Santa Arrives

Santa will visit Brookings again this Christmas holiday and take part in the 6th annual Coastal Christmas Light Parade.

Organizers of the Coastal Christmas Light Parade are moving forward with the event following approval for an event permit fee waiver by the Brookings City Council.

The action came during the city council’s regular public session Monday night, Sept. 9. The council approved waiving the $62.50 permit fee, which organizers said would go towards purchasing cocoa, cookies, candy canes and the required insurance for the event.

According to organizers, each year the number of parade participants has increased and the following Santa Party has grown more popular. Organizers said they anticipate 200 people will be attracted to the downtown area for the holiday events this Christmas holiday.

This will be the sixth year the Coastal Christmas Elves have organized a downtown Christmas light parade. The lineup for the parade begins at 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 14 at Azalea Middle School. The parade will wind down Oat St. to Railroad St. on to Center St. and into Oasis Park for a tree-lighting ceremony, Christmas caroling and Santa visits.

Automated Meter Reading

The city council also authorized City Manager Janell Howard to execute an agreement with Ferguson Waterworks to purchase an Automated Meter Reading system for $375,000. The purchase was budgeted in the city’s water fund and the Brookings Water System Replacement Fund.

Over the past few years, the city and its budget committee had discussed converting to smart meters and the 2019-20 adopted budget included funds to complete the first phase of the smart meter process.

According to Howard, the funding includes the radios to be used to read the customers water meters, the complete drive-by package, installation and training for the drive-by package. The city will not be replacing meters, only inserting the smart radio into current meters.

“Once this phase is complete, we will be able to read all meters in approximately one hour, compared to two weeks,” Howard wrote in her city council report. “With cost savings from a decrease in staffing of a half-time position, we estimate that it will be a 7-to 8-year “return on investment.”

The radios are covered by a 15-year ‘bumper-to-bumper’ warranty.

The council report also states that the new network ensures:

  • Accurate data measurements
  • Consistent billing and faster billing resolution
  • Support for multiple Sensus applications, including Leak Detection, Pressure Regulation, Distribution Automation, Demand Response, temperature monitoring, ect.
  • Scalability to grow with needs
  • Operational efficiency through advanced data analytics
  • Access to more data to make informed decisions

Gorse Removal

The council also heard a presentation from Oregon State Park officials concerning plans to deal with gorse, an invasive plant that has spread up along Harris Butte at Harris Beach State Park. Removal of the plant is scheduled for late this month. The day-use portion of Harris Beach State Park will be closed weekdays, but open weekends during the plant removal project. Beach access will remain open.

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