Curry Transfer and Recycling has announced it will no longer service the portable toilet at Social Security Bar since vandalism and graffiti continue to plague the area.
The vandalism, coupled with damage done to the City of Brookings’ sign at the popular summer spot, has prompted a new round of staff discussion about the 1.6 acres the city owns along the north bank of the Chetco River.
The future of the area around Social Security Bar will be among the topics discussed at a workshop at Brookings City Hall Thursday (March 6).
One idea that’s emerged is to develop the city property as an RV park with a camp host and a restroom and shower building, said Parks Director Tony Baron in a memo to the council. A tentative schematic shows it could accommodate 16 RV spots and another 16 vehicular spots.
Another idea is to transform the area into a day-use area for picnicking with restrooms and parking.
The sandbar, located about 3 miles up the north bank of the river, is popular among fishermen, sunbathers and water enthusiasts, among many others.
Work at Social Security Bar is just one of many park projects the city hopes to tackle this year.
The biggest — and most expensive — project is the first phase of the rehabilitation of the Azalea Park ball field.
That project stems from discussions in 2009, when the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission voted unanimously to reconfigure the athletic fields, primarily reorienting a softball field in order to make a soccer or multi-purpose field adjacent to Lundeen Lane.
The master plan from four years ago calls for the construction of a restroom and concession building along the left field foul line on Field 1. However, citing the potential of line-drive foul balls to strike pedestrians, the new plan would reorient Field 1 to abut Field 2 and place the restroom and concession building in an area convenient to both.
The field area vacated by the first field could then be redeveloped into the multi-purpose field, for use by soccer, football, lacrosse and ultimate Frisbee play, Baron said.
Since last December, staff has been working on the four-phase project, to last four to five years that, when complete, will accommodate a variety of youth and adult recreation options, including tournament play.
The first phase is the restroom and concession building, a play structure and connecting wheelchair ramps and paths.
The second phase, estimated to cost $218,900, will include the reconfiguration of the field to allow for the multi-use field, perimeter fencing, dugouts and backdrops.
The third phase, to cost about $1.1 million, would include installing an all-weather turf on all three fields; the final phase would include paving Lundeen and North Bank parking lots and lighting and cost about $900,000.
“At the completion of the projects, Brookings will have the capacity to support multi-sport athletic tournaments for the Southern Oregon and Northern California coast region in every season of the year,” Baron said.
The $552,000 cost of the first phase would be borne by a state Parks and Recreation grant, city System Development Charge revenue, the general fund and donations. The department might ask for Capital Improvement Project funds of $187,000. And the Brookings-Harbor Adult Softball League has pledged $25,000 toward construction of the restroom and concessions building.
Other parks projects this year are proposed to include repairs to KidTown, building a restroom and lighting at Stout Park, creating a picnic area and wheelchair paths to the Bud Cross picnic area and resurfacing the tennis court there; erecting a fence and gate at the skate park, sealing the city pool’s deck and resurfacing its pool.
The estimates for all that work is about $317,000.