ILWACO - With Ilwaco High School to be moved from its present location to Hilltop in the near future, city officials and residents raised a variety of concerns regarding the plan at the Ilwaco City Council meeting on Monday.
With limited parking areas currently surrounding Hilltop, nearby citizens are concerned as to how the school will be able to accommodate parking spaces for faculty, staff and students. Hilltop neighbor Ann Saari noted that the school has only planned for approximately 30 parking spaces for faculty and staff, which leaves the question - where will the students be parking? According to council member David Jensen, the school superintendent assures that student parking will remain in the existing IHS lot, which will leave students to walk up the hill to class.
Concerned for student safety, council has been trying to find funding to create a safe walkway for students to use between the parking lot and Hilltop. Jensen said that several grants they have applied for have been denied but they will continue to seek other ways of funding in order to create a path that would start on Spruce Street, continue onto Brumbach Avenue, and along School Road to U.S. 101 next to the transit stop.
"After working at the school for 10 years, I can tell you that those kids aren't going to park in that lot and walk three blocks to class," said Saari. "They will park as close to the door as possible, whether they are legally parked or not. ... I will be keeping a list of phone numbers to call. And every time a student parks in my husband's spot [on the street], I will be calling down that list to complain."
Amongst discussion of possible solutions, council member Fred Marshall suggested that the school require parking permits during school hours. Long Beach Police Chief Flint Wright explained that during peak times in Long Beach, officers chalk tires to enforce timed parking.
Other complaints regarding the renovation included the condition of Hemlock Street and the legalities of construction businesses parking illegally.
Cape ColumbiaThe night's guest was R.D. Williams, a representative from Friends of Cape Columbia, who came to ask council for funding. The group is comprised of local residents who feel that the Long Beach Peninsula should be renamed "Cape Columbia". According to Williams, renaming the Peninsula would promote economic and community development.
"Our intent is to engage more people about this project and to essentially link everyone together and build bridges and unity," explained Williams.
In 2005, council provided $500 to the Ocean Park Area Chamber of Commerce, in hopes that the funding would help to put the project on the ballot so that residents could decide whether they wanted to rename the peninsula. Since then, the Ocean Park Area Chamber of Commerce is no longer the organization leading the project and the Friends of Cape Columbia has taken the reigns.
"The reason we gave them the money was so that the people could vote," explained Mayor Doug Hubbard.
"Let the public speak, let them have their say," agreed council member Mike Cassinelli.
After some debate, council moved to give the Friends of Cape Columbia $500 under the stipulation that the chamber of commerce returns their $500.
In other business, council adopted a new resolution to repeal a previous pay scale resolution, a resolution to amend personnel policy, an employee pay scale ordinance and approved a shoreline substantial development permit for Larry Brocker at the Port of Ilwaco.