The board approved an intergovernmental agreement with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife for $40,927.70 in additional funding for the Clatsop County Fisheries Project. The funds will pay for the rearing of an additional 1.1 million juvenile spring Chinook and coho in the county's net-pen fisheries program this spring.
The agreement is designed to implement Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber's Columbia River Recreational and Commercial Fisheries Management Strategies, adopted by ODFW in December, which aim to remove commercial salmon gillnet fishing from the main stem of the Columbia and restrict it to off-channel sites by 2017.
The county fisheries program, funded by the Bonneville Power Administration, ODFW and fishers and processors, rears and releases juvenile salmon in three off-channel areas on the lower Columbia River: Youngs Bay, Tongue Point and Blind Slough.
Public Works Director Ed Wegner told the board that the ODFW allocation will not be affected a state appeals court ruling Feb. 11 placing a temporary stay on the gillnet strategies.
Shoreline sewer extension
The board approved amendments to the county comprehensive land-use plan allowing for the construction of a 3.3-mile sewer line connecting the Shoreline Sanitary District to the City of Warrenton's wastewater treatment plant.
The comprehensive plan and state land-use law prohibit extension of sewer service outside of urban growth boundaries (UGBs). The amendments, to both the comprehensive plan's Goal 11 (Public Facilities and Services) element and Clatsop Plains Community Plan, allow placement of the sewer line connection outside of the Warrenton UGB and the Cullaby Lake Rural Service Area, which the Shoreline Sanitary District serves, due to special circumstances.
New wastewater discharge standards enacted by the State of Oregon in 2003 and applied to the Skipanon River put the sanitary district's treatment facility out of compliance with rules regarding temperature and dissolved oxygen. After research of various alternatives, the district passed a $2 million bond in 2008 to finance the Warrenton sewer connection.
The amendments prohibit any connections to the new sewer line outside of the sewer district.
The board accepted a petition from Warrenton Fiber Company to vacate a portion of County Road #139 without a public hearing and directed the county Road Master to prepare the necessary report. State statute allows jurisdictions to vacate roads without public hearings if all adjoining landowners favor the action; the only other adjoining property owner, Lewis and Clark Oregon Timber LLC, supports the vacation. The unbuilt road right-of-way connects with Claremont Road east of Astoria. The vacation will come back before the board for action at a future meeting.
The board approved a reallocation of a portion of the $30,000 in county funding provided annually to local non-profit entities. A $4,925 disbursement made to the Women's Resource Center will now go to the Lunch Buddy Mentoring Program, after the WRC declined the money following a change in the agency's administration.
The Lunch Buddy program, which is active in 6 elementary and one middle school, matches children with adult mentors and provides backpacks to local students. Seaside Police Chief Robert Gross told the commissioners that the program was a "passion" for its executive director, Karna Cupples, who died Feb. 5.
In other business the board:
-Opened a public hearing on Ordinance 12-12, which makes "housekeeping" text amendments to the county's Land and Water Development and Use Ordinance and Standards document to clarify ambiguous language, further define procedures and correct references to state rules. The public hearing is continued to the board's Feb. 27 meeting.
-Appointed Commissioner Debra Birkby as the board's representative to the Northwest Senior and Disability Services board.
-Appointed Astoria City Councilor Russ Warr as city representative to the Columbia-Pacific Economic Development District.