WEATHER IN LINCOLN COUNTY

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Lincoln County Commission issues nearly $100K in economic development grants

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Lincoln County Commissioners today issued checks to a number of agencies and individuals who want to put some economic development grant money to work for the local economy.

Right off the bat, the Children’s Development Network, based in Toledo, won a grant for nearly $15,000 to help them with their new child development center they recently set up at the old Mary Harrison School in Toledo, now named the Olalla Center. Board member Alma Baxter said that child care and youth development for infants on up is sorely lacking in the area and that their organization is committed to providing it. So they got a boost from the county commissioners today to help them get that going.

The Waldport City Council, wanting to better promote the Alsea River Corridor, won a grant for $12,000 to make the Alsea River Highway an officially designated scenic highway. Waldport City Councilors have been talking about this issue for quite a while and believe the new designation will certainly raise the status of the region in the eyes of travelers as well as locals. Signage alone will eat up that $12,000 and more, likely.

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Bob Ward and his Drake in Oregon Society was awarded $10,000 to further his quest to prove that English explorer Sir Francis Drake was the first Englishman to set foot on the North American continent and declare it under the protection of the Queen of England. Ward says that California has now all but officially agreed that Drake did not put ashore at what is called Drakes Bay near San Francisco. Ward claims it was at Whale Cove in Lincoln County, immediately south of Depoe Bay in 1579. Ward has been trying to get state and federal authorities to let him do some probing at the bottom of the Salmon River Estuary where he believes one of Drake’s smaller craft along with its crew sheltered during the winter of 1579 and were slaughtered by local Indians, who blamed the crew for spreading a fatal disease among the native population.

The Friends of the Yachats Commons Foundation also came out winners Wednesday. The Friends won a $13,396 grant to make improvements to the Yachats Commons Kitchen and Meeting Room. Hopefully they’ll get more business for the commons from groups and organizations that would like to mix some spectacular scenery with their business at hand.

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The Lincoln County Historical Society got a grant for $15,000 to install an elevator at the recently opened Pacific Maritime and Heritage Center on the Bayfront in Newport. It will no doubt spur further development of the upstairs area of the Center which is now cordoned off, limiting exhibits and patrons to the first two floors of the building that overlooks the commercial and charter fishing fleets in the harbor.

The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, which is building an expensive new Coastal Discovery Center in partnership with Hatfield Marine Science Center also won a $15,000 grant to move ahead with their plans to build a center at South Beach for families and their children. The center will offer OMSI curriculum programs with meeting rooms, exhibit centers and special tours of the local area with an eye to marine science and discovery. Construction is expected to begin next year at South Beach, just southeast of Safe Haven Hill.

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The Port of Alsea won a grant for $6,250 from the commissioners to help pay for some dredging in and around the port. Rivers do bring down sediment which must be periodically “dug out” in order to give fishing and recreation boats clear access to the docks.

And the Seashore Family Literacy group of Waldport landed a grant for $9,100 to assess their operations and come up with a Non-profit Strategic Plan for better serving the community now that they’ve inherited what’s left of the old Middle School Gym and Cafeteria just east of Waldport City Hall.

A grant that was expected to go to the Toledo Chamber of Commerce was denied because of what was described as the chamber’s failure to provide a final report on the outcome of a project they had been awarded money for sometime back. Commissioners said final reports are critically important for accountability purposes. Without them no further applications from any group can be accepted.

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