The Depoe Bay City Council got a report Tuesday evening from Oregon State Parks that they are soliciting bids from contractors to finally upgrade the Whale Watching Center in Depoe Bay. The $90,000 renovation involves replacing 13 windows and interior plaster repair. State Parks, which owns the facility, says once the work begins, the center will be shut down until it’s done. They say a planned grand re-opening for the center is set for Memorial Day.
The council also received word from state and local emergency services that the idea of adding a tsunami refugee assembly
at the north end of town is probably not advised because it’s been deemed too far into an already safe zone. State Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) said there is a site closer to where people live and gather on the west side of Highway 101. So, for now, there is no official addition to the number or locations of tsunami evacuation gathering areas for Depoe Bay other than what are aleady indicated in official DOGAMI tsunami zone maps.
The council also awarded a bid to the only contractor that submitted a bid to replace the finger docks that connect to the rebuilt Dock #1. Although the old finger piers were still functional, the new dock is metal and would operate better if the finger piers were metal too, according Public Works Director Terry Owings. With the bid awarded to the company, Owings said they expect the new finger docks to be installed by the end of April. The council noted that between “in water” construction restrictions, paperwork filing with FEMA and general construction season limitations, it will have taken the city over two years to repair the damage caused by the March 11, 2011 Japanese Tsunami.