The Newport City Council Monday evening accepted a settlement from Rogue Brewery for the brewery’s failure to pay room taxes (transient occupancy) on their vacation rental units that are part of their facility on the Bayfront. The city figured they would collect a sizeable amount from Rogue but as it turned out the city, under state law, charge only three years of tax delinquency rather than the amount over the full time period they didn’t pay. Rogue officials have told the council they didn’t know they had to pay the room tax. Rogue agreed to pay $25,000 to the city for the three years they were liable for, and then, to compensate for the other four years not covered, Rogue donated $45,000 for upgrades to the city skate park on NW High Street, just south of 8th.
It appears the city will have to roll up its sleeves to get more electric car charging stations set up around town. So far there are four of them in Newport: two at Newport City Hall, one at the Hallmark Hotel and one at Power Chevrolet. There is another one at Ocean Beaches Glassblowing in Seal Rock. City councilors learned that easily accessible federal grants for charging stations are no longer available so city councilors are wondering if other businesses around town might want to install charger stations with a little help from the city. There are 10 electric car charging stations in the Lincoln City area, so they’ve got quite a head-start on Newport.
And finally City Attorney Steve Rich submitted his resignation to the council citing health reasons. City Manager Spencer Nebel informed the council:
“On behalf of the City Administration, I want to express our great appreciation of Steve’s services over the past five years. Steve was an important stabilizing factor in an organization that had seen regular turnover in City Attorneys, Finance Directors, HR Directors and City Managers in previous years. During his tenure as City Attorney, Steve was always available for all employees to consult with him over legal policy issues impacting the City. We wish Steve and his family well with the challenging health issues that he continues to face.”
The council lauded Steve’s five years of service and sent Steve and his family their best wishes. The city will rely on the Oregon Local Government Law Group to provide city attorney services until a permanent replacement for Steve can be hired.