Lightning fast fiber optic, and a franchise fee to go with – fish plant, no surcharge for meters, another bite at the economic development apple and a “Please, sir” letter to President Obama
Correction: City’s economic development committee was always a city committee, and not affiliated with the Chamber of Commerce.
After much debate and widespread consternation over the whole idea, the Depoe Bay City Council turned down a proposal to charge harbor moorage customers a surcharge to pay for the cost of new electric moorage meters. Opponents to the surcharge claimed the city received the money for the new meters in a grant, so it was largely a gift to the city – and not something to use as excuse to raise moorage rates. Supporters said they were just trying to raise some money for the city for harbor improvements, but opponents led by Councilor Dorinda Goddard said it would not be fair to hit moorage leasers for the cost of meters that were funded with grant money. “Costs are high enough,” she said, “without having to pay for the meters over a three year period when their funding didn’t come out of city funds.”
High speed data lines flowing through fiber optic may be expanded in Depoe Bay as early as this July now that the Depoe Bay City Council has approved a franchise agreement, in concept, with Coast Com. The fiber optic company said its services will be used by businesses that need ultra fast high speed internet and other data services. Coast Com will provide free fiber optic service to Depoe Bay City Hall and to Neighbors For Kids just down the street. The city will also begin receiving a 7% cut of Coast Com’s total receipts for the use of the city’s right of way in stringing their cable. The final version of the Coast Com franchise agreement is expected to be formally approved at the next council meeting.
Mayor Mattila, taking note of how the “federal sequester” is hurting Depoe Bay, wrote a letter to President Obama asking him to find the resources to help smaller Oregon Coast ports get their harbors dredged. Mattilla said coastal harbors, especially Depoe Bay’s, is filling up with silt and sand so fast that boats can’t even get close to the fuel docks at low tide. He also told the President that boats that seek refuge from storms can’t get inside the harbor at low tide, thereby being forced to weather terrible stormy weather until the tides change.
Mayor Mattila said that other parts of the country have receive much needed federal assistance like the northern coast of New Jersey and other areas and so would he please find the budget to help dredged-starved harbors like Depoe Bay so the economic recovery can happen here as well.
The City Council Tuesday night selected an inspection company to gauge the soundness of the old Depoe Bay fish processing plant on the west side of the harbor. The city is trying to develop a lease rate for prospective customers who want to revive and lease the plant to process crab and other fish which will create jobs for local Depoe Bay residents. Once the assessment is completed, the city would then advertise the fish plant at a city council approved lease rate. If local businessmen Jerome Grant and Geoffrey Molfino are the high bidders, it’s their’s to run.
The council also decided to revive the city’s economic development committee. The membership of the new committee is now wide open. The council invites any and all residents interested in helping to grow Depoe Bay’s economy to apply for a position on the committee by stopping by at City Hall. They’ve got the paper work waiting for you.
The council also approved the city taking over the Coast Guard Auxiliary’s boating safety building parked next to the south harbor boat ramp. Auxiliary members said they wanted the city to take over the building ownership while they operate and maintain it – all while educating the boating public about safe sailing and surviving emergencies at sea.