Current News

The City of Kelso and Love Overwhelming have come to a mutual agreement to resolve the issues in the drug abatement lawsuit pertaining to the non-profit agency’s emergency shelter facility at 304 Cowlitz Way and other security concerns that impact the community.  The City of Kelso, Cowlitz County and Love Overwhelming will continue to work collaboratively to provide services to the homeless population of our community while ensuring the safety and livability of the surrounding neighborhood.

The City of Kelso, in association with Socrata today announced the implementation of Open Budget, a suite of breakthrough open data financial transparency apps for government.  Open Budget is designed for quick deployment and citizen empowerment.Open Budget Kelso can be accessed directly at or through the City’s website at  The City Council will receive a walk-through demonstration of the application at its July 21st, 2015 regular meeting held at Kelso City Hall at 6:00pm. Click here to view the full press release.

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City Hall - General citywide information



The Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments, in partnership with the city of Kelso, Washington, requested technical assistance from EPA's Smart Growth Implementation Assistance Program to develop a smart growth economic development strategy focusing on the South Kelso neighborhood, specifically downtown Kelso, the South Kelso residential community, and the Talley Way industrial area.

Using Smart Growth Strategies to Foster Economic Development: A Kelso, Washington, Case Study (2015) aims to help cities like Kelso rethink how to address economic development challenges with small, manageable solutions that create stronger, more resilient communities. A smart growth economic development strategy needs to support businesses and workers and improve quality of life. Smart growth approaches bring together these elements and recognize the balance among them and the need to create long-term value in addition to short-term gains.

The report can be accessed through the EPA's website.

The City of Kelso is pleased to announce the release of its Draft Shoreline Master Program and supporting documents for public review and comment. The City Council will do a final review of the document on July 7 and authorize staff by resolutionto submit the program for final approval by the Department of Ecology.

The City of Kelso is pleased to announce the adoption of its updated Comprehensive Plan

The City adopted an updated Master Fee Schedule on 10/21/2014

The City of Kelso announced the affirmation of Standard & Poor's Ratings Services “AA-“ long-term rating on the City’s Series 2010A & 2010B water and sewer revenue bonds.  (The Series 2010B securities are taxable recovery zone economic development bonds). The Ratings Service stated that the City’s general outlook is “stable.”


Standard & Poor’s rating is based on the City’s very strong annual debt service coverage, very strong system liquidity, competitive utility rates, and stable residential customer base.


“We are very pleased with the City’s affirmation from the bond rating agency. This is yet another indication that Kelso’s elected leadership and City staff have been fiscally responsible in managing limited utility resources despite these tough economic times,” said City Manager Steve Taylor.


All Kelso water and sewer ratepayers benefit from this rating in the form of obtaining lower interest rates for the issuance of City debt which translates into more competitive utility rates.


The S&P Ratings Services report and letter to the City of Kelso can be viewed by clicking the links below:


City of Kelso Rating Letter

City of Kelso Rating Report