Arch Rock Brew awards

Arch Rock Brewing, a 15-barrel brew house in Gold Beach, just won five gold medals during national and international competitions.

The business has been in operation for three years, with their pale ale, lager and porter bringing home gold medals at the Great American Beer and North American Brewers Association festivals and at the World Beer Cup.

Most recently, the brewery was named World Beer Cup Champion in the “very small brewery” category — under 1,000 barrels per year — and their brewer, James Smith, took home the top brewmaster category in that division, as well.

The news was announced on a TravelOregon website, which promotes tourism throughout the state.

“It’s insane, just crazy,” said owner Larry Brennan, who with his wife, Marjie, runs Arch Rock with three employees.

Arch Rock beer isn’t available in cans or bottles. In their tasting room, they sell pints, growlers and kegs.

The Brennans credit their brewmeister, who hails from Grand Teton Brewing Company in Idaho. Smith recently wrapped up a collaboration with Immortal Spirits Distillery in Medford, using wooden barrels it used for absinthe and aged a porter for six months.

Out of the attic

Citizens wanting to see old Brookings documents currently must make a public information request that often requires an nimble city employee to clamber up a ladder and into the attic to pore through files of paperwork.

No longer.

The city council agreed Monday night to sign a contract with Chavez Contracting as part of Oregon Records Management Solutions to bring all that information into the digital age. It will cost about $4,400.

“The city is ready to move into the digital era,” City Manager Gary Milliman said last October when the city first considered the transition. “In the city recorder’s office alone, it is estimated that more than 80,000 paper documents are stored in filing cabinets. This is just a drop in the bucket compared to the volume of documents maintained in other departments.”

It is Milliman’s goal to develop a system whereby the public can access, copy and download all records electronically and remotely.

“This will be a great service for the public,” said Mayor Jake Pieper. “They’ll no longer have to fill public information requests. And there is no reason in the age we live in to need to crawl into an attic to find old documents.”

Plan for a plan

Brookings will hire Dyer Partnership of Coos Bay for $48,600 to conduct preliminary engineering and environmental reports to meet requirements to obtain grants and loans to upgrade the city’s water and wastewater treatment plant.

Numerous projects needed at the plant have gone unfunded, said City Manager Gary Milliman at a council meeting Monday night. According to the city’s water and wastewater Capital Improvement Plan, the facility at the end of Wharf Street needs about $8 million in projects and refinancing existing debt of $5 million.

The city could qualify for $1 million to $2 million in grants toward those projects. Some include replacing the ultraviolet disinfection system at $2,239,600; installing a 24-inch sewer main near Mill Beach Road to the treatment plant to eliminate the need for the sewer lift station there, estimated at $760,450; replacing an old sewer main with an 8-inch main, at $229,380; and several sewer main replacement projects in the $100,000 to $300,000 range.

“No one likes paying that kind of money to do a report or a study,” said Mayor Jake Pieper. “But it’s necessary to do these kind of projects.”

So close

The city of Brookings has run into a few sticking points in contract negotiations with Harbor Sanitation District, which the city claims owes more than a quarter-million dollars for its share of wastewater treatment plant upgrades and past due service charges.

Harbor Sanitation District sends effluent over the river to the city under a fee schedule the city council updated a year ago, and by which the district has refused to comply or meet to discuss. District officials say the new fees don’t accurately reflect the cost of treating their wastewater.

Attorneys for both parties are close to finalizing a deal; the issue will be on the council’s agenda July 24.

“We have been pursuing this arduously since the July arbitration last year,” City Manager Gary Milliman said in a council meeting Monday. “We’re close to having the final recommendation, but we’re not there yet.”

The city has billed Harbor $62,520 each month since last August, and the district has paid between $29,000 and $50,000 each month, based on the old fee schedule, said City Finance Director Janell Howard. The net now owed, city officials say, is more than $270,000.