Moving ahead to replace the city’s two dams, creating a civic TV channel, and Country Music on the CoastNewport City Councilors Tuesday evening covered everything from country music to building a new dam on Big Creek. It was breathtaking in its sweep.
The County Music on the Coast will be a headliner at the Performing Arts Center this summer as well as in Salem. The whole intent of course is to draw folks to the coast for some top notch country music performers, great dining and other coast related sight seeing. The city council donated $5,000 for marketing and advertising of the event, which is sponsored by the Oregon Coast Council for the Arts.
The city council also authorized spending some money to move ahead on the design of a new earthquake resistant dam on Big Creek. The two dams up there right now will not, according to experts, survive the “Big One” or anything even remotely disturbing to the ground. The city has tentatively committed to help build a $50 million dollar replacement for the upper dam, and the complete removal of the one down by the water plant. Of course the absolute lion’s share of that $50 million figure will have to come from federal and state grants. No way could Newport raise that kind of money. But it’s got the green light to at least keep the design going.
And the city began talking about the city having it’s own, official, TV channel – called a PEG channel – PEG standing for Public, Education and Government channel. It’s something the city is asking Charter to deliver as part of a cable TV franchise agreement that they’re extending to the end of June, at which time they’ll probably extend it again if an agreement hasn’t been produced.
But this PEG channel seems to interest the city council quite a bit. Anything to get around the regular news media (can you blame them?) The channel would broadcast not only city council, school board and county commission meetings, but also local interview shows and special events around the county and city of Newport, especially. It’s all in the conceptual stage at this point, although PEG channels have been around since the 1960s, with the first one launched in New York City. And it spread north, south and west from there.