Cancer on the Siletz, Helping the Homeless, Rogue Ales, Rogue Brewy expanding venues, sidewalks to Agate Beach, and more
The Newport City Council had a huge number of issues before it Monday night…but managed to get them all “handled” by 8:40pm.
The first issue out of the box was another plea by Siletz River residents who contend that local dumping of sewer biosolids from Newport and other areas, along the Siletz River is a health hazard for local residents. Those complaining said that cancer rates are higher than they should be along the river and that more investigating is called for to determine just what is going on in the Silez River. City staff said it will continue to ascertain whether the operations of the city’s biosolids disposal along the Siletz River are clearly okay, or not. Newport Public Works Director Tim Gross continues to contend that Newport’s biosolid applications on fields that feed the Siletz River are not a threat to human health.
Local Angel for the homeless Tracy Flowers gave a report to the council that they’re trying to expand homeless services to those who are living on the street, or wherever they are. Flowers said that they serve breakfast and lunch, have showers, temporary overnight quarters, with opportunities to help reconstruct their lives. The homeless enjoy a hot breakfast and lunch and closet lockers to store items of value to them. There are shower vans, laundry facilities, computers to search for work along with referrals for health and dental services.
Cell phones are also important to the homeless. The fairgrounds will have charging stations. Big trash cans are available to dispose of discarded materials.
Rogue Ales was back before the council and the council and others bored in on problems the beer brewing giant has caused the city. For one, not paying city room taxes on room rentals – room above the business. It was plain from the discussions between a Rogue spokesman and City Manager Spencer Nebel that Rogue will pay the back room taxes they didn’t pay – taxes that they said they didn’t know were due. It was also made clear that Rogue will be expected to make changes to their beer brewing operations so that it doesn’t put such a strain on the city’s water quality requirements before discharge in to the environment. And that’s an expensive aspect to their operations.
The Rogue spokesman said these issues will be settled and the city will soon receive payments such that the city can honor their duties to the citizens of Newport and that the brewery’s effluent is treated with full financial partnership from Rogue.
In other council action, councilors approved funding to complete beach access to Agate Beach from behind Walmart down to where the waves meet the beach. Total cost is around $86 thousand dollars. Work to begin soon.
And the Oregon Coast Aquarium staff gave the council an update on renovations and new additions to the Aquarium. To get a full blast of their progress just click here.