treatment plant.
Such a project would cost an estimated $522,000 to $688,000. Lewis said Apollo would apply for grants covering between half and two-thirds of the cost, and the city could borrow the balance and make payments out of the lower electric costs having a solar array would bring.