At work session, council directs half of funding sought for project

by: FILE PHOTO - Keith Locke.The St. Helens City Council voted to steer $2,000 to a book project backed by the Columbia County Museum Association on Wednesday, July 16.

The goal of the project is for Scappoose author Tricia Brown to write a 128-page book for South Carolina-based Arcadia Publishing on the history of St. Helens. The museum association has already agreed to provide photographs and information from its archives for the book.

When the museum association approached the City Council last month to ask for funding, curator Les Watters said $4,000 would be needed to cover the costs of the book.

Councilors agreed Wednesday that the city should support the project, but not subsidize it entirely.

“I wouldn’t suggest donating the entire amount, but I would like to see us donate something to it,” said Councilor Susan Conn.

Councilors Ginny Carlson and Keith Locke agreed that providing a portion from city funds would be appropriate.

“I’m kind of of the mindset that I appreciate local projects and I appreciate the value, but I also appreciate the value in some grassroots element,” Carlson said. “But it’d be nice if we can support them in a portion of what they need to say we believe in the project and show our support that way. ... But I don’t think we should make a practice of writing checks to good projects.”

Locke proposed the council provide one-tenth of its $10,000 discretionary fund toward the book project as well as ask the Tourism Committee to approve a $1,000 grant for the project, as the councilors reasoned that a history book of St. Helens could help promote tourism to the city.

The four councilors present unanimously approved Locke’s proposal.

Wednesday’s work session was presided over by Council President Doug Morten. Mayor Randy Peterson was not present.

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