State of the City 2024

City of Forks

Administration Presents Annual State of the City


In a recent gathering hosted by the Forks Chamber of Commerce, the City of Forks Administration unveiled its annual State of the City Report, highlighting various developments and initiatives undertaken over the past year. Led off by Clerk/Treasurer Caryn DePew, the report delved into multiple aspects of city governance, public works projects, law enforcement challenges, and community engagement efforts.

Financial Accountability and Audits

One of the notable achievements highlighted in the report was the successful completion of the city’s 2020-2022 Accountability and 2021-2022 Financial Audit. Conducted in January of this year, the audit concluded without any findings, affirming the city’s commitment to financial transparency and responsible stewardship of public funds.

Law Enforcement and Public Safety

Chief Mike Rowley of the Forks Police Department provided insights into the law enforcement landscape, shedding light on the prevailing challenges and trends. While reporting a decline in burglaries and car prowls, Chief Rowley noted an alarming increase in DUIs and theft statistics are up, partly attributed to enhanced surveillance measures implemented by local businesses like Forks Outfitters.

Of particular concern was the rise in fentanyl usage, identified as the drug of choice among substance abusers due to its affordability compared to other narcotics. Chief Rowley emphasized the mounting cases of mental health-related incidents, exacerbated by legislative constraints on law enforcement’s response protocols.

Public Works and Infrastructure

The city’s Public Works Department, under the leadership of Public Works Director Paul Hampton, showcased significant progress in addressing water and wastewater management challenges. Noteworthy accomplishments included the repair of numerous water leaks, installation of new water meters for enhanced accuracy, and efforts to reduce water loss rates to the lowest levels in nearly a decade.

Additionally, investments were made toward wastewater treatment plant improvements, with grants and funding secured for critical infrastructure projects. Hampton said additional funding is still being explored as bids for some projects came in higher than expected. The report also highlighted ongoing road maintenance initiatives, park enhancements, and infrastructure planning to accommodate future growth and development.

Rod Fleck, Planner Attorney for the City of Forks, offered valuable insights into the legal proceedings of District Court II and provided updates on key planning and infrastructure projects shaping the city’s future.

District Court II Proceedings

Fleck commenced his report by outlining the spectrum of cases handled by District Court II, which predominantly involves gross misdemeanors and misdemeanors. These cases span a range of offenses including DUI, assaults, reckless driving, possession of drug paraphernalia, disorderly conduct, and driving while license suspended.

He elaborated on the judicial process whereby individuals convicted in District Court II are subject to specific mandates by Judge Bruce Hanify. These mandates typically include directives to refrain from committing further crimes, undergo treatment, and avoid contact with victims.

Fleck emphasized the importance of compliance with these directives, highlighting that failure to adhere could result in further legal action, including incarceration.

Planning and Infrastructure Development

Transitioning to planning and infrastructure matters, Fleck provided updates on significant projects aimed at enhancing the city’s development and livability.

He underscored the imperative of adhering to the Growth Management Act (GMA) Comprehensive Plan Update, stressing the need for its completion by 2025 to align with regulatory requirements and facilitate sustainable growth.

Fleck also highlighted progress on the Quillayute Airport master planning, noting the acceptance and approval of drawings, which are slated for presentation and proposed adoption in upcoming spring hearings.

He encouraged individuals seeking land use permits for various purposes—be it buying, building, or developing—to engage with city officials for guidance and compliance checks. Fleck emphasized the city’s commitment to facilitating informed decision-making by providing assistance in navigating zoning regulations, building requirements, and environmental considerations such as critical areas and wetlands codes.

Community Engagement and Initiatives

Mayor Tim Fletcher underscored the city’s commitment to community well-being and civic pride, outlining initiatives aimed at downtown beautification, public space enhancements, and fostering volunteerism. Efforts to address pressing issues such as affordable housing and infrastructure upgrades were acknowledged, with calls for increased collaboration and support from local stakeholders and policymakers.

The State of the City report highlighted the city’s navigation through various challenges and opportunities.

The presentation concluded with an invitation for continued dialogue, partnership, and active participation from community members in shaping the city’s future.

Blue Bathrooms get much-needed remodel - Bids came in too high for the needed work on the blue bathrooms in Tillicum Park, so the City Crew took on the project and are nearly finished. All new fixtures, lighting, heat, and partitions were installed. City of Forks photo

Blue Bathrooms get much-needed remodel – Bids came in too high for the needed work on the blue bathrooms in Tillicum Park, so the City Crew took on the project and are nearly finished. All new fixtures, lighting, heat, and partitions were installed. City of Forks photo