Commissioner Spotlight: Casey Collins

It’s hard to imagine a native of Hazel Dell with more of a family connection than Commissioner Casey Collins.  His grandfather Larry Collins arrived here from South Dakota with just a few coins in his pocket and yet a strong work ethic. He immediately went to work, working on both the Grand Coulee and Bonneville dams. In 1933 he founded The Larry O. Collins Construction company in Hazel Dell. Over the years they built much of Clark College as well as homes in downtown Vancouver for the Kaiser Shipyards workers.  Built on the corner of Highway 99 and 72nd St, a location owned by the family to this day. “At 13 years old I worked as a “clean up guy” and did general labor alongside the skilled union tradesman,” says Casey. “And it didn’t matter to them what my last name was, If I messed up, they let me know! That taught me a lot and produced a strong work ethic within me.”

Casey’s family has extensive roots in Clark County Fire District 6 as well. His father, Mike Collins also served as a District 6 Fire Commissioner in the 1970’s. Before becoming a commissioner, he served as a Volunteer Firefighter at CCFD6 achieving the rank of Captain. “I grew up with District 6,” he says. “My Dad always looked up to the people who served here, and those are some big shoes to fill…living up to the people who came before me.”

Casey owns and manages day to day operations of Collins plaza. When the former tenant of the restaurant that resides on the Collins property suffered a serious health issue, Casey & Sue stepped in with help from some close friends & did a complete building rescue and opened the 99 Saloon & Grill, a family restaurant and Saloon in Hazel Dell. Although the pandemic has made operating the business very difficult, having loyal customers and staff waiting for us to open was a blessing. “I learned early on to surround yourself with the best people,” Casey says. “It’s the same with the Fire Service. I have not been a Firefighter, so I don’t know everything. But I have been a businessperson my whole life working with unions and I have very good mentors.” My mindset is what is best for the taxpayers of our district and being that balance as a commissioner to the people of our community.”

Casey is a firm believer in education. Our daughters are working college graduates with our youngest graduating from WSU Vancouver this May. “I couldn’t be more fortunate to have a strong, loving wife of over 25 years!  We appreciate each other’s strong points and talents.”

Casey served as President of the Hazel Dell/ Salmon Creek business association and remains an active member. He is also a lifetime member of both SW Contractors Association & Ducks Unlimited. He continues giving back to the Hazel Dell community. Serving as your district 6 commissioner since 2001, his philosophy is simple: “I feel I have been making a difference to the people we serve in this community, I want to be part of the solution and District 6 is the crown jewel of our unincorporated area. I have always been very proud of this District. Always have and always will.”