The following is a viewpoint on the proposed upgrade to the Lincoln County Commons (Fairgrounds) which comes with a $13 million dollar price tag. The descriptions and opinions contained therein are strictly those of the submitter, Carla Perry and CommonSense-Lincoln County and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the staff or management of NewsLincolnCounty.com, or of its advertisers.
A Newport Urban Renewal Agency meeting convenes on Monday, July 30 at 5 p.m. at Newport City Hall to consider a presentation by consultants hired to create the redevelopment plan for the County Commons (Fairgrounds). The Lincoln County Counsel will also make comments. The remainder of the time will be devoted to public comment on the proposal. Community feedback will also help the City of Newport decide if the proposed Commons project would, in fact, be an economic boost to the county and if it is appropriate for the City of Newport to invest some of its Urban Renewal funds toward that end.
The current version of the Commons (Fairgrounds) Master Plan calls for a 15,000 square foot metal building (downsized from 40,000 square feet) to serve as an Exhibit Hall and a 17,000 square foot covered arena with a dirt floor – they’re calling it a “Pavilion.” The Exhibit Hall building will have a metal roof, metal sides, and concrete floor (no carpeting). The estimated cost is more than $13,000,000. The county is requesting $3,000,000 from the City of Newport in Urban Renewal funds to go toward the project.
Additionally, the Master Plan states that funding for this project will come from transient room taxes (aka hotel/motel room taxes) and a revenue bond. The bond will be for $7,065,000 with financing at 4% fixed interest, ultimately costing the taxpayers of Lincoln County more than $12,000,000 including principal and interest for thirty years.
Regrettably, the previous public outreach meetings in Yachats, Toledo, and Lincoln City had very low attendance, perhaps because the County failed to adequately publicize the meetings. Since this is the final time the County is presenting this plan, please attend this important meeting to voice your opposition or approval of the County Commons (Fairgrounds) Master Plan.
The three County Commissioners will be making their final decision on this multi-million dollar project in October or November. Important Note: Any decision to stop the County Commons Redevelopment does not affect the County Fair or 4-H.
City of Newport Urban Renewal meeting regarding County Commons (Fairgrounds) Redevelopment: Monday, July 30, at 5 p.m. at Newport City Hall. Please attend and have your voice heard.