The Depoe Bay City Council Tuesday night told staff to begin negotiating with a couple of tsunami warning siren and voice communication alert companies that the council said should meet the needs of Depoe Bay in the event of a tsunami or other emergency.
The council was given a comprehensive comparative analysis between a number of proposed tsunami warning systems and settled on the DB Manchester and American Signal Company arrangement. The siren/voice loudspeaker system includes five separate locations from Little Whale Cove on the south to Thundering Shores, including all of Government Point, to the north. The devices can be controlled individually or as a group. It can broadcast siren sounds or the human voice with more than 40 individually pre-recorded messages. Mayor Carol Conners said she likes the voice capabilities because when there is an accident on Foulweather, those who would rather wait out the roadblock from inside a Depoe Bay restaurant, will hear the message over the emergency alert system telling them how much time it’ll take to reopen Highway 101.
The Depoe Bay Planning Commission studied the many options available and settled on the American Signal and DB Manchester companies which could come with a price tag as high as $200,000. The city will combine funds from its urban renewal account, public safety fund and hopefully a local granting agency to raise the money. Installation is expected to be complete in around three months.
The council also got a report from their Public Works Director Terry Owings that the recent heavy storms exposed the water pipes that serve the Little Whale Cove area along with the Morroco subdivision just to the south. Owings said he just got word of the problem which he told the council could break loose and undermine and slump out Highway 101 rather severely. So he and ODOT are going to be examining the situation and move to stabilize the six and ten inch water lines so they don’t break and undermine the highway. The city is applying for FEMA assistance on the cost of the repair work.
The city hired a new law firm Tuesday night, the same firm that Newport to the south hired, the Local Government Law Group, based in Eugene. The Depoe Bay City Council recently dropped its local law firm after the city was caught in a lurch over a dispute with a contractor who built the city’s latest water storage tank and successfully sued the city for a lot of money.
And the council told staff to send a very strongly worded letter to state officials who are formulating details on zoning the seabed just off shore, all up and down the Oregon Coast, including Depoe Bay. Councilors decried the recently drawn map showing that the fishing areas off Depoe Bay are not prime fishing areas, something that Depoe Bay-based fishing operations strongly disagree with. Mayor Connors said that with their fishing areas right offshore downgraded to less-than-prime, and with those same waters proposed to be an “ecological preserve,” it wouldn’t take many linking of lines on the map to establish a marine reserve up and down the whole area which would ban just about all commercial fishing activities that Depoe Bay’s fleet relies on for their living. The letter will be addressed to those assembling elements of the Oregon Territorial Sea Plan which includes all waters from Oregon beaches out three miles. Further discussions on all this is expected to take place later this March.