LONG BEACH - At Monday night's meeting Long Beach City Council members and the public heard about the bronze tree making its way down the Columbia River, a report on the safety of the beach and listened to business as usual.
The meeting opened with the usual reports from members of city council that everything in Long Beach is running smoothly, and Mayor Dale Jacobson told of his trip to eastern Washin-gton to see the bronze tree destined for a position on the Discovery Trail.
The sculpture is artist Stanley Wanlass' representation of the tree where William Clark is said to have carved his initials nearly 200 years ago on a walk up the Peninsula. Jacobson and the bronze replica of the tree left Clarkston, Wash., on a barge bound for Ilwaco.
"Clarkston was very gracious," said Jacobson. "They lit up the town and had a nice reception for us."
Jacobson reported on the various places along the river the tree had stopped since its voyage began. Richland, Portland, Vancouver and Long View all received the tree with open arms, and the whole trip has received a great deal of publicity for the Peninsula.
"If you added up all the space that has been dedicated in newspapers around the area to this tree, I think it would equate to upwards of $50,000 in free advertising," said Jacobson. "You know when you have a photo on the front page of a major metropolitan newspaper you have hit the bullseye."
The tree will be at the Columbia River Maritime Museum in Astoria on Thursday and Friday of this week and will be in Ilwaco at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 11.
Report on summer safetyDoug Knutsen gave a report on the success of the Beach Patrol program and said this year the patrol made more saves and more swimmer contacts than in the past. He also credited the Beach Patrol with three confirmed saves. (See related story on Page A15.)
"We had what I thought was a very successful year," said Knutsen. "We can credit your beach patrol with three definite saves. These probably would have been lives lost if you had not ponied up and supplied the Beach Patrol for the year. Three of those people went to the hospital in critical condition; all three of them lived. But it was due to the fact that we were on the beach when the call came in."
Knutsen thought the city council should be proud of themselves for encouraging Beach Patrol efforts, and said "I think you guys can pat yourself on the back for that too. We appreciate the support. "
Jacobson thanked Knutsen and commended him on his efforts saying, "Great dedication. We appreciate people like you."
Wastewater loanThe city council decided to pass Resolution 2003-8 and authorize a loan to the city from the Washington Department of Ecology for up to $3.2 million for construction and upkeep at the Long Beach wastewater treatment plant. The payments will be made over the next 20 years at 1.5 percent interest.
City Administrator Nabiel Shawa said the city will continue to look for grant money for the federally-mandated improvements, but it is unlikely that the all improvements will be made with money from grants. Shawa said he was being optimistic by saying they might receive as much 50 percent, and the city will use the loan for gap financing for anything that is not paid with grant money.
City lots teeter on edge of town
The city and county assessor brought it to the attention of members of the city council that tax lots 376, 377 and 378 located on the east side of Long Beach are located on the city boundary.
It was requested by the assessor that the city amend the city boundary to either include or exclude those lots.
Members of the city council agreed to begin action to change the boundary by passing Resolution 2003-9 and sending it to the board of county commissioners for their consideration and approval.