Car break-ins

At least eight vehicles — all of them unlocked — were broken into in Brookings over the past weekend, with items stolen including wallets, purses, handguns and clothing, police reported Tuesday.

Most of the vehicles were located in the Fifth Street and Wharf Street areas and many of the break-ins took place mid-morning.

The Brookings Police Department wants to remind everyone it is never safe to leave firearms in unattended vehicles — locked or not. Firearms should be taken inside your residence and secured. It is also important to remove any items of value from your vehicle and lock the doors.

Anyone with information regarding these break-ins is encouraged to call the Brookings Police Department at 541-469-3118.

Water safe

Brookings Water Treatment Supervisor Ray Page said water at Salmon Run golf course is safe to drink, after citizens misinterpreted a city report last week that indicated otherwise.

“I reported to the city council last week that we were experiencing difficulty in treating the water at the well that serves as the drinking water source,” City Manager Gary Milliman said this week. “However, the water arriving at the clubhouse for drinking water goes through a treatment system to remove or neutralize these contaminants.”

Water coming from the well has had higher-than-acceptable levels of E. coli for months, but after treatment by a UV unit at the course, it is safe to consume, Page said.

The problem is the unit, while functional, is not approved by state Drinking Water Services and therefore needs to be replaced. That will be addressed at a Feb. 12 city council meeting.

Page, a state certified water treatment operator, manages the city’s water treatment system and has been working to resolve water quality issues at the city-owned golf course.

The city has also submitted a plan to Curry Community Health, which provides public health for the county, for improvements to the golf course’s system.

“Because the treatment system used at the golf course is old, we have been issued a ‘boil water’ order by local health officials as an extra precaution,” Milliman noted. “Some have mistakenly interpreted my report to the city council as saying that the drinking water at the golf course is not safe to drink.”

The city plans to have the matter resolved by mid-February, and the well will be cleaned and treated before a new disinfection system is installed.

Gorse eradication

The Curry Soil and Water Conservation District and the South Coast Watershed Council received a grant from the Wild Rivers Coast Alliance to manage and eradicate gorse in the Brookings area.

This grant will fund community outreach and education, an inventory of gorse in the Brookings area, and an initial treatment of certain sites. Success of the project will hinge, in part, on the city’s ability to work smoothly with key partners, including the state Department of Transportation, the Bonneville Power Administration and Oregon State Parks.

Spruce Drive

The city of Brookings will tie major road repair work into Dairy Queen’s plans to rebuild a larger restaurant with an improved drive-thru layout, the city announced Monday.

The project engineer for the new restaurant submitted preliminary plans this week for street improvements along Spruce Drive, and the city included resurfacing this section of Spruce, with construction expected in April.

The city also has a curb/gutter/sidewalk project in design for the opposite side of Spruce Drive and a storm drain improvement project along the alley south of Alder between the two ends of the loop that is Spruce Drive.

“The plans submitted by the DQ engineer provides the city with an opportunity to undertake a clean, joint project to correct pavement, drainage and ADA problems in this area in conjunction with the new restaurant,” said City Manager Gary Milliman.

A separate issue with Spruce Drive, however, could change some of those plans.

Public Works responded to a sewer backup on Spruce Street last Wednesday and found the laterals of two houses converged into a single lateral before entering the city system, with no clean-out.

A clean-out device ensures material that goes down a pipe does not re-enter the pipe in case the main conduit becomes clogged.

One house is at a slightly higher elevation than the other, Milliman explained. When the higher elevation house discharged sewage in the clogged and shared portion of the lateral, it backed up into the neighbor’s house.

“And the neighbor has been paying the plumber to have the clog cleared,” he said. “The neighbors did not know they shared a lateral. We now suspect that there might be more such conditions along Spruce Drive, all of which should be corrected before we repave the street.”

68 more people

The city of Brookings has asked the Oregon Department of Transportation to change the welcome signs at both ends of town to reflect the population: from 6,527 to 6,595. The 2010 Census indicates Brookings had 6,336 residents.