Thursday, August 4, 2005
News staff writer
May 7, 2005
The Port of Hood River has certified its decision to hand over 6.4 acres of premium waterfront land to citizens for a public park.
On Friday, the port commissioners held a special meeting to sign an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with the City of Hood River. Within weeks the deed to the property valued at $1.4 million will be transferred to the city.
A seven-member Park Development Committee (PDC), appointed by the port and city, will now guide both the design and financing processes for the park, according to a Port of Hood River press release. The new IGA outlines how the property commonly known as Lot 6 will be developed. The text includes a listing of the amenities that will be constructed, including restrooms, a children’s play area, group picnic facilities and landscaping. The value of the property will be used by the PDC to match state and federal grants that will help fund the community recreational area.
Under the port’s new master planning process, area residents and visitors will get to enjoy a new park that will also help the county get an economic boost.
Officials hope that the new demand for light industrial space at the waterfront will bring in more family-wage job opportunities. They believe an attractive park will help attract new firms to help overcome the area’s high unemployment rate. By retaining zoning that accommodates a business park, the port is hoping to stop local companies from relocating for expansion needs.
The port’s new direction is based, in part, on the looming relocation of Homeshield, which will move from the waterfront to The Dalles later this year. The company could not find affordable “shovel ready” lands within the county and the port wants to prevent a reoccurrence of that scenario.
“We listened to the community, and the community told us it was concerned about a mixed-use zone that would allow residential development on the waterfront,” said Commission President Sherry Bohn. “The port never planned on major residential development — our mission is job creation and we’ve always focused on business development. Sticking with the light industrial zoning should send the clear signal that the port is in business to support business.”
Signing the IGA effectively marked an end to Ordinance 1851, which would have created a waterfront mixed-use zone. Bohn said the port will work to follow many of the ordinance’s standards that restrict building heights, create pedestrian walkways, protect riparian areas and maintain view corridors.
She noted that light industrial activities are no longer limited to heavy manufacturing. More and more, these zones are used to support technology-related companies. Bohn said a prime example of this trend is Renaissance Learning, formerly known as Humanities Software, which will move into the port’s Wasco Business Park this summer.
In upcoming months, the port will design a conceptual waterfront master plan rooted in light industrial zoning. That plan may identify properties at the waterfront that would be better suited for other zoning, such as commercial that allows some retail activity. However, the port expects to focus on retaining light industrial properties for potential business park development.
The port’s emphasis on light industrial land echoes efforts by Hood River County Commission Chair Rodger Schock to strengthen the area’s business base. Schock has undertaken that drive after learning that more than 2,000 people have applied for about 135 positions at Cardinal IG since its opening in early 2004.
For more information regarding the IGA, light industrial property and waterfront development, call the port office at 386-1645 or visit www.portofhoodriver.com.
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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