The Astoria City Council approved a contract for grant management for the renovation of the Astoria Senior Center, approved a consultant contract to oversee the process of remodeling the Astor Public library, and approved the city budget for the next fiscal year.
Here are the highlights from Monday's meeting:
The council agreed to dispense with the competitive bidding process and hired consultant Ruth Metz to develop the master plan for the new look for the City Library. Metz has been consulting with the library board and the city for the last 12 years on a number of projects. City Community development Director Brett Estes wanted to make sure that the public is involved as much as possible in the early planning phase. Metz contract calls for open public meetings and stakeholder meetings to become part of the planning process. The council also agreed to hire Mary McArthur, the director for economic development organization Col-Pac to handle grant management for the community development block grant that will fund the renovation of the Astoria Senor Center. Preliminary plans call for upgraded electrical service. upgraded plumbing, and elevator to give access to the basement of the center which will be transformed into a senior meal site with a new kitchen and dining area. The local Loaves and Fishes program will operate out of that new kitchen facility. The Block Grant does not require a city matching amount and will cover the cost of the renovation and the installation of new equipment. It does not cover those items like new dinning furniture and portable kitchen equipment. The Senior Center Board has committed to engage in fundraising to come up with an additional $200,000 to complete furnishings for the project.
Mayor Van Dusen noted that the Astoria Trolley had it's 500,000th rider on Sunday. The Mayor said that he and the city council were on board to make a special presentation to the Salem woman who became the half millionth rider to board the river front trolley. In other action the council Monday approved the bid award to TFT Construction for the clean-up at the 5th and Duane street slide that will include debris removal and hydro-seeding of the hillside. Home owner Chris Wright questioned the hydro-seeding approach concerned that it sounded like the city was jts planting grass and he said his research online indicates that the hillside would be better secured against additional slides if a variety of plants were introduced. The City Engineering department will work with Wright to see if other plants can be included in that process.
The Council approved construction of the Irving Avenue bridge project without temporary pedestrian access during construction. At a previous meeting it was explained that to build an approved access through the project area was estimated to cost upward to $300,000. The bridge replacement is projected to cost a little over $5.8 million dollars with $5.2 million coming from the federal highway bridge program. The city will make up the remaining $600,000 cost.