205 W 5th Ave
Ellensburg, WA 98926-2887
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Kittitas (pronounced 'KITT-i-tass') County is located in central Washington
State. It spans from the lush forested Cascade Mountains to the upper Yakima River Valley plains and
the Columbia River.
Kittitas County, WA -
On the dates of January 5th and 6th, 2022, Kittitas County received significant snowfall. This snow event resulted in the closure of Interstate 90 and HWY 97 for three days causing freight deliveries to be delayed, travel across the State of Washington impossible, and access to services significantly impacted. On October 18, 2021, Washington State excused all unvaccinated employees from their employment with the State. This resulted in 48 State employees no longer working to support the State maintenance and snow removal efforts in Kittitas County. On November 30, 2021, Kittitas County signed an interlocal agreement with the Washington State Department of Transportation. WSDOT requested this agreement based on an identified need for additional resources caused by reduced staffing.
Due to the significant snowfall, Kittitas County Department of Public Works offered assistance on January 11, 2022, to clear State roadways. Washington State informed Kittitas County they could not accept this assistance due to Kittitas County not mandating the COVID-19 vaccination for County employees. The Kittitas County Board of Commissioners is extremely disappointed with the States’ position to refuse assistance.
“During these times, we need to be able to put differences aside and work to support one another,” states Commissioner Laura Osiadacz. “It needs to be neighbors helping neighbors and lending a hand to get the work done.”
Commissioner Cory Wright shares, “This county is ready, as always, to put all hands on deck to solve this problem. It’s time for logic and leadership to overcome ideology and allow skilled equipment operators working alone in their cabs to get this job done.”
“I’m extremely proud of the work being done by our Public Works Department to be able to clear roads and be in a place to be able to lend a helping hand to the State. It is unfortunate given the circumstances an agreement could not have come to fruition because we all want what is best for our community. At this time an agreement has not been reached,” states Commissioner Brett Wachsmith.
Kittitas County, from the Cascades to the Columbia, and online at http://www.co.kittitas.wa.us
Carly Brettmann, Kittitas County Communications Director, (509) 962-7042, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kittitas County has a total area of 2,333 square miles. The highest point in the county is Mount Daniel at 7,959 feet above sea level.