High Prairie Community Council


I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For Ice Cream

Gwen Berry

Despite the fact that no one stepped forward last spring to assume the office of President, the High Prairie Community Council Board of Directors has been keeping right on with the business of managing the Community Center, planning the annual budget, handling funds, researching improvements to the kitchen and the Center’s acoustics, and making plans for fun social events.

The first such event happens this coming Thursday evening, September 22, at 7 p.m., when HPCC is having an “ice cream social” to sweeten their regular September meeting. They’ll have a variety of flavors, regular and chocolate whipped-cream topping, and chopped nuts; and there’ll be plenty of time for reconnecting with friends and neighbors you’ve been too busy to see over the summer.

First, a speaker from the Klickitat County American Red Cross will talk about disaster preparedness, the support they provide, how our community can help and how our members can be better prepared. Then they’ll get into the meat of the HPCC meeting.

Think a *meeting* automatically means boring? Au contraire! You’ll find out what the HPCC is proposing to do with all the money you worked so hard to help earn at the Firehouse Sale. You’ll get to help put the official stamp of approval on the $5,000 promised to the High Prairie Fire District to buy new turnouts (see Fire Lines article for more info). You’ll also find out what might be done to improve the dishwashing situation in the kitchen, which may have a direct bearing on whether HPCC can offer their classy and delicious Christmas dinner this year, and hear what improvements to the room’s acoustics are in the offing. The Board has promised to keep everything succinct and efficient so the meeting doesn’t drag. And then you get ice cream!

Reaching Out To The Community

Audrey Bentz

There are many ways that volunteers for the HPCC reach out to the community or work to make the community a better place. Two longtime volunteers have decided to trade the jobs they’ve been doing; and they need all High Prairians to be their “eyes and ears” so they can do their jobs thoroughly.

Myrt McKercher (365-9576 or mandtmc@gmail.com) will be the new “Sunshine” person, sending remembrances to those who might be ill, losing a family member, or having a special celebration. So if you know of anyone that fits this description, please send that information to Myrt.

Audrey Bentz (amsong@gorge.net) will be the new “Meeter and Greeter.” When you are aware of a new resident on High Prairie, please get that information to her so she can bring them a welcome basket and a warm welcome to our area.

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Tribute To Doug & Dona

Anna Purcell


Every once-in-a-lifetime some truly wonderful, kind and generous people come into our lives. Though they may not realize it, Doug and Dona Taylor are just such people. They are always happy to greet everyone and share some kindly conversation, the way it used to be before we all got in too much of a hurry with our lives to stop and “smell the roses.” They give much and hardly know it. How humbling.

It truly impresses me.

To quote Kahlil Gibran, “You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” That is Doug and Dona. They give of themselves in so many ways, including letting us in the community use their land and water so we may enjoy the fruits from the “Garden of Weedin.”

I recently had a small group of women over for a tea for Dona. I wish I had more space because I know a lot of people would love to have been there to pay tribute to Dona. The ladies brought gifts and told stories, my favorite being from her sister-in-law, Lorna Dove. She said that Dona was such a good cook at the prison (she worked there for a while) that prisoners were deliberately getting back inside just to enjoy her cooking. I know it was that, and more importantly she gave them respect. Being unaccustomed to it, they appreciated it. Gosh how I would like to be more like Dona and Doug!

Doug and Dona, you are greatly admired  for the special people you are. We thank you for your ongoing interest in the people in this community and for your friendship. Bless you both.

anna-purcell-an-abundance-of-zukesBut now in September the garden has cooled, and with it my possessiveness. The sun warms my back instead of beating on my head … The harvest has dwindled, and I have grown apart from the intense midsummer relationship that brought it on.

—Robert Finch


< Anna Purcell and an abundance of zukes and cukes


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Complications Delay Two Schilling Road Projects

Schilling Road Fire Hall

Philip Haner

The High Prairie Fire Commissioners are continuing to work on the new Schilling Road Fire Hall project. As we reported in our December 2015 update, the one complete bid we received for construction of the building exceeded our budget by quite a bit. Since then, we’ve been busy gathering all the information and applying for a USDA loan to make up the difference between our budget and the projected actual cost.

However, part of the process has hit a snag.  We filed nearly all the paperwork for the USDA loan but discovered we were missing our last financial statements that we turn in to the State of Washington for auditing purposes – something the secretary and the commissioners overlooked (oops!) for both the State and the loan. Then, during the time we were working to finish the State audit (and subsequently have the necessary paperwork for the USDA loan) our Department secretary resigned, and we had a virus attack on the computer used by the secretary. Both the High Prairie and Lyle Fire Districts lost most of their electronic data. Paper was still filed but had to be re-entered electronically.

While it’s taken some time to both find and train a new secretary and rebuild the electronic database, we are back on track for getting the financial information needed to finish the application for the loan. By the time this goes to print the financial information should be complete. Once that’s done, we will go through the USDA loan, update anything that has changed, and resubmit the loan paperwork. Fortunately, most the 20 or so forms that we already filled out for the loan can be redone with just new signatures and dates. After that, we wait, again, to see if they will approve the loan. It’s unfortunate that this has taken a year off our timeline; but we are committed to continuing with the project, and we will be building a station out on Schilling Road as soon as we can.

Please contact me if there is any other information I can provide. (fishead1966@gmail.com)

Schilling Road Paving Project

Gwen Berry

The Schilling Road paving project has also hit a snag, which will delay it until at least next spring. According to Gene Zitterkopf, who spoke to Klickitat County Public Works Director, Gordon Kelsey, at least one landowner has balked at allowing the county to use a small piece of their property for the necessary straightening of curves on Schilling Road. The county is considering its options, but expects agreements to be reached without resorting to legal measures. The county is still actively working on the project and is currently fine-tuning the advertisement to be placed asking for construction bids. The work is planned for sometime next summer.

In the meantime, says Gene, the unpaved road has deteriorated without its normal maintenance, which wasn’t done because the paving was supposed to happen this past summer. He encourages anyone affected by the rough road to call the county and add their voice to the request that it be graded asap. The phone numbers for Public Works are 509-773-4616 or 800-583-8074.

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