Culbertson Park playground

Wheelchair-friendly playground equipment will be added at Long Beach’s Culbertson Park following an April 1 decision by the city council.

LONG BEACH — Culbertson Park will soon be accessible and enjoyable to all.

At its April 1 meeting, Long Beach City Council approved a purchasing agreement of wheelchair-friendly playground equipment for the park. The council also held workshops on city-owned land and hiring a resource officer; and approved multiple agreements.

The council’s next meeting will be at 7 p.m. on April 15. The public is welcome to attend the meeting, located at Long Beach City Hall, 115 Bolstad Avenue.

Culbertson Park

Councilors authorized the city to purchase playground equipment for Culbertson Park. The equipment will be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act; featuring multiple toys that are wheelchair-friendly.

The city received $35,000 from the Templin Foundation, a local charity. The city will use $25,099 of funds from its 2019 business and occupation tax fund.

The equipment will be purchased from Cascade Recreation. More equipment may be acquired next year.

City recreation

Councilors participated in a workshop in which they reviewed city-owned recreational lands. Six properties and their future potential uses were discussed.

City-owned properties include two lots off Bolstad Avenue, a lot between 8th North and 14th North, a lot between 17th North and 18th North, and a lot off 2nd Street South. The properties were all donated to the city by the state.

The sites will require tree trimming. The city plans to partner with Naselle Youth Camp to clean the sites, said Mayor Jerry Phillips.

Three of the properties will be named after prominent figures on the Peninsula, Phillips said.

The lots must be used for recreation. Ideas for the spots include creating a dog park, an art park, and installing sports gear.

“I like the park idea,” said Councilor Holli Kemmer. “Personally, I’d rather see a skate park before a dog park.”

Councilor Del Murry agreed with Kemmer.

“A designated dog park will bring a few people but the majority won’t use it,” Murry said. “I’ve never seen anyone stump for it.”

Building a dog park would cost less than a skate park, Phillips said.

“We just haven’t used the land. There’s been bad things taking place there,” Phillips said. “We can clean it up so locals and tourists can use it.”

Ocean Beach School District resource officer

Councilors held a workshop discussion on the OBSD’s proposed capital levy. The discussion focused on the possibility of employing a resource officer for the school district.

If the levy passes, OBSD can only pay for the officer during the school year, so the city would need to fund the officer for the remainder of the year. The city’s concern is funding the officer after the levy.

“I’d hate to get rid of an officer after two years who knows everything about our community and our schools,” Phillips said.

Hiring the officer would cost the city about $33,000 per year. Hiring the officer would require purchasing another police vehicle for $48,000. The hiring would also require basic recruitment purchases like sending the officer to police academy and purchasing a uniform.

“How can we not afford it? This is the safety and future of our kids,” Murry said.

Ilwaco may agree to help fund the officer but whether the city will agree to pitch in funds isn’t clear, said City Administrator David Glasson.

Councilors agreed upon the importance and value of a resource officer; encouraging Phillips and Glasson to continue working on finding funding for an officer.

“I really want to see this happen,” Phillips said.

Resolution amending council rules, procedures

Councilors approved a resolution, which amends council rules and procedures. The resolution amendment allows councilors to call or Skype into meetings up to three times a year. The change will allow councilors to participate in meetings despite being out of town.

DOE funding agreement amendment

The council approved an agreement amendment between the city and the Department of Ecology. DOE previously awarded the city $50,000 to complete an engineering report and feasibility study for the city’s regional biosolids plant. The report cost $45,000, requiring the city to amend the original agreement to accurately reflect the report’s cost.

Washington State Patrol agreement

The council approved an agreement between the city and WSP. The agreement covers fire and life safety reviews, and inspections of city construction projects.

The city has used WSP’s general services once in the last 20 years. Building permit application fees collected by the city will be used to cover WSP service fees.

“At times it is necessary to bring in outside experts when reviewing complex plans to ensure the safety of future occupants,” reads the agreement. “This offers the city more flexibility in reviewing plans.”

Alyssa Evans is a staff writer for the Chinook Observer. Contact her at 360-642-8181 or aevans@chinookobserver.com

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