This e-blast is brought to you courtesy of the City of Newport. Twice a month, the city will publish this newsletter with city and community news and events.
CITY OF NEWPORT WATER USE RESTRICTIONS
The Newport City Council adopted an Alert Stage 2 Water Curtailment restrictions effective August 4, 2021 until further notice. Those restrictions follow:
No use of irrigation systems.
No vehicle washing.
No filling of swimming pools or spas, fountains or waterfalls.
Hotels/motels must post water conservation notices.
Commercial laundry operations must be delayed as much as is possible.
Discontinue scheduled flushing of water lines and fire-fighting drills involving water consumption.
All residents and businesses are required to fully participate in curtailing water use pursuant to the provisions noted above.
On June 28, 2021, the city issued notice of an Alert Stage 1 Water Curtailment. This was done in conjunction with the Lincoln County Commissioner’s declaration of a countywide drought. This was a water system advisory which informed the community of the situation and recommended voluntary water conservation. At that time, the Siletz River, which is the main supply for the Big Creek Reservoir, had been experiencing declining flows. This Siletz River flows continue to decline. The Mid-Coast Water Conservation Consortium, and its member organizations, including the City of Newport, recommended its members adopt an Alert Stage 2 Water Curtailment. The City of Newport thanks its residents and businesses for working together to resolve this very serious situation.
TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM PLAN ONLINE OPEN HOUSE
AND IN-PERSON WORKSHOP
The City of Newport and the Oregon Department of Transportation are updating the Transportation System Plan (TSP). This is a long-range plan that all future transportation improvements in the city are based on. The plan will guide how the city develops and invests in the transportation system to meet the current and future needs of Newport and surrounding areas. It helps determine which projects, policies, and programs may receive funding. Learn more and tell us what you think about the draft solutions for Newport’s future transportation system at these two opportunities.
Workshop, Wednesday, 08/11 from 6-8 P.M. City Hall, Council Chambers (169 SW Coast Hwy)
How your input will help? We heard from hundreds of community members in the fall and have drafted solutions to reflect the growing needs of the community. Your input will help us decide how to spend future dollars! For more information, please visit: www.NewportTSP.org For ADA Title II or Civil Rights Title VI accommodations, translation/interpretation services or for additional information call TTY (800) 735-2900 or use the statewide Oregon Relay Service: 7-1-1.
PROPOSED MEASURES FAQs: GAS TAX AND PREPARED FOOD TAX
Why did the City Council refer these proposed measures to the ballot?
The Newport City Council has referred two proposed measures to the November ballot that would increase the city’s gas tax by 5 cents per gallon and implement a 5-percent tax on prepared food, if passed. There is a structural budgetary shortfall anticipated in the city’s budget. The city cut 22 FTE positions. If passed, these two proposed measures would tax both the 10,000 year-round city residents and its up to 20,000 visitors on any given day during the peak season who utilize city services and facilities. For a meal costing $10, the tax would be 50 cents.
Who came up with this idea?
Both proposed taxes are the product of a series of work groups who examined the city budget, future projections for revenues and expenses and other factors.
Over a three-year period, the Finance Work Group – established by the City Council – considered these matters and proposed the new taxes, in addition to several budget cuts. The city has cut 22 full-time equivalent positions, in addition to proposing the revenue increase.
These proposed taxes would distribute the burden among the city’s 10,000 residents and the nearly 20,000 visitors who utilize city services and facilities.
How much money would the city collect on the proposed gas tax?
The proposed gas tax is estimated to generate $392,000 in revenue annually and would be used for maintenance and repairs to streets within the city. The city estimates that street maintenance will cost $2 million per year.
How much would the city collect on the proposed prepared food tax?
If the measure passes, the city expects to collect an estimated $2,543,000 annually on this proposed tax.
Why is the city proposing taxing restaurants and vendors of prepared food?
The city is not proposing taxing restaurants, but rather the consumers of prepared food. If the measure passes, the proposed prepared food assessment would be paid as a separate line item on restaurant bills by the consumers of prepared foods. Vendors would collect the tax and turn those funds over to the city on a quarterly basis. If passed, the city would provide $200,000 from the proposed new revenues as grants to assist businesses that would begin collecting the tax.
How would the city spend the new revenue?
If the measure passes, the city would use the revenue to fund the following positions and projects:
Three police officers, one parking enforcement officer, three firefighters/EMTs, one bilingual librarian and a part-time library staff position;
Maintenance and upgrades to 48 city-owned facilities (including the Visual Arts Center, Performing Arts Center, Recreation Center and 60+ Center) and parks;
One-time business grants to assist prepared food vendors in collecting the new tax; and
Replacing and purchasing equipment for city operations.
How long would the proposed prepared food tax be collected?
The proposed prepared food tax ballot measure would be a five-year levy with an option to renew. By statute, the City Council could choose to pass these taxes with a motion and vote. Instead, the Council opted to put these items before the voters.
What would be taxed if the proposed prepared food ballot measure passes?
If passed, the tax would apply to foods cooked or prepared for consumption such as sandwiches, fountain drinks, salads, hot food, etc.
Would all prepared food in the city be taxed?
No. Prepared foods sold on hospital grounds; in public educational institutions, vending machines, bed and breakfast establishments or residential facilities; or by non-profit or government organizations and some other vendors would be exempt from the tax.
Is anybody else in Oregon collecting a prepared food tax?
Yes. In fact, two other Oregon cities – the City of Ashland, with a population of about 21,000, and the City of Yachats, with a population of about 765 – both utilize similar prepared food taxes to fund city government services. Like Newport, both cities have a substantial number of daily visitors.
What happens if the proposed ballot measures do not pass?
If the proposed measures do not pass, the proposed services would not be provided and taxes would not be increased.
(This document has been reviewed and given Safe Harbor status by the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office)
CITY OF NEWPORT
SEEKING INPUT ON THE
SOUTH BEACH/US 101 REFINEMENT PLAN
The City of Newport needs your input! The Newport Urban Renewal Agency is seeking your input on the types of investments it should make over the next four – five years in and around South Beach. The Agency seeks to invest in projects that enhance the tax base, promote livability, and improve user experiences for residents, visitors, and employees while also helping to remove development barriers on remaining underutilized parcels in the area. This survey is the first step in the South Beach/US 101 Refinement Plan process that will ultimately recommend how the Urban Renewal Agency should invest its remaining resources. The city and its consulting team will use feedback from this survey, other stakeholder input, and technical analysis to develop a list of prioritized projects for the Urban Renewal Agency’s consideration. This planning effort is to be completed by November 2021.Learn more about the project and take the survey at https://NewportOregon.gov/SBOpenHouse.
1: Library Services Update The Newport Public Library has extended Library hours of operation. The Library’s hours are 10 AM -5 PM Tuesday through Friday. You are able to browse the collection, pick up holds, sign up for a library card, check out items, and use our public library computers. Computer use is on a first come, first served basis. You are encouraged to pick up your holds inside the building. The meeting room, conference room, and study room are available for scheduling. The Library building bookdrop will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Donations will not be accepted at this time. 2: Free Comic Book Day This year, the Newport Public Library is celebrating Free Comic Book Day! Library patrons of all ages are welcome to come to the library on Friday, August 13th to get a free comic book, while supplies last. You can also always borrow graphic novels and comic books for all ages from the library’s collections for children, young adults, and adults! 3: Summer Reading Club Come sign up for the Summer Reading Program! This summer kids ages 6-18 can earn pins for attending virtual programs to decorate their free lanyard. Come by the Library during Library hours: Tuesday through Friday, from 10 am – 5 pm to receive a lanyard and reading log. We look forward to seeing you! For more information, please visit our website at https://newportoregon.gov/dept/lib/srp2021.asp. 4: Read-To-Me Challenge Do you have a child ages 1-5? Come by the library to pick up your Read-To-Me Challenge for the Summer Reading Program! We will provide your child with a reading sheet and stickers–just apply the stickers as books are read, and come back when the whole sheet is full to collect your prize. For more information, please visit our website at https://newportoregon.gov/dept/lib/srp2021.asp. 5: Adult Summer Reading Challenge This summer adults have the opportunity to win one of our weekly prize baskets by reading or listening to books! All you have to do to enter is fill out a raffle ticket for each book, eBook, or audiobook you read. Raffle tickets can be picked up at the circulation desk, and can be returned at the circulation desk during browsing hours or in the book drop in a sealed bag. Winners will be drawn each Friday, beginning June 18th and ending August 27th. For more information, please visit our website at https://newportoregon.gov/dept/lib/srp2021_adults.asp. 6: It’s (Finally) 2021 Reading Challenge The It’s (Finally) 2021 Reading Challengeencourages you to switch up your usual reading habits and explore what the Library has to offer. After you’ve read a book, eBook, or Audiobook in each of the first 33 categories, turn in a reading challenge ticket for prizes and a chance to win the Grand Prize Drawing. There are bonus categories that can earn you extra entries in the Grand Prize Drawing too! The It’s (Finally) 2021 Reading Challenge takes place from January 1, 2021-December 31, 2021. 7: Children’s Summer Reading Virtual Programs This year the Newport Public Library is hosting virtual events! Rich Richey, the Oregon Reptile Man is available to watch on the library website at https://newportoregon.gov/dept/lib/srp2021.asp. 8: STEAM Take Away Kits The Newport Public Library is offering STEAM inspired takeaway activities to come by during Library hours: Tuesdays through Fridays, from 10 am – 5 pm. This month they will be making tissue paper lanterns, while supplies last. These kits are best for ages 11 and under. 9: Teen Take Away Kits The Newport Public Library is offering take away kits for teens ages 12-18! This month they will be doing Bob Ross painting while supplies last. Kits can be picked up during Library hours: Tuesdays through Fridays, from 10 am – 5 pm. 10: Adult Take Away Kits The Newport Public Library is offering take away kits for adults. This month we’ll be making beeswax food wraps! Kits can be picked up during Library hours: Tuesdays through Fridays, from 10 am – 5 pm. 11: The Reading Circle Monthly meetings are held in the library’s McEntee meeting room on the second Tuesday of the month at 12 pm. The Newport Library Reading Circle will meet on Tuesday, August 10th at 12:00 pm to discuss books by Christina Baker Kline. The Reading Circle is free and open to the public. 12: Library Wi-Fi Wi-Fi is available from 8 am – 5:30 pm Mondays through Fridays in the library parking lots for FREE. Please share this announcement with students and others who may not have Wi-Fi at home!
Oregon Coast Art Bus Rolls Out In Lincoln County
The Oregon Coast Council for the Arts is pleased to announce the creation of a new mobile arts-learning platform—The Oregon Coast Art Bus, which will bring creative learning projects to students throughout Lincoln County this summer and beyond. The project has been funded by the K-12 Summer Learning Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation and is designed to address the “opportunity gap” associated with educational challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Oregon Coast Art Bus’s summer initiative will focus on underserved youth populations, with the first bus tour scheduled to launch on Saturday, August 14, 4pm at the Newport Performing Arts Center (777 W. Olive St.). The tour launch event will be free and families are encouraged attend.
“The Art Bus brings OCCA’s programs deeper into the community,” says OCCA executive director Jason Holland. “It helps us remove some of the barriers to arts participation and creates more equity and access which is critically important right now. Over time, we plan to build partnerships with community organizations across Lincoln County and beyond, to bring our high-quality arts programs right to their doorstep. OCCA’s Arts Bus is fueled by creativity and innovation and you never know where we may show up next!”
Funds from the Oregon Community Foundation’s K-12 Summer Learning Fund are being used to purchase and build out the art bus, prepare it for safe travel, purchase bus furnishings, and develop onsite arts projects and take-home art-to-go kits. The art bus will also serve as a mobile Internet hotspot. The purchased bus, a 2000 International TransCam 3000 RE, was previously owned by the Jefferson County School District and then a private owner in Florence. The bus tour’s summer goals include serving over 800 students with both on-site and take-home arts programming. Art classes will be presented outdoors or inside the bus in case of inclement weather. The summer learning curriculum will be based on two texts developed for young learners: “Ellie’s Strand” and “Ellie’s Log” by ML Hearing and Judith Li (OSU Press).
The Oregon Coast Council for the Arts is currently working with community partners to establish the tour schedule, which will be announced at the August 14 tour launch event (tour details to follow). Interested community organizations are encouraged to contact OCCA at 541-265-6569 to discuss their interest in being part of the art bus tour, which will include stops in rural towns across the county. “The Oregon Coast Art Bus Project is designed to be very responsive to community needs,” says OCCA VAC director Tom Webb. “We encourage schools, libraries and other community organizations to be creative right along with us. The summer tour will focus on the visual arts but there is no limit on the variety of arts programming that could be associated with the art bus.”
CITY OF NEWPORT – WEEKLY RADIO SHOW
The City of Newport has a weekly radio show on KNPT, 1310 AM, every Thursday (with the exception of holidays), at 9:30 A.M. This show is hosted by various city staff or officials, and discusses a wide range of topics related to the City of Newport.
Message from City Manager Spencer Nebel
On Wednesday, August 11, Governor Brown announced new statewide indoor mask requirements during a news conference. The measures are in response to a surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations with an all-time high of 148 Oregon residents with COVID-19 currently in intensive care. As a result, the City of Newport will be implementing requirements for wearing of masks when inside any City facilities and common areas or meeting rooms. This will take effect on Friday, August 13, and remain in effect until further notice. The Delta variance is reported to be more contagious than earlier forms of COVID-19. The best prevention from serious illness from COVID-19 is to get vaccinated. We are sorry for any inconvenience that mask wearing will mean to the public utilizing indoor City facilities. We urge to take care, stay safe and healthy through this next spike in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Spencer R. Nebel City Manager
August 2021 – Upcoming Meetings
Visit the City of Newport website at www.newportoregon.gov for information on upcoming City Council, Planning Commission, and advisory committee meetings. Additional information may be obtained by calling the City Manager’s Office at 541.574.0603.