Clallam County could extend services to social distancing center

PORT ANGELES — Clallam County officials are seeking two-month contract extensions for operations, medical services and security at the COVID-19 Social Distancing Center in west Port Angeles.

The three commissioners vetted proposed agreements Monday with Olympic Community Action Programs (OlyCAP), Olympic Peninsula Community Clinic and Norpoint Tactical to maintain the status quo at the low-barrier isolation and quarantine facility through Dec. 31.

“This entire operation is pretty expensive,” Board Chairman Mark Ozias said in a Monday work session.

Commissioners are expected to approve the two-month contracts next Tuesday.

Clallam County opened the shelter in April for homeless individuals who cannot maintain 6 feet of physical distance during the coronavirus pandemic.

About 50 to 60 guests are using the facility daily, county Health and Human Services Interim Director Kevin LoPiccolo said Monday.

The shelter was established in a Port of Port Angeles-owned building that the county is leasing at a $15,000 monthly rate.

County officials are seeking an extended lease with the port and more funding to maintain the Social Distancing Center into May, when Serenity House of Clallam County is expected to open an expanded shelter nearby.

If approved, OlyCAP would continue to operate the center at a not-to-exceed amount of $131,223.

Based on staffing levels, LoPiccolo said the true cost to the county has been closer to $35,000 to $38,000 per month.

OlyCAP recently added two shelter monitors after commissioners approved pay increases for its employees.

“They should be staffed with at least 10 people, which is good news,” LoPiccolo told commissioners Monday.

Other counties, including Jefferson, have reserved hotel rooms for homeless individuals who have contracted COVID-19, OlyCAP Executive Director Cherish Cronmiller said in the work session.

“It’s a balancing act,” Cronmiller said.

“One way or another, you’re going to deal with (COVID-19) fiscally.”

Commissioners next Tuesday will consider a not-to-exceed $42,496 contract with Norpoint Tactical of Port Angeles for continued security at the Social Distancing Center.

A Norpoint officer will staff the facility from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, and on-call security will be available at night.

“Most of the problems occur during the day,” LoPiccolo said.

“Come evening, it’s always fairly quiet, plus most people are sleeping.”

The proposed contract extension with Olympic Peninsula Community Clinic has a not-to-exceed amount of $4,996.

“OPCC does provide a medical doctor at no cost, and there’s a medical assistant and case manager for the facility,” LoPiccolo said.

Commissioner Bill Peach said the cost of the medical contract was “extremely reasonable.”

“Compliments to the doctor who donates all of his time to go out and do that (service) for free, basically, amongst other things,” Commissioner Randy Johnson said.

________

Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at [email protected].

More in News

COVID death youngest on Peninsula

Clallam man in his 50s

Peninsula COVID-19 cases, infection rates reported

Sunday’s toll: 12 more in Clallam, none in Jefferson

During She Tells Sea Tales on Saturday, Joyce Gustafson of Port Townsend will offer the story of events that set the course for her life. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)
She Tells Sea Tales brings adventure online

Sailors applaud women choosing unusual directions

Geoduck harvesting area shut down after diver’s death

Port Angeles man, 35, dies after air tube apparently entangled in debris

FILE - In this Jan. 18, 2014, file photo, endangered orcas from the J pod swim in Puget Sound west of Seattle, as seen from a federal research vessel that has been tracking the whales. A new study from federal researchers provides the most detailed look yet at what the Pacific Northwest's endangered orcas eat. Scientists with the NOAA Fisheries Northwest Fisheries Science Center spent years collecting fecal samples from the whales as well as scales from the fish they devoured. They say their data reaffirm the central importance of Chinook salmon to the whales. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
Study: Chinook salmon are key to Northwest orcas all year

Data confirm central importance of the largest of the species

A webcam shot at Hurricane Ridge shows deep snow Thursday morning.
Olympic Mountains’ snowpack well-fed

Storms leave region in good shape for summer

A boat sits moored next to several boathouses at Port Angeles Boat Haven on Thursday. Port of Port Angeles commissioners are suggesting replacing boat houses with floating homes. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Port of Port Angeles suggests floating homes

Agency sends letter to council asking to remove ban

Skipper Jared Minard, left, and Ella Ventura, boatswain, accept the Hiltner Trophy for Sea Scout Ship Marvin Shields. The Chief Seattle Council named the Sea Scout Ship Marvin Shields, ship 1212, as its fleet flagship during a recent award ceremony. The selection as flagship allows the Marvin Shields to retain the traveling Hiltner Trophy and fly the flagship pennant at its masthead for the second year. The Sea Scouts is a program for youth ages 14-20. For more information, visit www.seascoutshipmarvinshields.org.
Sea Scout Ship Marvin Shields named fleet flagship

The Chief Seattle Council named the Sea Scout Ship Marvin Shields, ship… Continue reading

Sinclair Place resident Martin Arnold cuts the ribbon to mark the start of the the senior living facility’s Freedom Ceremony. 

The ceremony marks the fact that 100 percent of the residents have been vaccinated which allows the facility to ease rules regarding movement out into the community. 

Pictured on the left is Victorya Rivera, community relations manager at Sinclair Place.
Ribbon cutting marks 100 percent vaccination for facility

Sinclair Place resident Martin Arnold cuts the ribbon to mark the start… Continue reading

Most Read