BROOKINGS COUNCIL ESTABLISHES GOALS

January 29, 2002 11:00 pm

By Scott Graves, editor

Finding sites and funding for a new community center, covered swimming pool, and a fire and city hall top the list of suggested goals for Brookings 2002-03 fiscal year.

But installing lights on the Chetco River bridge was nixed.

More than 20 people from various city departments, committees and commissions met for three hours Saturday to determine a list of 10 goals for the upcoming fiscal year, which runs from July 1, 2002, through June 30, 2003.

The group worked from a list of goals submitted earlier by each member. By the end of the meeting, they had narrowed the 34 suggestions to nine.

?There were many good ideas. Some may be accomplished, but some are unattainable,? said City Manager Leroy Blodgett.

Throughout the meeting, Blodgett instructed participants to pick goals that could be accomplished in the coming year.

?We may want to build a community center, but that?s not going to happen this year,? he told the group. ?But planning for it can be done.?

The goals, he said, are used in preparing the city?s annual budget and as a guideline for city staff.

The final list of goals will be presented to the City Council in February for approval. The goals were:

?Consolidate the planning and securing of funding for a community center, covered swimming pool, fire hall and city hall.

?Complete and implement a master plan for downtown revitalization and lobby to have second phase of the couplet included in the Oregon Department of Transportation?s State Transportation Improvement Plan.

?Complete an engineering study of the intersection of Highway 101 and Dawson Road.

?Improve cable TV service for citizens.

?Reduce infiltration and inflow to the city?s waste water system.

?Begin next phase of construction of the city?s public works shop.

?Complete master plan for all parks and recreation, remodel existing restrooms at Azalea Park and completing the concession stand.

?Implement master plan for city water system, obtain funding for additional water storage and upgrading of existing system.

?Explore the possibility of building a covered bridge over the Chetco River.

The first part of Saturday?s discussion focused on whether to combine a proposed community center with a new swimming pool.

The city?s Swim All Year Committee has been exploring the possibility of a covered pool that could be used all year.

After much deliberation, the group determined the existing pool on Ransom Avenue is not worth covering, Blodgett said.

Instead, the committee recommended merging a new covered pool with the proposed community center, he said.

Blodgett said the project will be included in the master plan for parks and recreation to be completed later this year by the Community Planning Workshop of the University of Oregon.

High on the list of goals was identifying a site and funding for a new fire hall or city hall.

?We have run out of room to house all of our equipment and our training room is to capacity,? said Fire Chief Bill Sharp.

City Hall and the connecting police department headquarters are also at capacity, Blodgett said.

The group agreed to seek a site for the fire hall, City Hall or both. It also agreed that City Hall and the police department should remain together.

Community Development Director Leo Lightle cautioned the group that, based on recent research, there is not a lot of property centrally located that could serve as a site for a new city or fire hall.

Lightle said the current City Hall will be re-evaluated to determine if more room can be freed up for expansion.

As for installing lights on the Chetco River bridge, Councilor Rick Dentino questioned whether the city should spend money doing that instead of installing lights in other areas of the city.

?The bridge would be pretty (with lights), but only seven people total cross it at night,? Dentino said.

Lightle agreed, saying ?We have requests for street lights throughout town and I think that would be a better use of limited funds.?

The group agreed to eliminate bridge lighting as a goal.

Tony Parrish, of the city?s Park and Recreation Commission, suggested the goal of supporting a covered bridge built up the Chetco River. The project, he said, would be dependent on getting cooperation and assistance from Curry County and other agencies.

Parrish said a second bridge several miles up the river would allow people, and emergency vehicles, to get from one side of the river to the other without having to come all the way down to Highway 101 to do so.

It would also serve as a backup bridge should the Chetco River bridge fail in a earthquake.

A covered bridge would also be a tourist attraction and allow people to use the North Bank Chetco River Road, which is less dangerous than the south bank road, to reach Salmon Run golf course, Parrish said.

The location of the bridge would likely fall within the city?s new urban growth boundary, expected to be finalized later this year, he said.

The group agreed that exploring the idea further should be a goal.

Blodgett concluded the meeting by saying, ?These goals are not locked in stone. If we don?t accomplish one of them, we?re not in trouble.?

He added, ?Funding will dictate what gets done and in which order.?

Some of the suggested goals that didn?t make the city?s final list included:

?Enforce leash laws and, if needed, revise present laws to have the pet checked to see if it?s been spayed or neutered.

?Install sidewalk on Wharf Street out to Chetco Point Park with several plain concrete benches.

?Enforce skate park directives and revise present rules to keep skateboarders off of Chetco Avenue and adjacent streets.

?Take action to reduce speed on Highway 101 north of Brookings.

?Create a ?pride? program to encourage residents to make improvements to their homes and their neighborhoods.