Current News

The City of Kelso is requesting qualifications from attorneys and/or law firms interested in contracting for defense services for indigent defendants appearing to answer criminal charges in Cowlitz County District Court.

The contract has represented a range of 600 to 800 annual cases subject to the caseload limits adopted by the City.  The lead firm will be responsible for managing inflow of cases and assuring appearances at all arraignment calendars and providing 24-hour access to unassigned clients in police custody.

Requests for Qualifications will be accepted until 5:00 p.m., Friday, June 18, 2021. 


For further information, please contact Jessica Bronstein at 360-577-3379 or via email at or click on the following link: Full RFQ

City Hall will be closing at 1:00 pm Friday, February 12th, 2021 due to inclement weather.  We will be closed Monday, February 15th for President's Day.  We will be open normal schedule on Tuesday, February 16th, 2021 at 9:00 am

The City of Kelso is accepting applications for fireworks stand permits.  

Due to the size of population, the City of Kelso is limited to allow for three fireworks stands each year.  Permits may be granted, or denied, based upon the City Manager's assessment of the applicant's experience and demonstrated record together with such other factors as are determined to be in the best interest of and benefit to the community.  All applications to operate fireworks stands shall be made no later than May 2, 2021.  

For additional information, please contact Traci Howard at 360-423-0900 or  

Fireworks Stand Permit Application

Jan. 07, 2021:

  • Construction has begun for the West Main St Improvements Project – Phase 2.  Completion expected August 2021.
  • The Contractor has begun underground utility work along 6th Avenue, 5th Avenue and 4th Avenue near Catlin Street.
  • Removal of existing structures along the south side of Catlin has begun.
  • The Signals at 5th/Catlin and 5th/West Main have been put into a four-way stop flashing condition to accommodate the traffic control for the work.
  • Local Traffic is encouraged to use alternate routes for the duration of the project.
  • Thru Traffic is encouraged to use Cowlitz Way.
  • For more information visit:

Curbside pickup January 2nd thru January 8th, 2021

Christmas Tree Recycle Schedule & Drop Site Locations

The City of Kelso is now accepting applications from Kelso residents that reside within the city limits of Kelso to fill a vacancy on the city council.

The timeline for filling the vacancy is as follows:

December 8, 2020:  Applications are due to city staff not later than 5:00 p.m.
January 5, 2021:  Special meeting at 4:30 p.m. to conduct candidate interviews followed by executive session, council vote, and swearing in of new councilmember.

A councilmember application and an application to be considered for any board, committee, commission must be filled out and submitted to City Manager Andrew Hamilton prior to Dec. 8th @ 5:00 p.m.

For more details please click here

City Refinances Bonds for Interest Savings

The City of Kelso (the “City”) is in the process of refinancing the 2010 Water & Sewer Revenue Bonds for interest cost savings.  At the same time, they decided to finance water and sewer improvements.  As part of the bond financing process, the City’s staff presented information to the national rating agency of S&P Global Ratings.

According to City Manager Andy Hamilton, “the City’s Water & Sewer Revenue Bond rating was re-affirmed at A+.  This is a great accomplishment for the City and its citizens!  This rating of A+ reflects that the City is well-managed and has good financial practices in place for the benefit of our ratepayers.  The higher the rating, then the lower the interest cost.”

According to Finance Director Brian Butterfield, “the A+ rating is based on the following key factors:  1. Demonstrated track record of strong financial reserves; 2. Strength of the local economy; 3. Strong parity debt service coverage ratios of the Water & Sewer System; 4. Financial management and practices; and 5. Experienced management in operating the Water & Sewer System in an efficient manner.”

The presentation team was comprised of: City Manager Andy Hamilton, Finance Director Brian Butterfield, Public Works Superintendent Randy Johnson, Utility Operations Manager Devin Mackin, Community Development Director/City Engineer Mike Kardas, Councilmember David Futcher, and Bond Underwriter Jim Nelson of D.A. Davidson & Co.   The team presented information and answered questions that dealt with the topics of management, finances, economic growth and long-term planning. 

The Water & Sewer Improvement and Refunding Revenue Bonds were priced on November 5th in Seattle at the offices of D.A. Davidson & Co., serving as Bond Underwriter.  The Bonds achieved a True Interest Cost of 1.73%.

Brian Butterfield further explained “the City was fortunate to time the pricing of the Bonds near an interest rate low.  The 20-year Water & Sewer Improvement Revenue Bonds will finance $3,000,000 in system improvements, including the Paxton Reservoir transmission line replacement and the Donation Pump Station rehabilitation.  The 11-year Water & Sewer Refunding Revenue Bonds achieved total net savings of $970,426.  The average annual savings are $88,221.