Depoe Bay: Trash rates going up a little, fencing off a blighted area and fixing a “parking problem” in the harbor.
The Depoe Bay City Council got a report from North Lincoln Sanitary Service Tuesday evening and the news was that rates, overall, are going up; 2.2% (50-cents a month) for residential customers and roughly the same 2.2% rate for commercial customers – the amount varying depending on the level of service. The slight increase is similar to what the other two trash haulers in Lincoln County have levied, both indicating higher fuel costs and other expenses rising over the past few years. North Lincoln’s higher rates take effect September 1st.
The council also received a report that the old and quite dilapidated wharf at the southwest corner of Depoe Bay Harbor has now been fenced off from pedestrians, especially children, who have found the wharf an attractive playground. City crews have cordoned off the wharf from one end to the other which involves access to the old fish processing plant on the west side of the harbor. City crews were also given permission to purchase concrete barriers to shore up the base of the fence to help deter anyone from trying to breach the barrier.
And Depoe Bay Councilors, on a split vote, decided that anyone who moors their boat in the harbor, but needs to pull it out for repairs – and replaces it temporarily with a smaller “placeholder” boat – has 90 days to get the original boat back in the berth. The argument goes, there is a long waiting list for larger moorage spots in the “World’s Smallest Harbor” and it’s not good policy to let someone occupy such a slip with a smaller boat even if the original bigger boat is slow to get fixed. This, of course describes the predicament of Depoe Bay Mayor A.J. Matilla whose 28′ fishing vessel has been out of the water for many months with no predicted re-arrival at the harbor. As a result, Matilla lost his berth.
Matilla urged the council to allow future instances of such hardship cases to allow a smaller placeholder boat to remain indefinitely as long as moorage fees and insurance were paid. But reflecting the original argument that big boat spaces are at a premium, a majority of the council Tuesday night voted that the 90 day limit stays, but added it could be extended by applying for an extension from the city council on a case by case basis. The vote for exceeding the 90 day limit only with council review passed 4 to 3, with councilors Gambino, Leff, Hoitink and Goddard in favor, and councilors Berry, Olsen and Mayor Matilla voting no.
But the issue still must come back to the council for a final ratification at the next city council meeting. We’ll see if any minds change in the interim.