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About The daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1961-current | View Entire Issue (Dec. 5, 2017)
DailyAstorian.com // TUESDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2017
145TH YEAR, NO. 112
Port struggled to
By EDWARD STRATTON
The Daily Astorian
North Tongue Point, the industrial dock-
side east of Astoria, has been sold by Wash-
ington Development Co. to Hyak Tongue
Point, a tug and barge builder with plans to
create a marine fabrication and repair facility.
The $4.1 million sale was predicated on
the Port Commission agreeing to end the
agency’s 10-year lease two years early.
Port Executive Director Jim Knight said
the Port is clearing out property from the site
and bringing a proposal to the Port Com-
mission tonight for the disposal of a vessel
“It’s really tidying up before we go out
the door,” he said.
The Port entered North Tongue Point in
2009 with hopes of turning the World War
II-era Naval base into a shipping terminal.
The 30-plus acre site, coveted for its access
to a channel of the Columbia River and a
dormant rail spur heading east, includes
140,000 square feet of space split between
two former seaplane hangars and several fin-
The Port struggled to attract the large
tenant and capital needed to modernize the
site or warrant restoring the tracks. The
tracks have been largely dormant since the
closure of Astoria Plywood Mill and made
impassible by a landslide in 2009. Staff have
estimated the Port lost around $2 million
operating the site.
Hyak Tongue Point is associated with
Hyak Maritime, a company building tugs
and barges whose CEO, Robert Dorn,
See TONGUE POINT, Page 7A
rate hikes for
By KATIE FRANKOWICZ
The Daily Astorian
The Astoria City Council voted down a
proposal to increase a surcharge that water
customers outside city limits pay on top of
regular rates, saying it isn’t clear why the
increase is necessary.
An increase to 12.5 percent would have
brought in an extra $12,500 to the city’s
water budget annually — a relatively small
amount, said City Councilors Zetty Nem-
lowill, Cindy Price and Tom Brownson.
Outside customers would have paid an addi-
tional $1.17 a month.
The councilors said it wasn’t clear what
the money raised by the increase would go
Photos by Colin Murphey/The Daily Astorian
A stream that helps feed the 2,100-acre Arch Cape watershed spills over a manmade structure that helps direct the water
to district infrastructure for treatment.
TO THE TAP
Arch Cape community
forest initiative seeks to
protect drinking water
By BRENNA VISSER
The Daily Astorian
RCH CAPE — Beside many of the
winding roads that weave through
Arch Cape’s watershed lie trees
marked with orange tags.
A few years ago, the timber company
that owned the property tried to lessen the
impact of fallen trees, said Phil Chick, the
manager of Arch Cape Water and Sani-
tary District. Three times the amount of
tree mass was left in one section to pre-
vent eroding sediment from flowing into
Shark Creek — the town’s main water
But after a major winter storm, those
trees blew down, too.
“On a steep slope like this, when there
aren’t trees there to stop that water, the
sediment goes into the water intake like a
chute,” Chick said.
The 20-foot buffers required by the
state Forest Practices Act get blown
down during the intense wind storms on
the coast, Chick said. In the winter, some-
times high turbidity from increased sedi-
mentation means Chick can’t make drink-
ing water for four to six days. In previous
years, Arch Cape routinely saw high
readings of trihalomethanes, a carcino-
gen formed when the turbidity caused
from runoff reacted with water cleaning
“(Property owners) are following
the rules. But in this wind, it’s just not
enough. It’s like blowing down match-
sticks,” Chick said.
Water treatment issues are part of the
driving force behind why Arch Cape
Water District and other community part-
Phil Chick, manager of the Arch Cape Water and Sanitary District, looks out over
part of the Arch Cape watershed last week.
ners want their 2,100-acre watershed as a
community forest. The designation would
allow the water district to manage, con-
serve and harvest the forestland as they
see fit with community input.
If acquired, Arch Cape would be one
of the few community-owned forests on
the Oregon Coast.
“The conversation was always there
in the back of people’s minds, but in
the last six months or so, the possibility
has become a vision we are committed
to,” Chick said. “I see this as a holistic
approach to treating and providing safe
water. It’s not about just treating symp-
toms — turbidity, eroding slopes — it’s
about ownership of the entire process
from headwaters to the tap.”
The issues the Arch Cape water dis-
trict has faced are not unique. Rockaway
Beach, a small town of just over 1,300
people south of Manzanita, has problems
with water quality.
In 2013, the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration and the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
nonpoint pollution control program,
claiming practices did not sufficiently
protect salmon streams and land-
slide-prone areas from logging impacts
or reduce runoff from forest roads built
See ARCH CAPE, Page 7A
See WATER RATES, Page 7A
Governor: Tax, spending
options are on their way
Policy ideas for next
By PARIS ACHEN
PORTLAND — Gov. Kate Brown
plans to propose tax overhaul and
cost-containment measures in the com-
ing months to address the state’s ongoing
revenue deficit, she told the annual Ore-
gon Leadership Summit Monday.
Without revealing details of the
proposals, Brown said her office is
developing policy options that could
be presented in time for the legislative
session in February.
Her office is examining “a handful
of options to solve the structural deficit
issues Oregon faces, not just for the short
term but for the long term,” Brown said.
“It is time that we quit kicking this can
down the road.”
But the Legislature’s ability to con-
sider such proposals could hinge on
potential policy changes at the federal
level, Brown said.
The federal tax reform bill being
worked out by Republican lawmakers
has Oregon revenue experts and state
economists scrambling to come up with
Jonathan House/Pamplin Media Group
See GOVERNOR, Page 7A
Gov. Kate Brown speaking at Monday’s Oregon Leadership Summit