Port fits key piece in waterfront puzzle

Officials purchase industrial property from local company in efforts to help complete master plan work

Although the latest waterfront master plan may be a little dusty it is in no danger of being shelved like past efforts.

“We’re down to very few issues and are having ongoing discussions with the city so everything’s going well,” said Dave Harlan, Hood River Port Director.

Last week the port finalized a deal with Fast Serve Hood River, Inc., for a parcel of land that will play a key role in development of the 31 acres from the Hood River to the riverside jetty known as the Hook.

The .8 acre industrial property lies just north of the Texaco gasoline station at the base of the Second Street Overpass and was purchased for $537,000.

“We’re real happy to have worked with the city and port to allow their vision to go forward,” said Bob Barman, Fast Serve president. “I see this as a real win-win for the city and the community and we’re happy to be a part of that.”

Harlan said now that another key piece has been fitted into the waterfront puzzle, the port only has to nail down a few final zoning details with city planners before the “do-able” model can be presented to the public.

“Purchasing this property has been a top port goal to help bring the plan closer to reality,” said Harlan.

The current design work began in the fall of 2000 and was expected to be completed by the end of that same year. However, the port ran into a major roadblock when the conceptual drawing unveiled by the Leland Consulting Group, hired to frame the project, had a $12 million or higher price tag.

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

Harlan said the port board has been determined that the latest planning effort not join the stack of sketches from scuttled efforts in the past. He said while the modified plan is not as visually stimulating as the draft presented by Leland in late 2000, it is affordable at $5 million and still provides plenty of mixed-used opportunities.

The port and city have agreed to work together on the master plan to prevent a reoccurrence of conflicts over zoning that surfaced during the development of the original document in 1994. The goal of the two agencies is to improve land use, create more family wage jobs, provide recreational use attractions, and link the waterfront with downtown Hood River and the surrounding area.

The new plan has retained the “green swath” concept proposed by Leland and includes a walking path and use of landscaped open space to separate property uses. However, the road network has been modified so that is no longer crosses private property or splits buildable parcels, better preserving 11-acres of developable property which had been cut into “odd-shaped” lots.

Harlan said once the remaining zoning details have been finalized, the updated plan will be forwarded to the city council for review.

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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 www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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