LONG BEACH — Long Beach city projects are chugging along as February nears.

Long Beach City Council’s Jan. 22 meeting highlighted a variety of city projects and issues. Topics discussed included the Bolstad restrooms renovation; the city’s biosolids treatment facility; a fee waiver; city funding requests; the city’s sewer plan; beach wheelchairs; and Fourth of July fireworks.

Long Beach City Council’s next meeting is at 7 p.m. on Feb. 4 in Long Beach City Hall, 115 Bolstad Avenue. The public is welcome to attend.

Bolstad restrooms

Councilors were given an update on the city’s Bolstad restrooms renovation project.

Councilors rejected all of the city’s bids in September 2018 because they were higher than budgeted for. After rejecting the bids, Mayor Jerry Phillips and City Administrator David Glasson worked on reconfiguring the city’s project design.

The city’s current bathroom design includes a men’s restroom, a women’s restroom and two family restrooms. The facilities will be handicap accessible.

The city is in the process of accepting bids again, with the hopes of having renovations finished this summer.

“To me, this project has drug on way too long,” Phillips said.

Biosolids treatment

The council approved a bid award for a dewatering screw press. The press separates liquids and solids. It will be used at the city’s regional biosolids treatment facility.

The bid award went to Port Angeles’ FKC Company. FKC was the sole project bidder for $400,493.

Train Depot fee waiver

Councilors approved a Train Depot rental fee for the United States Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps will use the depot on March 15 for a training event on Army permits and processes.

The event will be one of many through the Corps’ Southwest Washington Outreach Program. The course is free and open to the public.

“These events serve to improve understanding of the permit process, identify and elaborate on the requirements of a complete permit application, provide a point of contact, and to give the opportunity for people to engage in general discussion and ask questions about specific projects,” states the Corps’ fee waiver request.

Funding requests

The city sent two funding requests to Jay Personius, Port of Peninsula executive director. The requests are for additional beach shelters and an updated sound system.

The city has four wooden beach shelters near the Bolstad approach. The city wants to build four more shelters for the Sid Snyder approach.

“These additional shelters will keep people on the beach longer, giving them a safe and comfortable place to enjoy the natural beauty of the Peninsula,” states the city’s request.

One shelter costs about $14,000, according to the city. About $8,000 are material costs, while the remaining $6,000 is for labor costs.

The city’s sound system needs to be replaced by 2020, as it needs to be replaced roughly every eight years, according to the city. The sound system receives annual maintenance but gets damaged by fine sand and other beach conditions.

“This system is used for events that potentially bring more than 250,000 people to the Peninsula and would be hard to live without,” the request states. “Please consider funding the replacement of the sound system.”

The sound system costs $16,463.

Other business

At its Jan. 7 meeting, councilors approved an agreement between the city and Gray & Osborne. G&O will update the city’s Sewer System Comprehensive Plan. The plan is updated every 20 years and was last updated in May 1999.

Long Beach and Ocean Park recently received beach wheelchairs through an anonymous donor. Long Beach got two wheelchairs and Ocean Park one. The wheelchairs are an inclusive way for anyone to enjoy the beach.

Long Beach got three wheelchairs after City Councilor Holli Kemmer initiated the city’s beach wheelchair program. The program is currently ran by Ragan Myers, tourism and events coordinator for the City of Long Beach.

Over 50 people have used the wheelchairs since the program’s 2016 start.

July 4 fireworks

Councilors heard from two residents, Linda and Tom Wood. They suggested the city reconsider funding Fourth of July fireworks.

“Could we wait one more year?” Linda asked. “People who come to this event aren’t aware the event is ending.”

The couple suggested the city post donation boxes to raise funds for the fireworks, fund-raise throughout the community, and host a combination fireworks and laser show.

“Instead of cutting back we could grow,” Tom said. “It takes money to make money.”

The city is considering a laser light show; a collaborative fireworks show with Ilwaco and Ocean Park; and raising donations for its annual fireworks show. The fireworks show wasn’t included in the city’s 2019 budget, as part of an effort to fund other city priorities.

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

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