The Newport City Council dove right in to a pile of innovative ideas Monday night and it appears that some of them just might bear some fruit.
The council was informed that three charging stations for tourist driving electric cars is not enough. Newport needs more. So they’re gearing up to see what they can do to make charging electric cars a little more convenient. Right now there are three in the city – two of which are behind City Hall. The other charging station is over at the Hallmark Resort. The message though, is that the city council will send an emissary to Corvallis to convince their city council to increase their own fleet of charging stations so there can be more tourists flowing back and forth from Corvallis to the coast. The charging stations must be the fast charge variety…charging a car in a little over an hour (while you eat lunch/dinner). So we’ll see where this goes…
The city council also reached for a red flag and waved it around to alert everyone that while 500 college students from Oregon State University are bound for the coast to begin classes in the new oceanographic classroom complex at Hatfield Marine Science Center, there won’t be any place for the students to live. Seems that various mountains of money within OSU’s piggy bank, came up short on housing for those students. So the scramble is on to figure out how to find the money to build college dorms for those 500 students who are expected to descend on Newport in the very near future. Watch this space!
And speaking of space, Newport City Hall is going to be holding a very important public meeting on how to better manage Newport’s major parking lot areas – along the Bayfront, at Nye Beach (including the loop) and City Center. There’s talk of installing parking meters so tourists know they have to be very mindful that they have only so much time to do their tourist shopping or restauranting before they return to their vehicles. The public meeting will be a town hall-type format, and it could get a little noisy when some people insist on parking meters while others may not want any meters at all. The debate will be part of the regular Newport City Council meeting scheduled for November 18th. The meeting starts at 6pm
And Newport may be joining hands with Toledo and Lincoln County in figuring out how to get innovative people the encouragement and constructive pathways necessary to create new products and services to become successful in the market-place. Toledo, Newport and the Lincoln County Commission will be teaming-up with a program called RAIN. RAIN is an organization that marries state funding with local funding to help promising entrepreneurs become successful with their inventions or improvements on established commodities. It’s a two year program that has been working successfully in other rural areas to create new products and services that helps grow the local economy. Toledo will throw nearly $4,000 into the kitty, $11,000 from Newport and $15,000 from County Commissioners. The Newport City Council decided they would like to chip in and see if it works. We should know fairly soon if it does – for not only one year at shepherding innovating local folks but for a second year as well. There’s no progress unless you give it the good ole Central Coast try.