Depoe Bay writes check to Chamber, further explores televising C/C meetings and eyes new city survey
The Depoe Bay City Council Tuesday night awarded a five thousand dollar contract to it’s local Chamber of Commerce – mainly to handle the city’s tourist attracting advertising for the current fiscal year, ending next summer. The council had been a little hot and cold with the chamber over the past half-year, but has also observed that the chamber has become a more solid organization, with new members and fresh leadership improving the resolve of the chamber to get things done. The council reminded the chamber that a little more accountability on advertising performance is important to the council.
The council was asked to change the name of SE Elsie to SE Coast Guard Drive. Supporters of the change said the new name would be simply extending SE Coast Guard Drive from its origins at the Coast Guard Station up the hill. After a long, and somewhat spirited debate that possibly indicated a bit of neighborhood politics at work, the council thought better of it and turned the name change down.
The council also reviewed a survey given to them by the town’s Economic Development Committee asking about the council’s top priorities are for the town. Top vote getters were street improvements, lighting and storm drain maintenance. After that came public restrooms, pedestrian and bike paths and upgrades in police protection. The survey results were very preliminary – so much so that it’s being referred back to the committee for further refinements before it’s mailed out by the city to survey as many households as will fill it out. The results will hopefully give the council a better feel for what’s on the minds of local business owners and residents.
The council again tossed around the idea that their city council meetings should be televised – shot at city hall and played back on local public access channel 4. City Councilor and video advocate Brent Berry played back a test shot he’d done at an earlier meeting. Berry seemed pleased with it but several councilors said the voice quality was not up to snuff. They asked Berry to work closely with the city’s public works superintendent to see if the audio quality could be improved so viewers at home wouldn’t have to strain to hear what was being said. As it is, all city council meetings are audio tape recorded and either immediately, or the next morning, uploaded to the Depoe Bay city website. Councilors commented that those audio recordings are better quality than what was on the TV playback and is more easily understood by the listener.
And the council, meeting as the Depoe Bay Urban Renewal Committee, talked about preliminary plans to help spruce up and beautify the Highway 101 corridor from WorldMark all the way south, across the bridge and a little south from there. On the table are sidewalks and wider sidewalks, where there are sidewalks, street lighting, bike and pedestrian paths, sewer and water main replacements and upgrades as well as possible flower planters and other aesthetic touches through Depoe Bay’s main downtown area. The committee said everything is very preliminary at this point and that they’d further review plans and determine how much budget there is for specific improvements emerging from the urban renewal master plan at their next urban renewal meeting in January.