Current News

The City mailed stormwater educational letters on August 8 to a number of property owners. These letters were sent to the correct addresses but the property owner names were incorrect. The letters were educational only – they have nothing to do with stormwater fees or citizens being out of compliance. The stormwater pollution information in the letters is valid for all Kelso citizens. The City regrets this unfortunate error. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Van McKay at 360-577-3323.

The City of Kelso is pleased to invite community agencies and event organizers to submit requests for lodging tax funding that will be considered for the 2017 budget year.

If your agency/organization would like to request financial support from the Lodging Tax Fund, please submit a Request For Funding form to the City Manager’s office no later than August 12, 2016 at 5:00 pm. Applications may be submitted directly by email to or mailed to City Hall at PO Box 819, Kelso, WA 98626.

Construction on the W. Main Street Revitalization Project Temporarily Suspended

8/3/16 - Construction on the W. Main Street Revitalization Project, between W. 3rd Avenue and Cowlitz Way, has been temporarily suspended. Activity is expected to resume Monday, August 8th. The contractor encountered unexepected underground utility damage after the old pavement overlay was removed. The discovery required that additional materials be ordered before work could continue.

Based  on concerns raised by councilmembers in prior years related to the City’s Charter, the City Council formed a Charter Review Committee in April 2016.  The  Charter Review Committee met several times to  consider changes to the City Charter and has recommended several changes that are reflected in the proposed resolutions.  At its special meeting the City Council on June 28, 2016, met with members of the Charter Review Committee and considered the recommendations to amend the City Charter.  The Council  determined to submit three priority propositions and the remaining amendments in as few propositions as possible.  These were presented to City Council and approved by resolution at the July 5, 2016 meeting. 

These propositions will now be placed on the November 8, 2016 ballot for voters.

The full resolutions and propositions can be found by navigating to

Questions submitted to the City regarding these propositions will be compiled, answered, and posted under the FAQ's link (coming soon) on the City Charter Review page.


When:  Monday, May 23rd at 4:30 p.m.
Where:  Kelso City Hall - Council Chambers

The City of Kelso Review Committee is seeking citizen input and public comment on proposed changes to the city charter. 

This will be the committee's 3rd meeting since its appointment by the City Council in March 2016.  The committee has completed its review of the charter document, first adopted in 1993 and last amended in 2006, and is crafting a series of amendments to recommend to City Council in June.  The Council will then determine which amendments, if any, will be placed on the November 8th ballot for voter approval.

Kelso is Washington State's only "chartered code" city, meaning that it legally operates under both a charter document and the Optional Municipal Code contained within state statute.  The full city charter can be viewed at under the "your government" menu tab.  Hard copies can be requestd by contacting the city manager's office at 360.577.3301.

BNSF will be installing new crossing panels at the Mill Street rail crossing from April 18th - April 23rd, and as a result the crossing will be temporarily closed.  It is estimated the closure will begin at 04:00 on April 18th and conclude at 16:00 on April 23rd.  An electronic message board will be displayed near Mill Street crossing from April 14th-April 17th to inform residents of the temporary closure.  BNSF received approval of the crossing closure detour plan for Mill Street from the City of Kelso on 3/30/16.

If there are any questions regarding this temporary closure please contact Stephen Semenick, BNSF Railway Project Engineer - 206-625-6463 work, 817-422-2486 cell,

If you have questions about the regulatory process, you may contact the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission at: WUTC, 1300 S. Evergreen Park Dr. S.W., P.O. Box 47250, Olympia, WA  98507-7250; 1-800-562-6150 (toll-free). Also, you may contact the Federal Railroad Administration at 1-800-724-5998 (toll-free).

Press Release


For information contact:  Steve Taylor – 360-577-3301

Kelso, WA – March 21, 2016

Kelso Council Seeks Citizen Volunteers for City Charter Review Committee

               Kelso is forming a citizens committee to review the city charter and recommend potential amendments for the City Council’s consideration.  Committee members must be voting residents of Kelso and available to attend at least three committee meetings between April and June of this year.  The Council plans to appoint at least five committee members at the April 5th regular meeting.  The city charter was last amended in 2006.  Any change to the charter must be approved by a majority of Kelso voters.  The current charter document can be accessed on the city’s website

               Interested residents are asked to submit a volunteer form to Jessica Bronstein in the City Manager’s Office by April 1st at 4:30pm.  The form can be accessed online at  

               Please call 360-577-3301 for additional information.


Tuesday, April 5th, 2016
6:00 P.M.

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the City Council adopted a resolution initiating the vacation of property and that a public hearing will be held by the City of Kelso in the Council Chambers, 201 S Pacific Avenue, Kelso, WA 98626, on April 5th, 2016 at 6:00 pm.

The purpose of the public hearing is to receive comment on the vacation of a portion of Talley Way Right of Way located near the south end of the Southwest Washington Regional Airport runway. This section is needed by the airport to construct a fence to provide site security.  This portion of the right of way is no longer useful for street purposes.

The legal description of the proposed vacation and an exhibit showing the limits are available for viewing in the Engineering Office at Kelso City Hall, 203 S. Pacific Ave., Suite 205, Kelso WA 98626. 

The Council Chambers room is handicap accessible.  Arrangements to reasonably accommodate special needs, including handicap accessibility or interpreter, will be made upon receiving 48 business hours advance notice.  Contact the City at (360) 423-1371.

The City of Kelso's Lodging Tax Advisory Committee will have a meeting on February 8, 2016 at 2:00 pm. The meeting will be held at City Hall in Conference Room 219. For questions or additional infomration please contact Jessica Bronstein at 360-577-3301.

February 8, 2016 Agenda

The West Kelso Subarea Plan draft was presented at the January 19, 2016, Council Meeting, Kelso City Hall Council Chambers, 203 S. Pacific Avenue, at 6:00 pm.  For more information on the West Kelso Subarea Plan, please visit