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Depoe Bay to Gleneden Beach: “We gotta talk!”

Depoe Bay City Council Tuesday evening

Depoe Bay City Council
Tuesday evening

“Like a disaster waiting to happen.” Mayor AJ Mattila

Depoe Bay City Councilors decided Tuesday evening to send what amounts to a cry for help to the Gleneden Beach Sanitary District that checks are going to have to be written to replace part of an old sewer line that is failing in Depoe Bay near the 76 Station. The reason Gleneden Beach is on the hook for part of the cost is that the two entities, Depoe Bay and the Gleneden Beach Sanitary District, share the same sewer plant, south of Depoe Bay. Gleneden Beach simply collects its sewage and then pipes it south to that sewer plant. And part of that run goes right through the middle of Depoe Bay through a pipe that is failing, according to Depoe Bay Public Works Superintendent Brady Weidner.

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Weidner says he has first hand knowledge on the condition of the pipe which has been in the ground for decades. He told the council Tuesday night that a major failure could happen anytime – there’s so many patches on it already.

The council decided to send a letter to the Gleneden Board describing the situation and imploring them to meet and confer on how to proceed together according to the contract between the two districts which has been in effect since the 1970’s.

However, Depoe Bay Mayor AJ Mattila told the council that the Gleneden Board is questioning some of the elements in that agreement – elements that may be causing Gleneden and Lincoln Beach customers to pay too much in sewer fees to Depoe Bay – something the Depoe Bay City Council denies.

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Despite all that, Weidner was given the okay to proceed with calling for proposals to design the replacement of the Vista Street pump station. The line from there ducks under 101 near the 76 gas station and then heads south to a hard turn to the left near the bridge. It then hooks into an existing pipe that runs down the hill and across the bay, and then back up the hill to the town’s sewer plant south of town. Weidner says the portion of the line from the 76 Station to the bridge will amount to at least $100,000. He said that the Gleneden Board should realize that 85% of the sewage that flows through that pipe is from Gleneden and Lincoln Beach customers. However, based on other factors, the portion of the project that each district pays will no doubt be “subject to negotiations.”

Those negotiations are being requested by the Depoe Bay City Council who wants to send 3 city councilors to confer with a subcommittee of the Gleneden Beach Sanitary District to chart a financial way forward. Depoe Bay Councilors said if the current pipe should fail it would unleash a torrent of human and other waste under Highway 101, perhaps undermining it. A lot of the toxic liquid would wind up either on the rocks below the seawall or collect inside the world’s smallest harbor – “an unmitigated disaster” as it was termed by Mayor AJ Mattila.

So the council awaits a reply from their sewer district counterparts in Gleneden and Lincoln Beach.

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No extra city street light on Hour Lane

After ruminating over the issue for the better part of two months, the Depoe Bay City Council turned thumbs down on a request by a family on Hour lane for an additional city street light on their block. The council learned that the current city street light casts enough light on the street, which is the primary reason for the light – to light the street – not to provide light security for someone’s back yard.

As it turned out, the place the resident wanted the light would be within 75 feet of an existing street light, but it didn’t illuminate a portion of the resident’s back yard which the resident claimed was subject to a lot of unwanted transients and the like. City Councilors said it was not the city’s responsibility to use taxpayer money to provide a light for somebody’s private back yard. They recommended the resident simply put up their own security light.

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Making water treatment plant more secure

Following an intrusion into the Depoe Bay water treatment plant grounds the city council has authorized purchasing a surveillance camera and light at the point where someone recently came through the fence and pilfered a number of items. Public Works Superintendent Brady Weidner speculated that whoever broke the lock was looking for pieces of metal that could be translated into cash at a recycling yard. Weidner said there was no attempt to enter the water treatment plant itself. “However,” he added, “it does qualify as an officail ‘terrorist threat’ to the city’s drinking water supply.” The council authorized Brady to proceed with the purchase of the surveillance equipment.

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Maggie Thomas appointed to Harbor Master Plan Committee

Local Depoe Bay resident Maggie Thomas was interviewed Tuesday night for a position on the Depoe Bay Harbor Master Plan Committee. Thomas told the council that she was recruited by at least one city councilor but added that she’s always interested in city government – in fact she already sits on the town’s parks advisory committee. After being interviewed by the council they voted 4 to 2 to appoint her to the harbor committee. The council said the committee will be examining the strengths and weaknesses in the harbor’s layout, docking facilities, services to the boating public and other matters. “So it’s a very big deal,” one of the councilors said.

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