Hood River completes City Hall remodel

January 11, 2012

Business as usual.

City Hall is back to that status now that the remodeling project at 201 State St. is, save a few small details, complete.

At Monday's open house, about 25 people took a tour of the renovated building, where the city consolidated its administrative building, formerly at 301 Oak St., on the upper floor, with the police department in the basement.

Changes on the outside from Second Street are subtle: new doorways (and handicapped access) on the main entrance, a new awning over the police department entrance, and masonry that was cleaned and repaired last summer.

More obvious changes are visible from the State Street side, with windows and public and staff entrances installed where a blank wall used to be and a single entrance for police staff.

The police department moved back into the basement last fall after that section of the building was completed, in phase one. Crews then renovated the upstairs, where the large conference room was turned into offices for planning and other departments. The cramped main foyer was opened to provide comfortable access to all departments, including planning, billing, and municipal court, and a new entry to the courtroom that uses double doors that were previously blocked off.

On Monday, project manager Gene Wellman and president Ken Triplett of general Triplett Construction inspected the doorway to the municipal court/council chambers and saw where the woodwork still needed work.

"We're finding some little details that won't cost us much, things we're seeing that probably could be cleaned up," Wellman said.

"I think they did a lot for their money," he said of the $985,000 project, completed in the last two weeks of 2011.

"They did a lot of value engineering ideas. Overall it flows really nice, the colors are nice, and that was the city's (staff) selecting them," Triplett said.

"They kept the character, with the wood trim, not many changes outside other than fixing some things that weren't working."

"There's a lot of older buildings being remodeled, a lot of character with them. They just don't build buildings like this one anymore. Aesthetically, like this one, they're nice structures."

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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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