Cutter Alert returned to its homeport Sunday after a record seizure of cocaine and apprehension of smugglers during its 53-day counter-drug patrol that spanned 12,500 miles in the Eastern Pacific. Alert interdicted four “go-fast” boats carrying 2,977 kilograms of cocaine (3.3 tons) valued at $100 million and detained 11 suspected smugglers. Results of this magnitude have not been recorded by the Alert since 2009.
The Astoria Victory Monument turns 90 years-old on Saturday, July 23rd. Its something people drive by everyday in the Uniontown part of town on busy Marine Drive. It depicts a World War I soldier holding his rifle high as he stands on a battlefield strewn with barbed wire. It is more commonly known as the “Doughboy” monument. The city will recognize the significance of the monument with a rededication this weekend.
U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley shared some challenges he faces in congress in remarks at a town hall meeting in Astoria Wednesday morning.
· Labiske Lane Culvert Replacement at MP0.43
Monday July 25th thru July 28th
Closure: 8:00am - 5:00pm
Labiske Lane will be COMPLETELY closed to all traffic during daytime construction. Single lane traffic will be available overnight.
Fort Clatsop Road Arch Culvert Repair at MP 2.44
Monday August 1st thru Wednesday August 31st
Fort Clatsop Road will be COMPLETELY closed to all traffic during construction, use Lewis and Clark Road as detour.
Cullaby Lake Lane Culvert Replacement at MP 0.13
Monday August 8th thru Friday August 12th
Cullaby Lake Lane will remain open to one lane traffic. Maximum flagger hold time of 20 minutes.
· County crews will continue road construction on Walluski Loop near the Fairgrounds thru Tuesday, August 16, 2016. Speed Limit will remain at 25mph until the work is finished.
· Crews will perform pavement preservation on Beerman Creek Lane and Rippett Lane.
The rising cost of running the Astoria Trolley down the city waterfront has the city council discussing how to find a sustainable way to fund annual repairs to the several wooden trestles and rails that run across them. City engineers estimate the cost to effect repairs that ODOT has directed need to be completed before the 2017 Trolley season could mount as high as $300,000.
Since November of last year the Astoria Community Development Department has been working on various aspects of the city affordable housing strategy. Monday night the City Council heard an update on progress and was asked for additional direction before the Planning Commission schedules it's public hearing on the proposed changes to the town's development code aimed at increasing housing availability.
Clatsop County Board of Commissioners
Highlights this week
Septic program enforcement
The board adopted Ordinance 16-04, which strengthens the county’s ability to enforce rules covering on-site wastewater systems. The county assumed authority for septic system licensing and monitoring from the State of Oregon in 2014, using a hearings officer for enforcement. Because the hearings officer approach has made it difficult and costly to pursue enforcement action, the ordinance brings on-site wastewater under the county’s Code Violations provisions, allowing the county to issue citations.
The board heard a presentation from Public Works Director Michael Summers and Assistant Public Works Director Ted Mclean on a proposed transportation project priorities list. The list includes six improvement projects as well as a feasibility study to examine the potential development of alternative/emergency routes outside Astoria and Seaside, as well as the possible relocation of the existing Public Works facility to a new location outside the tsunami inundation zone. Summers said the proposals would be brought back to the board for discussion at a future work session.
In other business the board:
-Approved a county road event permit for the 2016 Hood to Coast/Portland to Coast Relays, scheduled for Aug. 26-27.
-Heard a presentation from Clatsop Economic Development Resources Director Kevin Leahy on the agency’s accomplishments of the previous year.
-Approved a 2.5-percent cost-of-living pay increase for the county’s 42 non-union employees.
-Tom Bennett, Clatsop County-
Warrenton city commissioners made a decision Tuesday that will benefit people on tight lunch breaks working at the Airport Industrial Park. The commission heard the first reading of a zone change for general industrial properties in the city.
Warrenton is leaking. New Public Works Director Jim Dunn reported to the city commission Tuesday night that he estimates the water system is losing as much as 30% and about half the sewer system suffers from infiltration and inflow which causes dilution in sanitary sewers, decreases the efficiency of treatment and may cause sewage volumes to exceed design capacity.
The Bella Ridge Apartment project proposal for Miles Crossing hinged on the approval of a change in zoning that would allow mutli-family high density housing as a conditional use in that area which is primarily zoned for single-family homes in a rural setting. At their meeting this morning attended by five of the seven commissioners following deliberations, and with one commissioner removing himself from the discussion due to a conflict, the vote was 3 to 1 to deny the necessary zone change and the conditional use permit.
The Astoria Police Department is hosting the 9th Citizen Police Academy to start this coming September. Classes will be held everyThursday evening from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm, beginning September 15th, 2016 and ending October 20th, 2016. The Citizen Police Academy is open to community members who are interested in learning more about how their Astoria Police Department works.