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Water tower will get seismic retrofitting

The 50,000-gallon tank atop a 210-foot tower on Wonder Stump Road provides water to the city's 15,000 customers. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
 The elevated water tank on Wonder Stump Road and U.S. 101 should be ready for a ground shaking by the middle of next year with $584,080 worth of upgrades that will mostly be paid for using Proposition 84 funding.

On Monday, the Crescent City Council approved a grant agreement with Humboldt County, the administrator of Prop. 84 funds for the North Coast. The agreement commits the city to paying for 25-percent of the project, or $146,020.

The rest of the bill — $438,060 — will be taken care of by the state using funds allocated by the passing of a 2006 bond act meant to promote water conservation and prevent or reduce contamination of bodies of water during storms, according to the California Water Resources Control Board.

After tough year, senior ctr., CASA funding restored

After a year of struggling to maintain services, things are looking up for local programs providing assistance to seniors and foster kids in Del Norte County.

The county’s request for up Community Development Block Grant funding was approved this year. Del Norte will receive $1.8 million, county administrative analyst Toni Self told Supervisors on Tuesday.

The Del Norte Senior Center’s nutrition program and and local Court Appointed Special Advocates program will receive $232,558 each, which will help fund their services for two years. The county allocated $162,558 for ADA upgrades at the Smith River Community Hall. More than $1 million in CDBG funding will also be used for bicycle and pedestrian improvements near Bess Maxwell Elementary School, Crescent Elk Middle School, Del Norte High School and Castle Rock Charter School.

Request by tribe irks Brookings officials

The Brookings mayor and city manager aren’t happy with the request by Tolowa Dee-Ni’ Nation, formerly named Smith River Rancheria, to transfer its Brookings apartment property to federal ownership, effectively making it exempt from local taxes, development fees and building and zoning codes.

“The transfer means they would get out of paying property taxes but keep using the city services — police, water, sewer — for free,” Mayor Ron Hedenskog said Thursday.

Also, the property owners, Tolowa Dee-Ni’ Nation, would be exempt from paying county taxes and those for special district.

Officials support mining withdrawal

Much like the last opportunity to voice formal opposition to proposed mining operations in the North Fork Smith River basin, the Crescent City Council and the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors both unanimously supported writing letters this week in support of mineral withdrawal for regions in southwest Oregon targeted for hard rock mining.

Mineral withdrawal would prevent future mining claims from being made in the withdrawn area and make it more difficult for mining projects on existing claims to move forward.  The Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service have proposed a five-year mineral withdrawal while legislation for a longer mineral withdrawal is considered in Congress.  A two-year withdrawal was implemented while environmental analysis is completed for the five-year withdrawal.

“This is of interest to our board because of the impacts that it would have on our North Fork of the Smith River watershed because of potential strip mining that would occur in the Baldface Creek watershed,” said Heidi Kunstal told supervisors on Tuesday. Kunstal recently attended a public comment meeting as staff of the county’s Environmental Review Committee.  At the Gold Beach meeting, Kunstal said “There was support for the withdrawal because everyone is in support of having clean water.”

Loan change opens funds for terminal

Multiple grants the past few months means clear skies and cruising altitude for work at the airport.

Recent support from the Oregon Department of Transportation and the California Natural Resources Agency has reduced the financial burden for the Border Coast Regional Airport Authority. For the BCRAA, it means they won’t have to rely so much on their $1.8 million loan from Del Norte County.

“While we’ve had to use some of the loan, it’s greatly reduced,” said Susan Daugherty, Airport program manager. “What I project we’ll have to use is $450,000.”

Cave Junction woman killed in rollover

One Cave Junction woman was killed and another injured in a rollover accident near Wilderville on Tuesday afternoon, according to Oregon State Police.

Jacqueline Ihara-Stafford, 63, was westbound on U.S. 199 when her Mazda sedan drifted off the road near milepost 13, police said. Emergency crews pronounced her dead at the scene and took her passenger, Carolyn Stillett, 61, to a local hospital for treatment of non-severe injuries, according to police.

Volunteers sought for Tsunami Plaza cleanup

A local community service organization is seeking volunteers Saturday as it helps to beautify Tsunami Plaza ahead of this year’s Sea Cruise car show.

JustServe is seeking a minimum of 20 adults to plant trees, stain benches and clean the area. Folks should bring shovels, hoes, hand tools for pulling weeds, gloves, eye protection, drinking water and protection from the sun and weather.

Specialized equipment will be provided by Crescent City. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will provide the insurance.

Emergency dispatch call logs, Sept. 21-22, 2015

Excerpts from the call logs for the Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office and the Crescent City Police Department, September 21-22:

Monday, September 21st

At 7:20 a.m., caller reports a suspicious person banging on the door and yelling at a business on the 100 block of Butte Street.

At 8:08 a.m., caller reports his tires were slashed over the weekend on the 1700 block of Del Mar Road.

At 8:10 a.m., caller reports a person was causing a disturbance and refusing to leave at Clifford Kamph Park.

At 9:49 a.m., caller reports people squatting on the river bar of South Bank Road and would like them removed.

Del Norte Golf Course: Back on the market

Del Norte Golf Course had a prospective buyer who wanted to turn the site into an agricultural venture, but financing could not be secured. Del Norte Triplicate file / Bryant Anderson
 Del Norte Golf Course is back on the market after a deal fell through, killed not by local opposition but by banks refusing to finance.

“No bank we found was willing to provide financing for the purchase of a golf course, regardless of our intentions with it,” said Sagi Ayalon of New York, who planned to purchase the course and create a local model for permaculture farming in the area.

Ayalo said his goal was to create a sustainable agriculture project premised on “recreating a forest, but with a focus on edible crops.” He emphasized it would have been on a  “community and personal level,” rather than a commercial priority.

Short chosen for vacant seat

Darrin Short, chairman for the Crescent City Planning Commission and a lieutenant at Pelican Bay State Prison, will take Mayor Pro Tem Rich Enea’s seat when he leaves office next month, the Crescent City Council determined Monday.

Seven people applied for the 8-month appointment and were publicly vetted by the City Council at a special 4 p.m. meeting.

Enea announced his resignation in August. He will be moving out of the area “due to health reasons,” he said.

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