Beginning of the end to algae blooms in Devil’s Lake, first steps toward VRD controls, two hot looking LC Police Interceptors, and United Way moving into “Bizz Incubator” space under city hall
In what is hopeed will be a trend of improving water quality in Devil’s Lake, Lincoln City city councilors are expected to approve the installation of new sewer lines and new street paving in the NE Voyage, Lake and 15th street area on the west side of Devil’s Lake. Devil’s Lake has many, many homes surrounding it, the majority of them still on septic tanks, many of those aging by the year. Septic tank residuals that get into the lake cause periodic algae blooms and other water discolorations. It’s drawn the attention of local and state agency water quality officials who want something done about it.
Some neighbors in the Regatta Park area, on the west shore, have decided they would rather pay for city sewer service to be put in instead of paying a similar amount of money to simply replace their septic systems. The neighbors will pay to install new sewer lines and even new street asphalt in some areas. They’ll take out a loan as a neighborhood to pay it forward in order to get off their septic systems as soon as possible. City officials have been eyeing the perpetual problem of old septic seepage into Devil’s Lake for decades. They say the vast majority of septic systems around the lake are nearing the end of their service lives and so it is hoped that those homeowners will follow the lead of Regatta Park neighbors and form their own local improvement district to have the city provide sewer service. Health and water quality officials say they will be conducting regular septic tank inspections to determine which ones need to be removed and the homes hooked up to city sewer.
City Councilors will also be taking their first steps toward overhauling the town’s vacation rental dwelling laws. A special nearly year-long study to learn what’s liked and disliked about the state of vacation rentals in Lincoln City will be reviewed by the council. Some of the results will be assigned to the city planning commission to review where vacation rentals should be sustained and added to and which ones should be encouraged to eventually cease operations due to general conflicts with surrounding neighbors. Issues like property management firms, garbage collection, landscaping, maintenance, parking and noise issues are likely to be assigned to the city council since they generally involve code enforcement ordinances. City officials predict it will take the better part of a year to get the new vacation rental dwelling ordinance adopted and put into effect.
Lincoln City city councilors are expected to approve two new Ford Explorer-type police interceptors. Although they are a thousand dollars more than the similarly equipped Ford Taurus officers say visibility while driving, keeping a good eye on prisoners while transporting them to the station or county jail and overall ease of getting in and out of the vehicles makes the SUV model the better vehicle. The SUV is all wheel drive, which makes them a good all season patrol vehicle. Total cost for the pair, including equipment is roughly $80,000. City Manager David Hawker is expected to tell the council that while the two interceptors are coming in at $14,000 over budget, the difference will be made up from what he termed “under runs” in other budget line items.
And councilors will be asked Monday to consider donating space under city hall, called the Business Incubator area, to the United Way. City Manager David Hawker says the United Way needs more space in Lincoln City to improve service to the community. They’re asking the city to donate the space as an in-kind donation to the United Way. City Manager David Hawker says he prefers to get income from the space but lately it hasn’t happened. He added he hopes to rent the space out in the future, but in the meantime he encourages the city council to approve the deal. He says the United Way staffer in Lincoln is operating out of her home and needs meeting space for small meetings dealing with community assessments and resource donors. Hawker says he doesn’t anticipate any parking problems if United Way takes over the space for a period of time.
These and other issues come before the Lincoln City City Council Monday night, January 28th, starting at 6pm at City Hall.