Depoe Bay: New Harbor Commissioner, hopefully something “fishy” comes from this building inspection, looks like no official time limits on placeholder boats in the harbor, dredging up some old stuff from the harbor and playing pirate dress-up for a very worthy cause
(Clarifications added Wednesday morning)
Things got a bit contentious Tuesday night between Depoe Bay City Councilors who all have definite opinions about how to solve a long festering disagreement over moorage slips in the harbor.
It all began many months ago when “before-he-was-Mayor” AJ Matilla’s main fishing boat broke down. He removed it from his slip in the harbor and put a smaller placeholder boat in its place. Matilla’s boat was gone for a long time (and still is), leaving a small boat in a large boat slip which, in the eyes of some councilors, is not proper. Big boats should go in big slips, smaller boats in smaller slips, they say. (Matilla’s smaller boat is now moored in a transient slip.) They add that there is a very long waiting list for moorage. They say the harbor is supposed to be an economic engine for the community, not just a place to store broken down or replacement boats which add little or nothing to the local economy.
A slim majority of the council doesn’t feel quite the same way, and on a four to three vote told city staff to draw up a new city rule that allows a placeholder boat to remain in a slip until the main boat is repaired and returns to the harbor. No time limit. And the owner doesn’t lose his big slip.
Charter service owner and City Councilor Dorinda Goddard, along with City Councilor Barbara Leff, argued strongly to put some kind of a time limit on how long a placeholder boat could remain in a slip – even if the placeholder boat is smaller than what the slip calls for which is usually the case. “Otherwise the owner of the broken boat is not under any pressure to get his or her boat fixed. They said that a 90 day limit might work for starters. But even then, there could be a provision for a boat owner to get an extension on the limit for good cause.
But Councilors Zeke Olsen, Brent Berry, Robert Gambino and Mayor Matilla all disagreed. They said that a more reasonable approach is to work with the boat owner and not get in his or her way with an arbitrary deadline. But Goddard and Leff replied that without an incentive to get their boat back in the water, a boat owner could basically homestead on the slip and not bring any economic benefit to the harbor and the community, which is the main purpose of the harbor. It was said that boat owners have plenty of incentive to get their boats back in the water. Without them they’re not making any money. However, that’s not always the case if the boat is just a pleasure craft.
At any rate, a majority of the council instructed city staff to draft a new harbor ordinance that contains no time limits on how long a slip can be occupied by a smaller boat while the original boat is repaired. (Slip fees and insurance are both required to keep the lease in effect). All agreed that it shouldn’t go on forever but there was also no consensus on what an outside time limit might be. So, no time limit appears to be the upcoming rule. They’ll vote on it again at the next council meeting.
Getting the scoop on how to fix up the old fish processing building
The Depoe Bay City Council Tuesday night decided to hire a structural engineer to evaluate the foundation and support structures under the old fish plant in the harbor, against the west side. There has been some serious tire-kickers interested in cranking the old facility back up for possible fish refrigeration services, fish meal, crab processing and more. But before they can lease it, the city council has to bring it back up to minimal standards.
The council hired the engineer who will evaluate the soundness of the building and its electrical and plumbing systems. A report back to the council on required repairs is expected within a month. Following that, repairs should be made, making the building once again suitable for leasing and hopefully creating some family wage jobs sometime in late October or early November.
Looks like Depoe Bay may get dredged next year!
Depoe Bay, like many small harbors along the Oregon Coast, gets the “left-overs” when it comes to dredging. In these times of fiscal governmental austerity, the big harbors like Astoria, Newport and Coos Bay get most of the dredging money leaving little left for Depoe Bay, Brookings or Port Orford. In Depoe Bay during low tide, many boats can’t even get close to the fuel docks because the sediment has built up so high.
However, the Depoe Bay City Council got a jolt of good news from City Recorder Pery Murray. She said state and federal officials have worked things out to where the smaller harbors should finally get dredged next year. Murray cautioned there are some final details to take care of but she said it appears all but certain that next year a dredger will show up in Depoe Bay Harbor. And none too soon.
Eva Harmon appointed new Depoe Bay Harbor Commissioner, Position 7
Long time resident and recent graduate of Western Oregon University and employee of Tradewinds Charter Eva Harmon convinced the city council she should be appointed to Position #7 on the Depoe Bay Harbor Commission. Ms. Harmon said she’s committed to community service and that serving on the commission would be a natural fit with her job at Tradewinds Charter and her overall involvement with the fishing industry. Her rival candidate for the job Richard Huntpalmer, a family man and a recent graduate of law school said that after hearing Ms. Harmon give her background and enthusiasm for the position said he will step aside and support her for the position. On a unanimous vote of the council Ms. Harmon was appointed to the commission.
Community events coming up in Depoe Bay
Join us, and yer fellow pirate brethren for a fun filled day of adventure and mystery upon the high seas!
The Pirate Treasure Hunt takes ye in and around the streets and attractions of Depoe Bay, noted as the worlds smallest harbor. But don’t let size fool ye, swabby. This hunt will have ye wishin fer a pleasant sail on a calm sea. Ye and yer crew of 3 (that be 4 total ya know) must complete challenges and tasks in the first half o the day that will help ye gather the needed items and information. There’s nothin too terribly physical or dangerous, just fun challenges and activities that may or may not be pirate related.
A story / mystery unfolds on the streets in the second half o the day. Yer crew must decipher the story and identify the characters that will enable ye to sail to victory and take on some great booty. Hold on to yer eye patch fer this action. You’ll be needin both eyes, Matey!
Yer piratical entertainment continues into the evening with a No-Host bar, dinner, silent and live auctions, and a whimsical pirate play by the Not-Ready-For-Prime-Time-Pirates. The booty prize awards for winning teams placement also conclude the evening.
Registration for the event is usually 8:30 to 9:30am at Pirate Coffee Company (north end of town). Your team captain will receive the all important rules and needed documents. Then, team and group photos are taken (promptly) at 9:45 at the Whale Watch Center (south end of town), followed by the hunt’s storyline reading and cannon fire signaling the start of the hunt (about 10am). After the tasks in the morning, a short break, and the afternoon story-in-the-streets, teams will conclude the hunt about 3pm, some maybe earlier. A no-host bar opens at 5:30pm and the optional dinner is at 6pm.
Sign up early. Make yer plans, and shanghai a crew! Don yer pirate attire and muster up some piratitude!
New teams are always a welcome part of our event. And, we’ll welcome back teams that have enjoyed past hunts! Proceeds goes to the Depoe Bay Food Pantry to help needy families. for more information, contact Robert Gambino at 503-349-4758.
The Annual Depoe Bay Chamber of Commerce Community Picnic, Monday, August 12, 4-9pm
And the Depoe Bay Chamber of Commerce will be putting on their annual Depoe Bay Community Picnic at Depoe Bay City Park Gazebo on Monday, August 12th from 4 -9 pm. It’s a big family event, free for Chamber member families, with no alcohol being sold. It’s a time to mix and mingle and enjoy the great outdoors (hopefully the weather will cooperate).