Current News

The City of Kelso’s Lodging Tax Advisory Committee will be holding a Special Meeting on Monday, March 19th at 3:00 p.m. in City Council Chambers at City Hall 203 S. Pacific Ave, Kelso, to discuss new requests for funding in the 2018 budget year.

Please contact the City Manager’s office at 360-577-3301 with questions.

The City of Kelso has updated the City of Kelso Park Facility Plan. The purpose of this plan is to create a Catlin Spray Park Master Plan, prioritize improvements and opportunities within our current parks, and to identify areas lacking in parks. Consultants Stefanie Slyman and Daniel Chin with Harper Houf Peterson Righellis conducted public outreach, inventoried our current park system, and analyzed opportunities. This work was presented to the City Council at the regular Council meeting on March 6th.

Before the Council will make any final decisions about adopting the plan on April 3rd , the public is invited to view the plan and comment to the City. The City of Kelso Park Facility Plan and Presentation to the Council on March 6th can be viewed here. All comments must be in writing either via email, USPS, or hand delivered to Community Development.  Written comments will be taken until 5PM on March 30th. The public is invited to come and comment on the plans directly to the City Council at the regular April 3rd meeting at 6PM. If you have any questions, staff contact is Tammy Baraconi, Planning Manager. She can be contacted at or at 360.577.3321.

Cowlitz Clean Waters is proud to announce its Stormwater Video Contest for high school students. 


  • First Place - $500 Amazon Gift Card
  • Second Place - $250 Amazon Gift Card
  • Third Place - $100 Amazon Gift Card

Submittal Deadline: Entries must be received at Kelso City Hall by no later than 5:00 pm on May 18, 2018.

For complete rules and guidelines, application and release forms, visit the Cowlitz Clean Waters website .

File your Business License Application online.

The City of Kelso partners with the state Business Licensing Service to support its city license program.  Businesses get convenient online registration and rewnewal services connected to other Washington cities and public agencies.

Licensing helps public safety agencies to contact you in an emergency and improves resources to better support economic development in our city.

Am I required to get a city business license?

City businesses - companies and individuals - must obtain a city license if doing business within City limits.  Using the online service is the fastest way to apply.

Who is exempt from licensing?

Businesses exempt from local license requirements include:

  • Casual or isolated sales.
  • Common carrier delivery of goods and services within city limits.
  • Minors engaged in baby-sitting, newpaper delivery, lawn mowing, and car washing.

How Much Does It Cost?

Kelso general business license                      $50.00

Kelso home occupation businesses               $50.00

Kelso nonprofit business license                    No Fee

Other Fees that may apply

State tax registration                                     No Fee

Register a trade name                                   $5.00

Application processing                                  $19.00 (non-refundable)

How do I get started?

All businesses operating in the State of Washington must register with the Department of Revenue.  File your application when you start business, or when you change or update your business:

Renew Business License on line.


The City of Kelso is once again pleased to invite community agencies and event organizers to submit requests for lodging tax funding that will be considered for the 2018 budget year.

For further information, please see the full Press Release here.

Please note - the deadline for applications is Friday, March 2nd at 4:00 p.m.

City Hall Council Chambers 203 S. Pacific Ave at 6:00 pm Tuesday, March 20, 2018

To view council agenda items and other legislative-related information, you can visit our BoardDocs site here:  For additional information concerning BoardDocs, please visit










Kelso Finance Department is Recognized for Excellence in Financial Reporting

CAFR Award 2017

The City of Kelso and the City of Longview are partnering to provide free training for the development community on the new LID standards and requirements for the respective cities.  The free training will take place 1:00-3:30 pm Wednesday December 13th, 2017 at Kelso City Council Chambers.


For more information:  Low Impact Development