School Impact Fees

Response from Scott Gullickson, School Board Member, to the post about the proposed 1000 unit development around 179th Street (see May 3 posting): “School board members and the school district are reaching out to the county commissioners. We have already started dialogue with them regarding these school impact fee issues and the desire to raise them to a level that is on par with the city rates.  We will continue to work on behalf of Ridgefield Schools for an equitable solution.

I also appreciate the letter writing campaign as well. Thank you.”

Scott Gullickson

Give Architects Your Ideas for Libray

Tonight, Tuesday May 7, architects for the new library will hold an open house for citizens to present their ideas for the new Ridgefield Library. The meeting starts at 6:30 in the Community Room of the library.

Come and let them know your needs, wants, and ideas for what should be in the new library.

Thought for the Week

A Call to Action

The County is about to cost the Ridgefield School District over $2.3 million dollars in school impact fees for the Ridgefield School District.

Some of you may be aware that the Ridgefield School District has been feeling some economic growing pains of late.  To that end, the district put out a bond measure in February that failed, and a levy last month that passed.  The levy was for approximately 6 million dollars.

What you may not know is that the County is now on the cusp of approving almost 1000 new dwelling units near the 179th street intersection.  As part of the budgeting process for those projects, the county will be voting on May 7th  on how much they are going raise your taxes and, possibly,  go into debt through bonding, to subsidize these new residential developments.

Importantly, as to School Impact fees, the County only charges $6530 per dwelling unit for a school impact fee on new construction for homes constructed within the Ridgefield School District.  On the other hand, the City of Ridgefield charges $8883.75 per dwelling unit for school impact fees.  The difference between what the City collects from its citizen’s new construction for the RSD, and what the County collects, is $2,353.75/dwelling unit.  Therefore, unless the County requires the developers to pay the same impact fee as if the dwelling unit had been built in the City, the Ridgefield School District will lose $2,353,000 dollars that would go to help the school district absorb these new students in these 1000 new dwelling units.  It is conceivable that this deficit will require the School District to come back yet again to the voters of the RSD for an additional levy in 2021 and beyond based upon this new growth that does not pay for itself.

The County is supposedly entering into development agreements with the 3 major developers regarding their financial obligations to the County. Please let the Councilors know that you are already carrying a heavy tax burden for your schools and, at a minimum, the new developments (1000 new dwelling units) should be required to pay the same school impact fees ($8883.75) as those being paid by new construction dwelling units in the City so that City residents and County residents pay the same impact fee to cover the ballooning cost of education in the Ridgefield School District.  The County should make it a requirement part of any development agreement for development in the Urban Holding area that each dwelling unit pays the same impact fee as if the construction were being completed in the City.

You can comment by sending written comments to Sonja Wiser at “Wiser, Sonja” or  show up at the hearing Tuesday night May 7th.

Since this is the same night as the architects for our new library are holding an open house at the library, or if you are unable to attend the meeting, you could also email our County Councilor, Julie Olsen, by googling and checking the box in front of Julie’s name. There is space to write comments.

There is a rumor the County Council Meeting may have been canceled



Here it is, Friday again, and time for  my weekly update on news from the library. Today is the first day of our Giant Used Book Sale. Members of the Friends of the Ridgefield Library can do early-bird shopping from 10 to noon – another benefit of being a Friend. All books are a dollar – what a bargain! Come and stock up

Sales to the general public start at noon.

The sale continues tomorrow.

The quilted Ridgefield wall hanging will be on view, and we hope you’ll buy a bunch of tickets for the raffle. They’re $5 each, and if you buy five tickets you get a beautiful hand painted book mark signed by the artist. Even if you can’t picture the wall hanging in your home it would make a nice donation to the new library.

Reminder – Garden Club Sale Tomorrow

Art Association Sale Saturday at Overlook Park

Come to the Art Association’s annual art show and sale at Overlook Park on Saturday, opening at 9 am..

Many types of media will be represented, and it’s a good chance to meet the artists, talk about art, and maybe even take home an article you admire.

Look for the art canopy at the Farmers’ Market in downtown Ridgefield.

Second Sundays at the Refuge

Lots happening this week in Ridgefield

This will be a busy week for us, starting Thursday, May 2, when Brad Richardson of the Clark County Historical Museum will speak at the Old Liberty Theater about the history of Ridgefield. It’s a free event, starting at 7:00 pm, and is a part of the new initiative by the museum to celebrate the local businesses, architecture, and history.

“Downtown Ridgefield and its businesses have a long and torrid history,” said Richardson. “We feel it’s important to discuss the stories of our communities at, or in, the places where they took place. It harkens to the idea, ‘If these walls could talk.’ The Old Liberty Theater provides the perfect setting for this exploration and discussion.”


Then Friday and Saturday the Friends of the Ridgefield Library hold the Giant Used Book Sale at the Community Room of the library.

Friends of the Library can enter the sale at 10am and have two hours before the public is allowed. Memberships will be available at the door, so you can join then if you want. Doors open at noon for the general public.

On May 4, the sale runs from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. Attention ALL book lovers! Mark your calendars. We will have tons of used books in every genre you can imagine for prices you won’t believe. This is a public sale, so everyone is welcome.


Also on Saturday May 4, the Ridgefield Garden Club holds its annual Plant Sale at the School District’s Maintenance Shop at 3rd and Pioneer. It starts at 9 am – come early to get the best selection of hanging plants, shrubs, trees, and best of all – homegrown items from our members.


It’s also the May Day Spring Festival, sponsored by the City and the First Saturday Group. Activities take place at Overlook Park, including the Farmer’s Market.

If I forgot anything I apologize – write and let me know and I’ll post it.

Thought for the Week

As I pulled weeds and sifted compost in my yard today, I kept thinking how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful place, with stimulating weather, mason bees humming as they flew in and out building their nests, people out for a stroll, a friend stopping by to chat as she bicycled down the street. I didn’t even mind the hot rodder who guns his engine as he drives by.

Life is good for this 83 year old!

Does this article bother anyone besides me?

This article appeared in Saturday’s Columbian. I have shortened it, but the gist is the same.

“An Oregon woman who lost both legs after being hit by a freight train has filed a lawsuit against several railroad companies. (List of companies follows.)
Police say Cindy Rodriguez was looking at her phone while walking across tracks when the train hit her at a suburban Portland crossing in April, 2017. Documents say her legs were amputated and she suffered respiratory failure and other injuries.
The lawsuit says the companies ignored dangerous conditions and did not warn the public, and employees failed to use an emergency brake.”

She is asking for $33.8 million dollars!

Well duh…Doesn’t everyone know railroad crossing are dangerous? And looking at a phone while walking can cause problems? And a train takes a long time to slow down even with an emergency brake?

I am sick and tired of our having to pay for stupidity. Sorry, but this woman was stupid. Any kindergartener could tell you to be careful at a railroad crossing.

I hope the judge has enough guts to throw out the case before it costs taxpayers a lot of money.

What do you think?

People are Feeding Priscilla

Several children have brought in their jars containing pig food (money) to feed Priscilla the Pig, who is collecting donations to help fund our new library.

If you haven’t picked up a jar yet, there are some in the library, or just make your own and put in your spare change. On November 15 we’ll close the donations for this year and people can buy a chance to guess how much money was collected. The person who comes closest will win half the guessing chances when we announce the amount at Hometown.

Vote early and vote often!.

Needed: Acoustic Guitar – Can You Help?

A student in one of the Ridgefield schools is in need of an acoustic guitar. It doesn’t need to be new so if you have one you would like to donate or know somebody who does we would appreciate it!!
Please contact Carla at if you can help.

Moms and Mimosas at the Art Space

This sounds like a fun event. Email to sign up.

Ridgefield Public School Foundation

Do you have a passion for education and our local community? Do you feel a responsibility to support our schools in innovative and creative ways? If so, perhaps you’ll want to feed that passion and sense of responsibility by becoming a member of the Ridgefield Public School Foundation Board. Our current board is composed of motivated and engaged Ridgefield residents. The time commitment consists of:

*1 Monthly Board meeting
*Participation in at least one subcommittee
*Support events and activities (three major fundraisers a year & other community events)
*Support other fundraising activities as needed and/or requested

To learn more about the work we do and activities we support check out

Interested? Good! We are too! Shoot us an email at to learn more. Bonus points if you include a resume & cover letter!