Current News

Press Release
For information contact: Steve Taylor
(360) 577-3301
Kelso, Washington – April 25, 2019
Kelso City Manager Announces Departure in June 2019
Kelso City Manager Steve Taylor is leaving the City’s top executive post on June 30, 2019 to begin
working at the Cowlitz Public Utility District (Cowlitz PUD) as the Director of Regulatory and Regional
Appointed to the city manager position in September 2012, Taylor helped guide the organization
through a series of administrative reforms and infrastructure improvement programs. Working closely
with state legislators and regional stakeholders, he laid the foundation for securing nearly
$50 million in direct appropriations, agency grants and low interest loans for the development and
replacement of key public facilities including the Minor Road Reservoir, South Kelso Railroad Grade
Separation Project, Tam O’Shanter Park Access Improvements and the West Main Street Realignment
Project’s final phase. Taylor also oversaw the City’s finances during the present economic recovery,
which enabled the return of staffing and service levels curtailed by the Great Recession.
“Managing the City of Kelso has been a great honor and the highlight of my career,” Taylor stated in his
resignation letter to the Council. “I am proud of what this Kelso team has accomplished in the past
decade and look forward to witnessing the completion of the numerous projects and initiatives currently
in the pipeline.”
Mayor Nancy Malone expressed her appreciation for Taylor’s leadership and management of the City.
“On behalf of the Council, we wish Steve the best in his new role with the Cowlitz PUD. He leaves Kelso
in a position of strength and has set the table for continued success. Our next step is to begin the search
for a new city manager, and the efforts Steve and the management team have made in building and
sustaining a quality organization will present a rewarding opportunity for interested candidates.”
Taylor came to Kelso after serving as the city administrator in Connell, Washington. Prior to this, he was
elected to the inaugural city council of the newly-incorporated city of Spokane Valley, and he has
worked in a variety of positions in public, private and non-profit organizations over the course of his
career. He participates in the governance of a number of state and local organizations including the
Cowlitz 911 Public Authority, Cowlitz Economic Development Council, Washington Cities Insurance
Authority, Washington City/County Management Association, Municipal Research and Services Center
and Lower Columbia College Head Start Policy Committee. Taylor is a veteran of the United States Air
Force, and he holds both a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and Economics and a Master’s degree in Public
Administration from Eastern Washington University. He is a Credentialed Manager through the
International City/County Management Association. Taylor resides in Longview with his wife and two

Beginning Monday, March 25th, Advanced Excavating Specialists, LLC of Longview, WA, under contract to the City of Kelso, will begin a construction project to improve parking and traffic flow within Tam O’Shanter Park. Construction will occur during daylight hours and should continue through mid-August.

This work will create disruptions to the flow of traffic throughout the park.  Detours will redirect traffic around or through the work area.  Phased parking lot closures will occur. The City will provide advanced notification of these closures.  We will also provide regular updates to the Tam O'Shanter Project Page and the City's Facebook page.

Unfortunately, traffic disruption is an expected consequence of construction.  The City will work to minimize any inconveniences. We appreciate your cooperation and patience.

City of Kelso
Engineering Department
(360) 423-6590

Kelso Vision Statement- Draft

The Council recommended the linked draft vision statement at its February 19th meeting.  As a citizen of the City of Kelso, please feel free to review and submit comments/suggestions on the document linked above not later than March 13th so that a final vision statement can be approved at the March 19th City Council meeting.

The public is invited to attend an Open House for the West Main Street Realignment Ph II project on Wednesday, March 13, 2019 from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm in the Council Chambers at Kelso City Hall. The Open House will provide an opportunity for the public to hear an update on project progress and schedule of future project activities, ask questions, and obtain information related to the proposed design.

More information can be found at . If you have questions or would like to provide comments, contact the City’s Project Manager, Tom Walsh, at 360.747.8996 or

The Park Board meeting for Thursday, February 21st has been canceled.

Notice of Determination of NonSignificance and Notice of Application

The City of Kelso issued a determination of nonsignificance (DNS) under the State Environmental Policy Act Rules (Chapter 197-11 WAC) for the following project: Updates to the Critical Areas Ordinance that apply outside of the shoreline jurisdiction as required by RCW 36.70(A).130 and proposed by the City of Kelso. After review of a completed environmental checklist and other information on file with the agency, the City has determined this proposal will not have a probable significant adverse impact on the environment.

Copies of the DNS are available at no charge from Tammy Baraconi, Planning Manager, Kelso City Hall, 203 S. Pacific, Kelso Wa. Additional documents can be found on the City’s webpage, The public is invited to comment on the DNS with written comments no later than 4:30 on February 26, 2019 at the above address. Public testimony can be provided to the City Council on this item at the March 5, 2019 regular Council meeting.

For more information visit

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, 2019.

For additional information, please visit the City's website or contact Traci Howard at 360-423-0900 or

Tonight, starting at 8:30 pm, crews from Mill Plain Electric will be making changes to the signals on Allen Street at 4th Avenue and 5th Avenue.

The change on 4th Avenue at Allen will modify the signal and signing so that the left lane and the middle lane on 4th are left turn only lanes, and the right lane is available for through traffic southbound as well as right turns. On Allen at 5th Avenue, the signal and signing change will prohibit left turns from Allen to 5th Avenue Street. On 5th Avenue at Allen, the signal and signing changes will change the designation for the middle lane to allow left turns from 5th to Allen. Through traffic northbound on 5th at Allen will continue to be able to use the middle lane. Directional signing will be installed to route eastbound traffic on Allen Street to 5th Avenue northbound via 4th Avenue and Oak Street.  C & R Tractor and Landscaping will install temporary striping on 4th, 5th, Oak and Allen. Permanent striping has been delayed until night time temperatures are suitable.

The City will work to minimize inconveniences during construction. We appreciate your cooperation and patience.

City of Kelso
Engineering Department
(360) 423-6590

The Park Board meeting for Thursday, January 17th has been canceled.

The City of Kelso will be hosting the 19th District Legislators Wednesday, December 12th from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in Council Chambers to discuss legislative delegations for Kelso.  As we will have a majority of council members attending, the public is also welcome to attend.