LONG BEACH — Another gym option is coming to the Peninsula.

At its May 20 meeting, Long Beach City Council approved a request to create a mixed martial arts studio. The council also discussed street improvement projects and other city projects.

Mixed martial arts studio

The council approved a request to create a mixed martial arts studio at 1401 Pacific Avenue N. The same location, which is the former Blue Dolphin Center, will also soon be home to an auto repair shop.

The studio will be led by former MMA fighter Ira Evansen, owner of Valhalla Combat in Seaside. The studio would hold about four events a year, including evening MMA matches.

The studio’s gym would be open 24 hours a day and host classes for all ages.

Washington Avenue

Councilors authorized Mayor Jerry Phillips to apply for funds from the state’s Department of Commerce. The funds would be used to upsize the water main and paving of Washington Avenue South, from Sid Snyder Drive to the city’s southern limits.

The city will compete statewide for the funds. The city could potentially get up to a $750,000 grant from the Department of Commerce. The updates are expected to cost the city $1,131,741.

No one from the public commented on the application during a public comment period.

Idaho Avenue

The council approved a $132,475 agreement to widen and pave Idaho Avenue. The contract is between the city and Pacific County Department of Public Works.

The project should take about 10 days. Pacific County DPW will do the project’s prep work and engineering. The city and Pacific County DPW often work together on projects.

Project updates

City Administrator David Glasson gave councilors an update on several city projects. Code enforcement, the city’s regional biosolids facility, logging, the city’s police station and the potential Seaview annexation were all discussed.

Code enforcement: The city has 14 open code enforcement projects. Since 2017, the city has completed seven projects.

“We’ll probably have to budget another $35,000 next year to continue this process,” Glasson said. “A lot of these take time to go from nothing to demolishing a building.”

Phillips said one of his priorities as mayor is to make the city look more attractive.

Police department: Phillips worked with legislators during the state’s legislative session, ultimately earning the city $700,000 for a new police station. The city’s current station has space for about half of the current Long Beach Police Department staff.

The city’s considering renovating its current station or finding a new location. The former kite museum building has been mentioned as a possibility.

Seaview annexation: The Seaview Historical Preservation Society (SHiPS) will host a community meeting on the possibility of Seaview being annexed into Long Beach. The meeting will be at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 29. The meeting will be held at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum, 115 Lake Street SE.

Glasson, Phillips and Community Development Director Ariel Smith said they are all working on researching what impacts annexation would have.

“We’re trying to turn every rock over to make sure we have our bases covered,” Phillips said.

City staff will present the council with a recommendation on whether annexation should happen, Phillips said.

“It might not make people happy but we’re going to tell people what would happen,” Glasson said. “You can’t do apples to apples.”

4th Street

Councilors approved a street vacation of part of 4th Street NE. Resident John Belisle requested the vacation so he could use the area as a driveway to his home at 310 4th Street NE.

The council chose to charge Belisle for $816. The cost is 50 percent of the property’s market value, and the highest amount the council could sell the property to Belisle for.

At its May 6 meeting, the council held a public hearing. No one commented.

Biosolids treatment facility

Councilors approved an agreement between the city and Tapani, Inc. for the city’s regional biosolids facility. The council awarded the project bid to Tapani at its April 15 meeting. Tapani was the project’s lowest bidder.

The city will be making compost by the end of the year. By January 2020, the city will be using the new facility, Glasson said.

EMS Week

EMS week is May 19 to 25. The week has the theme “beyond the call.”

“The members of emergency medical services teams are ready to provide lifesaving care to those in need 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said Medix paramedic Brian Roth. “Access to quality emergency care dramatically improves the survival and recovery rate of those who experience sudden illness or injury.”

EMS services include physicians, nurses, medical technicians, paramedics, firefighters, educators and administrators.

“The members of emergency medical services teams, whether career or volunteer, engage in thousands of hours of specialized training and continuing education to enhance their lifesaving skills,” Roth said.

Public comment

Potential councilor: Sue Svendsen, who is running for Steven Linhart’s council seat this fall, introduced herself to attendees. She owns the Peninsula Arts Center and served on committees in Clark County.

“I wasn’t quite ready to get involved in city government again but I had a push and a shove so I decided to do it,” Svendsen said.

Svendsen is running against Donald McGuire Jr., Councilor Tina McGuire’s husband.

Reusable bags: Martha Williams told the council she’d like to order 1,500 reusable bags for local businesses to use. She previously helped lead an effort to put 1,500 of the bags in 16 different lodging places on the Peninsula.

“The establishments that do put them out for their guests are so excited,” Williams said. “I want Long Beach to be known as a sustainable economy and sustainable place.

Bicycles: Bill Lauderdale, owner of Long Beach Bicycles, told the council he is upset with the city because he was told he’d be able to place a trailer with mopeds across the street from his business but has since been told he can’t keep his trailer where it is.

“I feel like mopeds are being forced out of Long Beach,” Lauderdale said.

Amanda Marsh, who owns Marsh’s Museum, said she’d be happy to offer some property near the Seaview Laundromat during the weekend so the mopeds could be rented throughout Memorial Day weekend.

The council’s next meeting will be at 7 p.m. on June 3. The public is welcome to attend the meeting, located at Long Beach City Hall, 115 Bolstad Avenue.

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

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