The Newport City Council Monday night will be getting a report from City Manager Spencer Nebel that the neighbors around the proposed Agate Way Wayside Improvement Project have felt left out of the loop. The half million dollar project involves parking lot improvements at the wayside, just south of Lighthouse Drive, restrooms and showers and an improved pathway to the beach at the west end of Agate Way and Gilbert.
The neighbors said the project may have been simmering on the back burner for a couple of years, but they didn’t know anything about it and they’re concerned that the design will put a lot more traffic through their neighborhood. They want that traffic aimed down Lucky Gap Trail to the beach and away from their homes.
Nebel said the ODOT funded project requires major improvements and enhanced access to the beach to the north. So it will be up to designers, working with the neighbors to make it work. The next chance the neighbors will have to make their desires known will be during a meeting November 19th at city hall.
The city is under a fast approaching deadline to get the project designed and construction underway.
The council will likely be asking the group Salmon for Oregon to firm up their application for $25,000 in Newport tourism promotion funds to raise spring chinook salmon in the bay on property rented from the port. The fish would be raised in pens and then released on an outgoing tide to the ocean – to return two years later and contribute over $3 million to Newport’s tourism economy.
As good as that sounds city staff is concerned about what they call gaps in Salmon for Oregon’s grant application as it relates to permits to build the pens, ongoing operation and maintenance of the facility and sources of revenue to keep the program alive and well.
City Manager Spencer Nebel will be asking the council to give Salmon for Oregon more time to fill in the blanks of their application so they may move forward if that’s what the council desires.
And City Manager Spencer Nebel will be asking the council to slow down the siting of a new recreational bicycle pump track at Coast Park just south of the Performing Arts Center. After meeting with surrounding property owners, who remain dead set against it – complaining of noise and heavy activity within easy eye and earshot of their vacation rental operations – they want the pump track promoters to find a more suitable location. Nebel will recommend the council give the city Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee more time to review the project and come up with alternative sites – two being at the already established skatepark at Spring and 8th Streets, or at the south end of the Yaquina Bay bridge. Supporters had earlier criticized the South Beach location because the pump track is designed for especially young riders who would never be expected to ride their bikes across the bridge enroute to the track
Nebel will suggest the council refer the issue to the city’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee and see what they come up with. The city has said in the past that there are numerous surplus empty parcels around Newport that the city owns which might qualify for at least a closer look.
The Newport City Council convenes at 6pm, City Hall at 101 and Angle.