Selling “this ole house,” contemplating new ones with The Villages, and a remarkable 16 year old gets another term on the library board.
Lincoln City City Councilors may have a piece of surplus property sold – if they can make a deal work with the bidder. The city estimated the house and the land it sits on at 1904 NE Lee is valued at only $135,000 because the old home needs a lot of work. Councilors made it clear the house sells “as is.” Mayor Dick Anderson and the council told City Manager David Hawker to wrap up the deal within 60 days since the prospective buyer needs financing to close the deal. If the financing doesn’t work the council wants whatever back up offers may be waiting in the wings to come forward. Hawker said if they want the property sold, this is the time of year to do it.
The council also got a report from Driftwood Library Director Kirsten Brodbeck-Kenney that things are doing fine at the library. Circulation is holding steady along with very successful children and teen programs to keep the library buzzing. Brodbeck-Kenney said 85% of library patrons are checking out books and DVD’s. The rest is mainly books on CD, E-books, CD’s and magazines. She said the year ahead will be devoted to enhancing circulation numbers through the refinement of library “staff picks,” discussions of current events, pumping up the library’s Facebook page, making it easier for kids to use the library via carpooling and generally raising the awareness of the library in the community. Also, more outreach to Lincoln City schools encouraging students to acquire a library card. And closer collaboration with Tillamook County and Newport libraries to become more efficient in what each library buys and then shares effectively between the libraries.
Brodback-Kenny also reported that the library will finish off their summer program with a visit by fantasy author Terry Brooks. He’ll be at the Driftwood Library September 24, 6:30pm. Tickets are free, but call ahead to ensure you can get in. It’s expected to be a full house greeting Mr. Brooks.
Brodback-Kenny also took the opportunity to thank the library’s 83 volunteers who volunteered 4,364 hours over the past year, 23 of them volunteering 2,145 hours. She said volunteers shelve books, fix books, assist in actually running the library all of which adds up to at least two full time equivalent staff – a huge gift to the city. Some of those volunteers proudly displayed a long line of volunteer names on small flags that stretched from one end of the council dais to the other – each flag representing a volunteer in service to the Driftwood Library.
The council also re-appointed two veteran library board members, Carolyn Ganschow and Natalie Joy. Natalie Joy is a 16 year old junior at Taft High and has already served one term as a Taft High representative on the board. This will make it two terms – the young lady telling the council that she’s enjoyed her time on the board and would like to continue in her position. Joy has also helped out as a booster for Taft Tiger events. She’s also had First Aid and CPR Training. The council congratulated her on being such a superlative young adult as demonstrated by her dedication to the community.
City Councilors also seemed amused that the city’s recent acquisition of the recession-hammered “The Villages” is now attracting some attention from developers and other monied interests. Some of them, apparently appear to be pondering whether the city might sell off pieces of the property right away to turn a fast million dollars or more, since the city truly did its homework and came away with a great deal. Mayor Dick Anderson was quick to say that The Villages represent a sterling opportunity to provide valuable growing room for future housing as well as commercial development. Maybe even a little light industrial. But Mayor Anderson said the point of the acquisition is to intelligently evaluate the property to ensure quality development provides quality homes which will, in turn, produce an additional long term tax base to the city. The council seemed to agree that whatever development occurs should also maintain The Villages’ spectacular scenic vistas, walking paths, and other recreational activities – something that will require thoughtful, unhurried planning to pull off. They agreed that such an approach should not be sidetracked by developer offers that are motivated mostly by profit rather than maximizing the benefits to Lincoln City taxpayers whose dollars bought the property.
City Manager David Hawker gave a brief update on investigations into the most cost-effective way to stop septic tank pollution to Devil’s Lake – some of it believed coming from septic systems that are still in the ground despite having outlived their functional life expectancy. Hawker says he doesn’t want to be held to any specific cost estimate until all the data is in, but he maintains that the entire lake might be sewered for five million dollars or less. Hawker told the council that his opinion is based on the economical track record of force-pump wastewater systems which have been a proven solution in situations like Devil’s Lake. He said more data is required to get a clearer picture of what needs to be done to help clean up Devil’s Lake, and keep it clean from here on. He said he hopes to have a clearer view of things within the next month. Hawker said he’s also exploring a number of funding options to produce the revenue in order to offer city sewer to everyone living around the lake.