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HAGBOM GIVES 'STATE OF THE CITY' REPORT

Brookings Mayor Bob Hagboms State of the City message was well received at the Brookings-Harbor Chamber of Commerce Forum Wednesday.

The year 2000 was filled with accomplishments, changes and challenges, Hagbom told the 50 or so people at the forum held at the Brookings Best Western Inn Conference Room.

There were also tragedies that led to the loss of some fine community members. My condolences and prayers go out to those that lost loved ones this past year.

But even the tragedies showed how much the people of this great community care for and help each other.

And when I speak of our community I do not mean only the city limits of Brookings. Fortunately our community extends well beyond the city limits and we recognize and appreciate that fact, he said.

In the year 2000, the city saw the completion and opening of the new post office, a project that took cooperation by everyone involved, Hagbom said.

The back nine holes of Salmon Run Golf Course opened, making it the only 18-hole golf course in Curry County, he said

Hagbom noted that Emporium held its grand opening, filling the empty store left by Stage and providing a source for quality merchandise not previously available in this area.

Pelican Perch, a low-income senior housing facility, began construction on Moore Street.

This is going to be an excellent addition to our community, he said.

The school district passed a much needed $14 million bond issue to improve the school facilities.

The port continues with exciting improvements including renovation and replacement of the docks, plans for an all-events center and many other exciting projects, he said.

Hagbom listed several accomplishments by the city, including approval of the urban growth boundary remand items.

We now are waiting for the county commissioners to take action for approval and then, finally, the Oregon Department of Land Conservation will approve the remand items.

This has been a 10-year effort by many individuals and agencies.

Hagbom said the downtown PROUD study was finalized and approved by the city council.

The study will lead the way for some exciting improvements in downtown Brookings, Hagbom predicted.

We have already started working on solutions to the parking problems downtown and are meeting with state agencies and the governors office to figure out a way to fund the construction of the couplet project.

Since the couplet is a $12 million project and the budget for the entire region is a little more than $4 million, Hagbom said, financing of the couplet would probably require federal funding.

Hagbom said the skateboard park is closer to becoming a reality than ever.

Design of the park is underway and approximately $20,000 has been raised through donations, he said.

The city will apply for grants and ask for donations of labor and material to complete the project. Our hope is to have the project completed this summer, he said

In an effort to make information about the city more available to the public, the city now issues a monthly newsletter that is distributed by e-mail to more than 350 subscribers, he said.

Since August 1996, when the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality put a limit on new construction and the Mutual Agreement and Orders was signed, the city has had 419 new equivalent dwelling units connected to the Brookings wastewater system, he said.

Last year, he said, there were 89 new units connected to the system.

There was over $11 million spent on new construction, including over $6 million in single-family homes.

Out of 128 building permits issued by the city last year, 45 of them were for single-family homes and eight for two or more family dwellings. Last year the city collected $340,114 for building permits compared to $192,214 in 1999, he said.

Hagbom said all of this is an indication of the need for additional buildable land in the area, and the need to manage growth, not stop growth.

That is the citys goal to manage the growth through zoning regulations and land development regulations, he said. We do not want to stifle growth in the community. It is these additional people that will help pay for our new wastewater plant and needed services for all of us.

Hagbom told chamber members that representatives of Curry General Hospital held a meeting at Chetco Senior Center in fall to inform the seniors of improvements to the hospital facility.

The result, he said, was the formation of IMAC Improving Medical Access Committee, which is now working on ways to provide better medical access for Oregon Health Plan patients and the underinsured.

The year 2001 is guaranteed to be exciting in more ways than one, Hagbom said.

The city will celebrate its 50th birthday. The city will review and suggest to the voters some changes to the city charter. The charter, like a constitution, is the only document in the city that takes a vote of the people to change.

The city will also work on downtown revitalization, completion of the skateboard park, continued work on the sewer collection system, conservation of water by looking at additional water storage, and getting Ferry Creek Reservoir on line, Hagbom said.

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