ASOTIN – No hunting, firearms, or bows and arrows will be allowed inside Clarkston’s Vineland Cemetery, if a proposed ordinance becomes law.
At the Asotin County commission meeting this week, Commissioner Brian Shinn said the cemetery has reported a steady increase in the number of arrows being fired above the cemetery and landing in areas where visitors often walk.
“No hunting” signs were posted, but they didn’t seem to make a difference, Shinn said. With people visiting the cemetery every day, the problem has turned into a public safety issue. Any type of shooting at birds, deer and other wildlife will be prohibited under the proposed change.
“This ordinance will ban all hunting in this area,” said Shinn. “The signs didn’t seem to work, but maybe it will. “
If enacted, the firearms restrictions would not apply to supervised military honor guards, law enforcement officials, or those with a valid concealed carry permit. Civil penalties for violations start at $ 200 and can go up to $ 1,000.
Asotin County commissioners are accepting public comment on the new regulations until noon Friday and plan to act on the proposal on Monday.
In other county affairs:
Valley Vision Chairman Scott Corbitt updated the Economic Development Commission, saying workforce recruitment and retention is “the topic of the day” among businesses in the region. With fewer candidates to choose from, employers are paying more attention to the culture of the workplace and finding ways to make jobs more attractive, he said.
“We need to focus on the culture and figuring out how to make people want to come to work every day,” Corbitt said.
Asotin County has thriving cruise ship and jet industries, the Port of Clarkston and other assets, he said. Educating Olympia on the needs of the area and working towards building a new Clarkston High School and branding the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley are on the nonprofit organization’s priority list.
Valley Vision operates on both sides of the Snake River, but Idaho has gained more attention since the pandemic, he said. Several companies in San Francisco, Seattle and Portland are seriously considering relocating to Gem State due to the state’s stance on regulation.
“To be frank, a lot of them don’t want to come to Washington,” Corbitt said. “They want to come to Idaho because there are less regulations and a different philosophy that is more in line with how they want to run their businesses.”
Corbitt said he was optimistic and that efforts were underway to promote the strengths and opportunities of Asotin County. The new director of the Southeast Washington Economic Development Association is on the Valley Vision board, which will be a plus.
Port manager Wanda Keefer discussed a broadband project that will increase connectivity in the primary school areas of Grantham and Highland. She worked on two competitive grants that each require a 20% local match.
Commissioners voted 3-0 to contribute $ 100,000 of American Rescue Plan Act federal funds to help match the part of the project in unincorporated Asotin County. They also agreed to send a letter of support for the $ 1.1 million expansion.
Lisa Webber from the prosecutor’s office was allowed to fill a vacant deputy prosecutor position. Lawyer Erin Weaver has given notice and will take a similar job in Nez Perce County which pays an additional $ 20,000, Webber said.
Auditor Darla McKay reviewed the redistribution process underway in Asotin County. Based on the 2020 census, the county is home to 22,285 residents and each commissioner district needs an equal number of people for fair representation. Adjustments to the boundary lines will be the subject of a public hearing before any changes come into effect.