NeighborWorks® of Grays Harbor contributes to the community conversation on housing issues through a weekly column in the Daily World titled "Nailing it Down."

 

 Since 1999, the "Nailing it Down"articles have been published in the Daily World and other countywide weekly newspapers. NeighborWorks® of Grays Harbor County has collaborated with local newspapers, elected officials and local experts to publish articles covering hundreds of topics.

 

 

Nailing It Down

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 As demands increase and the average age of workers climbs, the need for well-trained employees in the building trades is great.
   

Last week we talked about Grays Harbor College’s popular and successful carpentry program. Today, we’re taking a step back to take a look at the training available here on the Harbor for high school students.
   

Our local expert on that is Lynn Green. Not only is she the director of Career and Technical Education for the Aberdeen School District, she also heads up the Twin Harbors branch of the New Market Skill Center, hosted by the Aberdeen School District.
 

At any given time nearly three-quarters of the AHS students are enrolled in some sort of technical or career course, she said.
 

“My job is to help staff make opportunities for students to explore, to discover what it is they really enjoy, and frankly, what they don’t. It’s important that they know there are a lot of options for their education and none is necessarily lesser than another,” sa...

Summer is a great time for outside projects. Are you planning to put up a new shed, fence or garage or even just install a mailbox or dig a hole to plant a new tree or shrub? 
 

Don’t get your shovel out quite yet!
 

You may need to call 811 before you dig.
 

While your property is, well, your property, you may be surprised at what is underneath the ground – and where it is.
   

Water, sewer, gas, oil, cable, TV, telephone, and electricity are among the utilities that may be underground on your property. None of which you want to disturb!
   

We find it apropos that the designated phone number for this is 811. That’s because if you call 811 before you dig, you will not likely have to call 911 after you dig to report that someone’s been hurt when striking a gas pipe or electrical line.
   

It’s truly a system to prevent emergencies from happening – both to people and to property.  
 

The state law (which was revised in 2013) says you must call 811 at least two business days befo...

The Randall Street Garden that was established last year has turned out to be like a perennial plant, sprouting back to life again this year.
   

And, with our late spring weather, it’s not too late to rent a space at this garden at 1015 Randall St. in East Aberdeen.
 

“We still have a fair amount of open ground that is waiting for gardeners,” said Liz Ellis, the garden’s mastermind who has an agricultural degree from WSU.
 

There is a $15 membership fee to join and bed rental is suggested at $2 a square foot, making a 4-foot by 14-foot plot cost $112 for the season.
   

Included in that price is already prepared and amended soil, access to tools, seeds, water and help. 
 

Also, Liz said, some grant funds are available for people who are unable to pay the rent.
   

We’re talking about this great program, because here at NeighborWorks we’re not just about improving houses in Grays Harbor, we are also about improving neighborhoods and communities in collaboration with residents.
...

It’s feeling a bit more like spring!

Along with more flowers, we also have some additional dates for Spring Cleanups sprouting up. So we want to pass them along.

There’s nothing like a free trip to the dump – or dumpsters placed in your community – to spur you on to great feats of spring cleaning.

If your community is sponsoring a Spring Cleanup -- and many areas within Grays Harbor County are – we suggest you save yourself a few bucks at the dump by using it as a deadline for sprucing up your house, yard, garage, etc.

Yes, some of the clutter just needs to be repaired or tidied up; but be realistic; some of it just needs to go!

  

With that said, take a look at these dates!

DATES FOR ABERDEEN

For Aberdonians today – April 1 – marks the beginning of your free day at the Lemay Transfer Station, 4201 Olympic Highway in Aberdeen.

  

The City of Aberdeen has issued vouchers for those who live within city limits. If you are an Aberdonian, you should have received a green postcard during the...

Let’s be frank: When you get out your checkbook to pay your property taxes, you’d prefer your house’s appraisal was low. However, when you want an equity loan or it’s time to sell, you’d like it to be high.

That’s just the way it is for most people.

  

Today as we continue our series from our conversations with the County Assessor’s Office we will explain just how the county’s six residential appraisers determine how much a house is worth.

WHEN IS IT APPRAISED?

First we thought we’d review the recent changes in how often a house is re-appraised. 

  

Beginning in 2014, state law requires that each residential and commercial parcel in each county be re-appraised each year. (For Grays Harbor that’s currently 67,562 parcels.)

  

Before 2014, an appraiser would take a look at your house in person every four years, and the taxes due would be figured using that same appraisal amount for four years.  

  

Now each year the county’s appraisers determine the worth of your house solely by...

One way to take a measure of the economic health of our local economy is to take a look at whether   property assessments are going up or down.

  

As we mentioned in last week’s column, after several years of going down, that downward trend is slowing and the assessed value in 2016 (which will be used this year in paying our 2017 taxes) is slightly up.

In 2016 the overall real and personal property assessed value of the county’s 67,562 parcels was $5,894,644,876. That’s up from $5,835,628,957 in 2015.

“Yes, we are finally not decreasing as a county,” said Grays Harbor County Assessor Dan Lindgren.

  

We found out that tidbit and many more during a recent conversation with Lindgren.

  

Assessor Lindgren had some other interesting perspectives on our county that we will share today and in future columns. Also, we will be passing along some information on various property tax reduction programs that are available in certain situations.

WHERE THE MARKET IS HOT

Ocean Shores leads...

The Grays Harbor County Assessor’s Office has a unique view of what’s going on in the county and from time to time we like to pay the office a visit to spread some of that insight.

So, we recently sat down with Assessor Dan Lindgren. Lindgren has been working in the Assessor’s Office for 10 years. He was elected County Assessor in November of 2014 and began his four-year term in January 2015.

A lot has happened since he started his new post a year and a half ago and we were eager to hear what our economy looks like from his perspective.

For starters, Lindgren said, the overall assessed value of the area is starting to climb again – a sign of a healthier economy and more interest in our area.

In 2016, the overall real and personal property assessed value of the county –all 67,562 parcels – was  $5,835,628,957. That is up from $5,768,177,791 in 2015, Lindgren said.

“After the downturn in the economy a few years back, finally we are not decreasing in value as a county,” Lindgren said.

Another r...

Do you remember what Aberdeen and Hoquiam were going through a little more than two years ago? We’re talking about the severe flooding and landslides of January 2015.

   

Yes, it’s been two years since hundreds of homes and businesses and thousands of people were affected by flooding and landslides. (And we’re all still feeling the consequences to our community!)

   

The reason we ask is that after decades of dealing with the flooding issue we are encouraged that much progress has taken place in the past two years and we can now begin to glimpse that real relief will soon be on its way.

  

Last week we talked a bit about the more recent rains and the lack of flooding through some luck and some hard work by city crews to keep the storm drain system cleaned out. Hurray!

   

Today we want to update you a little more on the North Shore Levee project. The project is a proposed system of earthen dikes, floodwalls, raised roadways and new or improved pump stations. Its target area...

The slippery snow and ice and frequent windy storms of winter put us at greater risk of power outages.

  

In last week’s column we talked a little bit how to think ahead to cope with a power outage. Today we’re going to emphasis the safety aspects, starting with how to behave near a downed wire.

     

POWER LINES DOWN

  

As you know, the power can go out for a variety of reasons – weather issues including wind, ice and snow, trees falling on lines, a car hitting a pole, birds or small animals destroying equipment and even normal equipment failures from rusted or worn out parts.

  

Because of its sophisticated equipment, usually the PUD knows immediately that power is out and exactly where it is out. However, if you would like to call the outage hotline, the number is (360) 537-3721 or toll free at 1-888-541-5923.

  

Also, as we mentioned last week, the PUD has a couple relatively new systems able to notify you of power outages on your computer or cell phone. Fo...

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Aberdeen, WA 98520

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