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The Newport City Council kicked on the high beams on the future of a section of the Newport Bayfront Monday night. The council decided to ask the U.S. Department of Agriculture for help in ascertaining what kinds of businesses would work involving the old Hallmark fish processing facility, most of which has weathered away. The docks need to be replaced which is a major expense.
But once that’s done it opens up exploration of what that spot at 411 Bay Blvd might produce in terms of jobs and their contributions to the local economy. Specifically:
* What particular sectors or businesses could best be served in Newport based on the possibility for job growth and investment (specifically testing for elements such as maritime or oceanic research technology, value added seafood processing, food technologies such as storage or
packing, tourism supporting activities or technologies)?
* Does demand exist for a business accelerator or incubator center? Could it be successful?
* What are the services that those businesses could use the most?
* On an ongoing basis, what would the cost of supporting such services might be?
* Which partner or partners in addition to Pacific Seafood and the City might have the most
significant impact on this project?
* How should the incubators or business accelerators be managed?
* What are the key roles for any personnel in managing the effort?
The city council voted to file an application with USDA for the grant – Pacific Seafood putting up $28,000 in cash, the city $12,000 in in-kind work. So we’ll see how that works out. Competition is keen for such grants, the council was told.
The City Council inked an agreement with Western Title just south of City Hall to share some of their parking area for overflow vendors and parking during Farmer’s Markets on Saturdays in the lot between City Hall and Western Title. This Saturday is the first Saturday that the Farmer’s Market will be back, just south of City Hall in a very long time. They’ll have lots more room for farm-fresh goodies and other treats, along with arts and crafts displays. Farmer’s Market is BACK HOME!!
Central Lincoln PUD will be bolstering its abilities to provide power to Newport by adding another way to route power to the city. Right now CLPUD serves Newport from their Steenson Road substation off Highway 20 up Steenson. Another route from Siletz to Depoe Bay to Newport. And the third route they’re building is from Steenson to, across Big Creek Reservoir to Agate Beach to Newport. The PUD says it needs toi build the $1.5 million line to add resiliency to their overall power distribution system which, they say, is less than optimal.
The PUD said the power line will cross Big Creek Reservoir at a narrow crossing on the east end. The PUD said they’ll construct a service road up to the cross site – a service road that will be open to bicyclists and hikers in the area. They won’t be locked out of the area. The PUD says they want to get it done this summer. The city council voted to support the routing.
And finally, the city council joined other agencies in urging Oregon’s Congressional Delegation to strenuously fight proposals by the Trump administration that would cut out, altogether, federal Sea Grant funding for NOAA, HMSC, National Marine Fisheries Services and other agencies that not only chart the course of Global Warming in our part of the world, but also the health of fishing resources, both private and commercial. The council appeared to be still stunned at the sweeping destruction of the grant program that has been a primary driver for ocean research, as well as for cuts to the Coast Guard. But several councilors reiterated that the proposed cuts reflect President Trump’s “wish list” for cuts and do not necessarily reflect what changes, if any, will be made on the programs. They noted that it’s the Congress that makes the final decision on what is cut and what is not. But we’ll find out within a few months how the blade falls.