By Boyd C. Allen

Pilot Staff Writer

Gold Beach City Council elected Councilor Tamie Kaufman mayor pro-tem at its meeting Monday before suspending the meeting to sit as the local Urban Renewal Agency (URA).

The URA agreed to increase spending on administrative costs, legal costs and property assistance while decreasing money for parking improvements and to consider reasons for changes in grant spending from Gold Beach Main Street (GBMS) representatives.

GBMS President Laurie Van Zante explained more money in the grant from the URA was shifted to pay for benches to be placed throughout the city because money originally earmarked for work on the courthouse was freed up when the group learned it could not work on that location.

Kaufman said the bench work was expanded “when the URA’s consultant, Elaine Howard, reminded us that we could not use URA funds for the bench and landscape at the courthouse.”

Benches placed outside the Urban Renewal District will be paid for by other sources as well, Kaufman said.

According to Van Zante, the design of the benches and their placements had changed as well, and now include a base to avoid ground maintenance calling for two trees to be planted with each bench.

The URA voted to approve the modified funding for the project to produce and place the 12 benches.

Back to city council

Councilors voted to have City Administrator Jodi Fritts post and notify the public of hearings for dangerous properties.

City staff reported possible code defined “dangerous buildings” at 28312 Mateer Road and 28515 Mateer Road.

Regarding 28312 Mateer, staff reports multiple calls have been received with concerns about fire danger and wildlife traffic occurring at the property. The structure appears to be past the point of no return for repairs or renovation, the report said.

The structure at 28515 Mateer burned Sept. 22, 2015, and the burned remains are still at the location. The freestanding brick chimney presents the greatest danger, according to staff reports, but the burned structure and remains need to be removed as well.

The council set a hearing date of Feb. 11.

The council voted to raise basic and tiered water and sewage rates 5 percent. The rate changes were presented by Fritts who said they were based on, but actually below, recommendations calculated on the the Municipal Cost Index (MCI). The MCI shows the effects of inflation on the cost of providing municipal services and draws on monthly statistical data collected by the U.S. Departments of Commerce and Labor as well as independently compiled data, according to American City & County.

Councilors agreed to have Fritts and Mayor Karl Popoff contact the Oregon Department of Transportation to gather ideas to improve the intersection of U.S. 101 and Third Street. The intersection is getting more traffic due to events at the Curry County Library, according to Popoff, and traffic is complicated there by the slightly offset entrance/exit to McKay’s Market on the other side of the highway.

Reach Boyd C. Allen at ballen@currypilot.com .

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