Depoe Bay City Councilors Tuesday night started getting more serious about seeing what their money might buy in terms of tsunami sirens. The town’s planning commission turned in a report recently that showed that they’re about $20-30,000 a copy, and that Depoe Bay will need five of them if everybody in Depoe Bay is to awakened from their sleep if a tsunami warning comes during the night.
City Councilors initially set a $100,000 cap on sirens but then backed off that figure, deciding instead to simply go out to bid and see what they get back in terms of offers from siren makers. So the town awaits for the bids to come in.
The council also got a report from local charter boat captain Loren Goddard that during a long public hearing at the legislature about proposed marine reserves off the Central Coast the testimony was predictible with the exception of one south coast legislator who said he has a very long list of amendments to the marine reserve establishment bill. Such a statement sent nervous chills among many coastal representatives in the crowd for such statements likely raised the stern attention of environmental groups like “Our Ocean” which will interpret such a move, if adopted, as an effort to sink the bill. The coastal caucus, made up of many coast representatives and senators, has been trying to ensure that the bill, designed to establish scientific study areas without active fishing or very limited fishing, is as least intrusive as possible on the coastal economy. Goddard reminded the council that political conditions have not changed since the bill’s inception, which means that Oregon’s extremely powerful environmental groups, would drop their support of the bill’s four coastal marine reserves and resort to a statewide initiative to establish marine reserves by a public vote that would number a great deal more than four, with much heavier economic impacts. More hearings are expected before some sort of marine reserve bill is, or is not agreed to.
The Depoe Bay City Council Tuesday decided to cancel a contract with MSS, Incorporated which had won the bid to build street and sidewalk improvements along Bay Street from Highway 101 to the east. The council learned that MMS could not supply a one million dollar liability insurance policy as required by the city. Councilors talked it over, coming to the conclusion that the city has good reason to have such a substantial liability insurance requirement in this day in age when litigation is so prevalent. The council told City Recorder Pury Murray to notify MSS that they no longer were qualified to do the work. No decision was made as to whether the city will re-do the project bid or award it to the next highest bidder.
And the council declared an emergency as a parallel move in asking the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide Depoe Bay with money to fix Dock Number One in the harbor that was damaged during the recent tsunami. Since the city is insured, all that FEMA would be covering is the town’s deductible of $100,000. The Depoe Bay public works director indicated that FEMA is likely to grant the city’s request for federal assistance since the amount of damage puts the town in qualified standing based on population to monetary loss. The public works director said he expects FEMA’s answer in the affirmative within a week or two. He says it’s important that the dock be fixed in time for the start of charter boat and sports fishing during which the dock brings in significant rents and other fees to city coffers.
In the meantime public works was directed by council to spend up to $4,999 dollars to get the dock back into service on a temporary basis, pending a later permanent fix using FEMA money. The $4,999 will acquire a long gangway to put across the gap in the dock, and to install temporary electrical power that is part of the dock’s normal function and billable services. The total expenditure allowed is one dollar less than five thousand, a point at which the project would, by city law, have to be put out to bid.
And the Depoe Bay City Council wanted to make sure that somebody tells the county that Depoe Bay wants the car that the county announced it was offering up as surplus-no-longer-needed. City Recorder Pury Murray said she’d get right on the phone in the morning.