Two new city councilors, two new planning commissioners and taking a financial half-gainer off the high dive….
The Waldport City Council filled a couple of vacancies on the city council by appointing former Port of Newport General Manager Kevin Greenwood to the council. Also appointed to the council was Harry Dennis, who has had a long career in wastewater management, former head instructor of Environmental Technology at Idaho State University and is, today, retired but still finding time to be the Secretary-Treasurer for the Alsea Highlands Homeowners Association. Two very strong additions to the council, to be sure.
Two other Waldport residents were appointed to the city Planning Commission: Jerry Phillips is also retired from working in Southern California and most recently served on the Alsea Highlands Home Owner’s Association. Also Kitty Kelleher a California retiree who has considerable integrated professional business experience with an array of industries.
Waldport Councilors also learned that the city won a Gold Medal award for having no workers comp injury claims in the past year…that award being given to the city at a recent League of Oregon Cities Conference. City officials say it’s quite common for Waldport to report no worker comp claim. They say that safety is of the utmost importance among city workers and supervisors.
The council is on the verge of offering zero percent loans for downtown (and oldtown) businesses who would like to spruce up their street-front eye-appeal. Loans through the city’s urban renewal district are in the process of being made available for up to $5,000 with the business putting up a match, dollar-for-dollar. There is reported to be $50,000 in the urban renewal fund for the loan program.
And the city council got an update from a group that thinks it would be very nice if the south county area had its own swimming pool/aquatic center. The group reportedly is examining various center designs, estimated costs and methods to raise the money to build it. They’re not cheap. Just ask Newport and Toledo. But the group says they’re continuing to do their homework on likely costs and methods to come up with the financing – grants, loans and/or an aquatic center taxing district. The group says it could take several years of detailed preparation and convincing the community to take the plunge.
And finally, a “mea culpa” on the city council meeting preview last week. For some reason I failed to remember the distinction between a code enforcement officer and a contract city planner. The mistake was thoroughly unintended. I apologize if I gave city planner Larry Lewis heartburn when I wrote that he was being replaced by the former city manager of Yachats. Joan Davies is not a planner, she’s Waldport’s new code enforcement officer. Larry Lewis is still the town’s city planner. And a good one by any measure.