Mayor Don Williams votes against offshore oil drilling ban – says he doesn’t have enough information.
The Lincoln City City Council voted Monday evening to align with other Oregon coast communities to urge a ban on any oil drilling platforms being constructed off the Oregon Coast, including off Lincoln City
A resolution signed by other Oregon Coast communities, who oppose the visual blight and potentially catastrophic oil spills, was before the Lincoln City Council. After a great deal of discussion, the councilors voted five to one to oppose offshore drilling – especially off Lincoln City.
The lone hold-out was Mayor Don Williams. Williams said he doesn’t quibble with the facts about oil drilling but he curiously added that he didn’t have enough information to vote against oil rigs being built off Lincoln City. Williams contends that he read the resolution but quickly added that it was full of inaccuracies. He did not specify which elements of the resolution were inaccurate. But he added that there were enough to convince him to vote against the ban. And so he did.
Building Foothills Boulevard
The city council voted unanimously to ask the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) to help fund the building of a new arterial, Foothills Boulevard, through the Nelscott Gap Neighborhood. The new throughway would prompt considerable increases in property values and encourage additional residential, if not industrial construction. The alignment runs through vacant land almost all the way from 32nd to SE 19th. ODOT funds amounting to $6 million are available for the project. The city council gave staff the green light to apply for the ODOT grant. The city should hear back on whether they got it sometime next winter.
Wow – What a 4th of July!
Lincoln City Police Sergeant Oscar Escalante reported to the council that the 4th of July in Lincoln City was probably the loudest and contained probably the greatest use of illegally large fireworks in the history of the town. But Lincoln City survived it. Officer Escalante said they had over 30 law enforcement and other monitoring personnel on the street from late afternoon of the 4th until after the town-sponsored fireworks were finished during the 10pm hour.
There were many complaints about illegal fireworks – and police managed to get their hands on a quantity of it. But Officer Escalante added many other calls for law enforcement services stretched officers rather thin at times. He said there was one arrest and one person cited.
Saving the Taft Dock
The City Council then turned their attention to a long festering problem on SW 51st – the Old Taft Dock. The facility is well 100 years and needs a lot of repairs. The venerable old structure was used to ship logs and crab out through the mouth of the Siletz River to markets around the world. And it held up through most of that time but today, it’s becoming an eyesore – something that a lot of people want something done about.
City Public Works Director Lila Bradley said they have a rehabilitation bid of about $450,000. That amount made a couple of city councilors wince. Councilor Dick Anderson said he’s not convinced that the dock should remain since there are so many other plans for that south end Lincoln City. It might not fit in to evolving plans. But other councilors said the dock is an historic icon that is part of the city’s history, legacy and remains a major tourist attraction. And they want it to stay that way.
When the vote came, it was 4 to 2 – four councilors wanting to preserve the old dock, councilors Dick Anderson and Judy Casper voting that they wanted to take a slower approach to the issue to see if the town isn’t missing a bigger opportunity there at the south end.
And finally, dog poop. Over the past several months there has arisen a chorus of complaints about dog owners failing to clean up after their dogs. They told the council that it is thoroughly frustrating to be walking down a sidewalk and come within range of smelly pet waste. They said tourists are big offenders. And for that the city must respond with what amounts to “Doggy Poop Bag Stations.” The council promised to examine the issue more closely to figure out how to get better compliance from not only errant tourists, but errant locals as well.