Newport City Councilors Monday evening were asked to consider selling the old Newport Pool to the school district for use as an auxiliary building for school district IT and other school services. The school district says the building is salvageable and that the district would put renovate the building to make it all happen. The district says once up and running, the old building would house a lot of services that are currently scattered around the county, spaces that are needed for school classrooms.
The district also volunteered to create an information gazebo at the road/trailhead north of the pool creating a more informative and inviting entry to Forest Park, along with more parking for park visitors. The said they could also install a hiking/warm up area with exercise options next to the gazebo.
Another idea is to swap some school district property north of Newport Middle School for partial payment for the old pool building. It’s heavily forested and abutts already existing Forest Park land.
Meanwhile, Newport High Principal Jon Zagel said space for growth at Newport High has run out and they desperately need to get some operations out of Newport High to accommodate more services for students – especially for those who are homeless and need laundry facilities.
A few Newport citizens got up and spoke against selling the building to the school district because it’s on city park land. And that the site could be converted to other park uses. But they were reminded by the council that tearing down the pool would cost the city at least $250,000. Maybe more.
So with so many analytical balls in the air the council decided to continue to consider the possibilities with the school district. They said they’d like to explore having the school district upgrade the parking area to the north of the old pool and to create a more welcoming look to the access road into the park complete with an information Gazebo as mentioned above.
So the council turned the issue back over to city staff to negotiate with the school district on a possible deal.
Ex-felon housing for parolees on Northwest 3rd
A Lincoln County Parole and Probation official told the city council Monday night that they’ve opened up a 22 bed facility in the 200 block of NW 3rd to house up to 22 paroled offenders recently released from the county jail or state prison. The converted apartment house is just north of the city’s old sewer plant and a block west of Highway 101.
County parole officials say the program selects only the more promising candidates for such housing. They says while living at the facility they learn about staying off alcohol and drugs, getting a job and keeping it and bettering themselves with educational opportunities which will help them become more employable and not re-offend. It was said that such programs are becoming more and more common around Oregon and is saving the state a lot of money by not having to build another state prison to house those who really belong back in society – but with close control and supervision. All will be working at regular jobs or on work crews supervised by the state or county.
Newport Fire Chief Rob Murphy reported to the council that his department has been very busy getting the community prepared for a huge influx of people anxious to be among the first Americans to witness a full eclipse of the Sun on August 21st.
He said that his department will be putting up street signs on the west side of town that indicate where access to the beach is authorized and where it is not. There are 12 access points that will be open and 45 others that will not be open. City crews will be setting up viewing areas at the Lincoln County Fairgrounds on the east side of town. The Police and Fire Departments will be fully staffed and ready for just about anything. They’ll also be providing free sun-viewing glasses so those watching the eclipse won’t suffer eye damage that is incurable and will dog them the rest of their lives.
Some city offices and functions will be closed either partially, or all day on August 21st. So any business you have with City Hall should be done on the Friday before or the Tuesday after the 21st of August.
Showtime begins at 9:04am. Full cover of the Sun by the Moon should last about 90 seconds in Newport. Over two minutes in Depoe Bay and south Lincoln City. Then it’ll keep heading east over Albany, Madras, Redmond (only a partial eclipse in Bend).