Depoe Bay: Fish plant opening in August? – Street light blues – Buy the land but the billboard stays – Garbage rates going up
The pace is picking up on refurbishing the old fish plant
Things are really starting to ‘pop’ with Depoe Bay’s old fish processing plant at the southwest corner of the bay. The Depoe Bay City Council Tuesday night gave Public Works Superintendent Brady Weidner the green light to begin refurbishing the plant’s electrical panel and wiring, the sewer line underneath and replace the jib on the dock – roughly a $20,000 investment.
Brady says all the work should be done by mid-August except for the jib. That’ll be a little later. Mayor AJ Mattila said he wants to make sure it’ll be ready for somebody to lease it and be ready to land a lot of crab when the season starts in late December. Weidner says he’s confident it can be done.
In the meantime the city council has begun advertising for fish processing tenants. Local businessman Jerome Grant has indicated several times to the council that he wants to lease it. But state law requires a widely advertised call for prospective tenants and for the council to negotiate the best deal for the taxpayers of Depoe Bay.
You can buy the land but our billboards stay
The city council next tackled the issue of whether to buy three small land parcels between City Hall and 101. There are two billboards occupying part of the properties, land that the city would like to use for parking – both for tourists as well as for visitors to the boat ramp at the foot of SE Shell.
The land owner with the billboards is considering selling the parcels to the city but retain the right to keep his billboards in place. He would rebuild them so they’re on a single pole and slightly higher in the air, as opposed to the old wooden under-structure holding them up now which takes up a lot of room. The city, of course, would want to maximize the square footage for as much parking as it could squeeze onto the site.
However, there was a question whether the billboards could be rebuilt under current zoning. Leaving them in place because of grandfathering under the law is one thing, but completely rebuilding them into a new configuration might be another. The council told Clerk Recorder Pery Murry to keep talking with the owner and check on what the law allows on a rebuild under the circumstances.
Trash pick up rates from North Lincoln Sanitary going up – but not a lot
Trash pick up in Depoe Bay is going up about 3.5% starting July 1st. Residential customers with a 32-gallon roll cart with one pickup a week (on the left) will see their rates rise from $18.50 to an even $19 a month. A 1.0 to 1.5 yard dumpster with one pickup a week (on the right) will rise from $120.50 to $125 a month. Commercial rate increases are proportional, again averaging about 3.5% over 2013. A company spokeswoman said their costs have gone up and so to remain in their prescribed regulated profit margin, rates have to go up. The city council granted the rate increase.
Woody debris pickups go to twice a week during the summer – Mondays and Wednesdays.
Accepted recycling includes dead batteries, old cell phones, cooking oils, dvds, laptop computers, paint, metals and rubber running shoes. Items accepted, but for a fee includes swirl light bulbs, bricks, rubber tires, old refrigerators and old propane containers.
A request for the addition of a new street light on Hour Lane was bantered about – a resident saying that there’s a dark spot where her house is and so she wants the city to build her a street light to fill it in. However, city policy states that street light spacing is 100 feet. The woman’s home is 70 feet from the nearest street light. That gave the council some heartburn, one councilor saying that there are entire streets in Depoe Bay with no street lights at all. What about the city’s obligation to them?
But Councilor Barbara Leff chimed in that the council is to serve the residents and if the woman wants to walk her dog at night and she needs a street light for her own safety, then the city ought to provide it to her.
Public Works Superintendent Brady Weidner expressed some angst at what the cost to the taxpayers might be since Central Lincoln PUD might require some electrical cable trenching for the light. And if that’s the case, then it’s going to cost the city a pretty penny to install it. Weidner said he would check with the PUD to see what the true costs are for the installation.
The tsunami dock fix didn’t turn out to be what it seemed
And to wrap up the evening’s discussions, the council was given photos of something that concerned all the councilors, making them wonder just how long the recent FEMA repair job on Dock One will last. A picture of some of the dock pilings disturbed the councilors, showing that although FEMA came in and placed large pipes over the dock pilings, the bottom of the pilings are still exposed and badly worn. Mayor AJ Mattila said “Eventually those dock pilings are going to get snapped right off. Some look like they could fail anytime, and then we’d be right back where we were right after the tsunami.” Councilors said they’re going to see what, if anything can be done about it. They admitted that the town agreed to the design of the fix as offered by FEMA. But Mattila quickly added, “That was before I became Mayor. I would have never agreed to the approach they took.”
No doubt, to be continued.