Plan shown Tuesday

Port scales back Waterfront plan

Almost one year ago, the "bold, innovative" waterfront master plan was unveiled -- a dramatic drawing that drew applause from almost everyone who viewed it.

Port of Hood River officials were also thrilled with the design that blended recreational and development uses in a landscaped setting -- until they looked at the $12 million or higher price tag that would be necessary to make it a reality.

However, the commission didn't want the latest development plan to join the stack of sketches from past failed efforts so they decided to draft a "do-able" alternative.

Unhappy with the failure of the Portland-based Leland Consulting Group to tie better cost estimates to their conceptual drawings, the port withheld $15,000 from the final payment for services and hired Carl Perron, a Hood River architect, to help downscale the project.

While the result is not as visually stimulating, Dave Harlan, port manager, said it is affordable at about $5 million and still provides plenty of mixed-use opportunities.

That design will be presented for public viewing at a special Waterfont Task Force meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. on Nov. 27 at Waucoma Center, 902 Wasco Street.

Most notably absent is the broad diagonal boulevard that cut across both public and private property, leading travelers and pedestrians from the "gateway" at the base of the Second Street Overpass to a park-like setting on Lot 6.

That naturalized property which is heavily used by recreationists remains untouched in the port's updated design plans, although the roadway to gain access to the site has been shifted so that it no longer crosses private property or splits buildable parcels.

Harlan said in place of the more than four acres needed to accommodate the boulevard, the port has managed to move the roadway west of its existing location without the necessity of purchasing easements. He said the new passage will also preserve the 11-acres of developable property, which had been cut into "odd-shaped" lots by Leland's rendering.

"We had to find a plan that was realistic and reasonable to meet our budget, especially with a bridge re-decking project coming up next year that will probably cost between $8-10 million dollars," said Harlan.

He said the port has also preserved the walking path along the entire length of its waterfront property and provided additional footage from the overpass to Lot 6. In addition, he said port officials have retained the "green swath" concept proposed by Leland to create open space and separate property uses. However, the numerous waterways, fountains and small ponds have not been included, although he said they could be added back in at some point in the future if funding permits.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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