The Hood River City Council has given City Manager Steve Wheeler the go-ahead to sign an agreement which will see the Urban Renewal Agency purchase three acres from Naito Development in the Nichols Basin in front of the hotel Naito is constructing for use as a passive park. Urban Renewal is paying $395,000 for the land, but won’t pay anything until the hotel starts producing property tax increment revenues, and some of that will be used to pay for the property. Wheeler says it will be a passive park. Dedicating the three acres for the passive park was a key to Naito receiving City approval to build the hotel. Once the park is paid for by Urban Renewal, the City will take over ownership of the land.
The City of White Salmon is going to send out letters to some homeowners advising them they need to make changes in order for firefighters to be able to protect their property in the event of a wildfire. The move came out of Monday’s City Council goal-setting session. Mayor David Poucher says fire officials have identified some homes where currently firefighters might not be able to safely offer protection during a wildfire, but they can be made safe. In some cases the problem is dead end roads without sufficient turn arounds for fire equipment, and in others it’s ladder fuels on private roads. Poucher emphasized letters will be sent to those properties that have been identified, adding this is mainly about wildland fire protection rather than home fires.
The Port of The Dalles will consider Wednesday whether to move ahead with an application to the Department of State Lands for permit to allow a wetlands plan to move forward. Port officials along with others have been working on a plan to be able to move wetland mitigation across property boundaries to be able to proactively deal with issues involving identified vernal pools in The Dalles. Port Executive Director Andrea Klaas says they would be applying with the Department of State Lands for the aquatic resources regional general permit. Klass notes with only 250 to 270 acres of industrial land in The Dalles urban growth area, they need to be able to take advantage of all the property they have.
Google has given Q-Life an $87,880 dollar grant for the Maupin Broadband Project. The grant funds will be used to assist in bringing high-speed broadband to the Maupin community and establishing free public Wi-Fi at Maupin’s Riverfront Park and the Maupin branch of the Wasco County Library District. The grant will also connect the Maupin library to The Dalles-Wasco County Library and provide free internet on library computers for patrons. Google funding also will pay for three years of operation and internet connection. The Maupin Broadband Project is a joint venture of Q-Life, The City of Maupin and the State of Oregon’s North Central Community Solutions Team. The project should be completed during the first half of 2016.
In a unanimous vote, Wasco County Commissioners adopted amendments to the County land use ordinance to regulate the time, manner, and place of marijuana production and processing operations in the County. The panel adopted the recommendation of the County Planning Commission, allowing growing and processing in farm zones…and growing but no processing in forest zones, which accounts for nearly all of the lands in unincorporated areas of Wasco County. Commissioners had considered for a time sending a measure to County voters that would allow them to opt out of allowing marijuana business to take place in the County, as state voters approved in November 2014. But Commission Chair Rod Runyon says as they continued to consider the matter, he started to doubt voters would decide to opt out. Runyon noted a petition to put an opt-out measure on the ballot can still come from the citizens.
Columbia 65, Seton Catholic 53: The Bruins grab their first Trico League win of the season.
Columbia 53, Seton Catholic 10: CHS moves into third place in the Trico with the victory.
Castle Rock 45, Stevenson 42, overtime
Due to concerns for inclement weather Tuesday, Port of Hood River bridge engineers have rescheduled planned full closures of the Hood River-White Salmon Interstate Bridge to Friday. Bridge engineers will conduct four twenty-minute lifts of the Hood River White-Salmon Interstate Bridge lift span Friday between 9 a.m. and 12 Noon to conduct surveys of each lift span tower. The work is related to lift span alignment issues thought to be the result of a suspected vessel allision with a lift span pier in fall of 2015. Bridge users should expect up to 20 minute delays during each lift span lift.
The new Columbia Gorge Industrial Center in The Dalles has formally been certified as ready-to-build by the state. Business Oregon’s industrial site certification program lists properties that would be ready for construction in six months or less. Port of The Dalles executive director Andrea Klaas says it’s an important designation for businesses interested in locating there. Klaas says the certification allows the state to market the property as a ready-to-build location.
Hood River County Commissioners are gearing up for a goal-setting session later this month. County Administrator David Meriwether says once again finances will be at the top of the discussion points, including dealing with public safety needs. Workforce housing will be another high priority issue, as it has been in recent goal-setting sessions. The goal-setting session will take place on Saturday, January 23 at 9 a.m. in the Hood River County Administration Building.
The City of White Salmon is moving forward with having a complete study of municipal water and sewer rates done. The City is contracting with Anderson and Perry Associates to do the study, which Mayor David Poucher says will look at all aspects of the utility rates. The study will include how rates for different types of dwellings are arrived at. Poucher says the study will take six to eight months to complete. He notes it has been a number of years since the City has done this type of study.