Leonard Krug of the Oregon Sportfishing Coalition (OSC) opened the Gold Beach City Council meeting May 14 by requesting a letter of support to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife commission.

Krug said the letter would “give our biologists the respect and consideration that they deserve and maintain the current steelhead regulations in the Southwest zone.”

The current regulations do not require the release of all native steelhead in the Southwest Zone.

OFC’s letter aims to counteract a recent petition circulating requesting the release of all native steelhead in all Southwest Zone coastal streams.

The petition to release all native steelhead is spearheaded by a small group of activists, allows signatures by people from out of the area and those who do not fish and is not based on biological evidence, according to Krug.

Councilor Melinda McVey said, “Do a letter. This is ridiculous.”

“Regulations should be based on science, especially if we are going to make something illegal,” Councilor Larry Brennan said.

All councilors with fishing licenses signed Krug’s petition of support and voted to have City Administrator Jodi Fritts draft a letter of support for them to sign.

The OFC only accepts signatures from licensed fishermen.

Housing proposal

Curry Services Coordinator Beth Barker-Hidalgo and Executive Director Mike Lehman of Oregon Coast Community Action (ORCCA) requested a lease agreement for a property on Fourth Street in Gold Beach.

Hidalgo said ORCCA could put a mobile home or manufactured home on that lot and use it for reunification housing. Reunification housing is for children and parents who are being reunified after the children were in foster care.

Kids in foster care who want to come home after their parents are ready and approved often find their parents don’t have a place to live, she explained.

“We want to create housing for them so they can come together again as a family,” Hidalgo said.

We could put a family in place and monitor them while providing services and support so people could be successful, Lehman said. This would be a more permanent placement for a family.

Councilor Tamie Kaufman said the idea was good but said the plans should leave room on the property for future development.

Fritts said, as planning director, I would like to see a fourplex or duplex on that lot.

Lehman agreed to leave space for future development and the city approved the lease.

Transportation

Hidalgo then addressed council in her role as board chair for the Curry Homeless Coalition (CHC) and said Gold Beach was a catch-all for people with transportation needs because of releases from the jail and discharged patients from the hospital.

She suggested a Homeward Bound Program to get people back to their homes and provide out-of-city transportation.

CHC agreed to provide $500 and asked council to match that amount to help fund the program.

Fritts added that Accurate Taxi transports patients from the hospital and contracts with the hospital to get patients home.

Hidalgo said she saw these actions as the first step toward being able to transport people to Port Orford, Gold Beach, Brookings and Harbor.

“We will be seeking funds from the police in those towns — as well as the sheriff,” she said.

Councilor Becky Campbell suggested Hidalgo bring this initiative to the Local Public Safety Coordinating Council.

The council agreed to give CHC some of their bus tickets and support CHC in centralizing and administering the service.

The plan is for CHC to purchase and distribute bus tickets for Curry Public Transit as well as secure contract services with Accurate Taxi to provide after-hours transportation for hospital patients and people being released from jail.

Public safety

The councilors and Fritts agreed to review one goal in the city’s strategic plan at each meeting; this months goal was “Create a Safe Community.”

The first action item listed was to increase police coverage from 20 to 24 hours a day. It was determined Gold Beach is too small a city to accomplish that goal.

Providing a community shelter as part of a multi-use community center was the second goal, and the city decided to work with the library district and use available land for the center but needed to find money for a structure.

In the plan, the city was to pursue funding for bicycle and pedestrian improvements, and noted the Third Street Sidewalk completed in 2014 was partially funded by the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT).

The next large bike/pedestrian project is the path proposed through the port and behind the airport identified in the Urban Renewal Plan.

The report indicates the city now has Urban Renewal money for such a project.

Fencing near the port

Gold Beach Main Street (GBMS) proposed salmon-art fencing to replace the existing chain link fence by the bridge to the entry to the port.

Illustrations of the project show decorative, metal fence panels with salmon installed in the grillwork. Other panels feature metal slats.

“I have seen something like this and it looked great, and our rusty chain link fence is ghetto,” Brennan said.

ODOT agreed to the proposal provided a local government is the agency responsible for the work. They will not enter into agreements with individuals or groups.

The Main Street group is applying for two grants of $40,000 each, and requested the city enter into the contract with ODOT with the provision that GBMS would be the subcontractor to the city.

Campbell said she would like to see something similar near the visitor center, “in order to bookend the town.”

Mayor Karl Popoff warned against entering any deal unless it provides money and rules for continued maintenance.

Fritts agreed to have the attorney draft a sub-contract agreement with GBMS in which they put money aside to maintain the fence.

Administrator’s report

AllCare has awarded the city a grant to develop a brochure promoting accessory dwelling units (ADUs) within the city, according to the report.

ADUs are a new housing option available “for multi-generational family needs and for additional rental units,” Fritts stated.

ADUs are typically comprised of a room or set of rooms in a single-family home that have been configured as a separate dwelling unit.

ADUs generally include living, sleeping, kitchen and bathroom facilities and have a lockable entrance door. A detached ADU is the same concept, but the living area is in a separate structure.

Glass float season

The 2018 Glass Float season ended April 30, and the city had 11,320 visitors during the season and received $147,387 in receipts turned in for floats.

Glass floats were originally hand-blown glass bulbs used to float fishermen’s nets.

The local glass floats are placed on the beach as prizes in a treasure hunt; some have prize vouchers attached.

Councilors reports

Kaufman said GBMS was likely to be awarded a University of Oregon Resource Assistance for Rural Environments (RARE) participant, and council discussed various housing possibilities for the representative including dormitory or apartment space now available at the fairgrounds.

The RARE representative would arrive in September and help the area to improve economic, social and environmental conditions. RARE participants are trained graduate-level participants who live and work in communities for 11 months.

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

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