LONG BEACH - At the most recent Long Beach city council meeting, councilor Fred Cook announced that city of Long Beach Parks and Streets Supervisor Mike Kitzman received an anonymous $5,000 donation to be used in the city's beautification process, specifically lawns and plantings.
Finance Director David Glasson approached council on behalf of the Friends & Family Foundation's request by Brenda Hiatt to place and operate a fireworks stand at the west end of Bolstad Avenue in July.
After review from Long Beach Fire Chief David Unruh, Sr., it was determined that the location would not be ideal for a fireworks stand because of the nearby highly flammable dune grass; the lack of an enforceable 100-foot setback; regular traffic congestion would hinder emergency vehicles' response to the area during that time of year; and the nearest hydrant would be approximately 1,300 feet away. In fact, anywhere on Bolstad Avenue was deemed as a poor choice for a fireworks stand.
Council member Gordon Zuern agreed with the fire chief's findings and described Bolstad Avenue as "an inappropriate place for a fireworks stand."
Glasson noted that there are more fitting areas to apply for, such as downtown.
Councilor Ralph Moore made a motion to deny the request, as well as welcome Hiatt to reapply for another sales location. The motion was passed.
Cook added that it was a poor choice by the city to allow fireworks vendors to set up shop on Bolstad Avenue in previous years. He suggested that the city get more involvement from Washington Department of Transportation and Washington State Parks officials for better planning regarding Fourth of July fireworks use on the beach.
Glasson also presented council with a tree removal request from Cedars Inn at 208 Bolstad Avenue West.
In December, City Planner Kaye Simonson sent the hotel's owner a letter after city officials observed him cutting down trees on city property west of the hotel. Simonson informed him that a city permit is required to perform such cutting and that the tree stumps were left at an unsafe height. Simonson also noted that other tree materials were left on the site. The planner gave Cedars Inn 30 days to rectify the situation before city crews performed the cleanup at the owner's expense.
City Parks and the fire department reviewed the request for approval, but added the stipulation that prior to June 30, the trees' debris must be chipped and the stumps could not be more than two inches off the ground.
"Why are we giving them that long? [The debris] has been there for six months," asked Moore, who suggested the city give them 60 days instead.
Simonson agreed, "30 days is doable, 60 days is generous."
Council member Fred Cook added that letting the debris continue to build up creates a bigger hazard than before the trees were cut.
Glasson asked what penalties could be given if the individual doesn't comply with the city's request. Simonson said that there are many possible penalties, but they would be issued at the city's discretion, depending on how it would affect municipal codes and public safety.
Cook motioned to pass the request with an amendment giving the hotel until March 31 to rectify the issue. The motion passed.
In staff reports, Glasson reported that the booster pump station has been taken apart for repairs and should be up and running by this week.
Economic Activities Coordinator Ragan Andrew gave the board an update on her advertising and marketing plans for obtaining more cruise ship visitors. Putting together bags of sample products for an upcoming cruise convention, Andrew asked council to supply funding for 400 handmade miniature kites for $3 each. The kites would be included in the bags, along with saltwater taffy, cranberry items, fudge, a 2008 Discovery Coast Visitors' Guide, a poster and other items.