The Columbia press. (Astoria, Or.) 1949-current, September 14, 2018, Image 1

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

    T he C olumbia P ress
50 ¢
C latsop C ounty ’ s I ndependent W eekly n eWspaper
Vol. 2, Issue 37
September 14, 2018
Two weeks without help is a long time
Major and mid-range disasters could leave residents on their own
B y C indy y ingst
The Columbia Press
Vincent Aarts is Clatsop County’s
emergency management coordina-
So much has changed since the Great
Coastal Gale of 2007. Yet there’s much
to do before Clatsop County is ready for
a repeat.
Part of those preparations were made
Tuesday night, when Warrenton city
commissioners recognized Warren-
ton-Hammond CERT as a group of
trained individuals who can help emer-
gency responders in a disaster.
Another step takes place Sept. 29,
when the city co-sponsors with CERT a
daylong emergency preparedness event
at Warrenton Community Center.
Vincent Aarts, Clatsop County’s emer-
gency management coordinator, has
been working with members of CERT
(Community Emergency Response
Team), as has Bob Johnston, Warren-
ton’s new certified building official. Both
are ham radio operators and devoted to
seeing the county and city as prepared as
Aarts talked about the state of Warren-
ton’s emergency readiness in an inter-
view this week.
Q. What’s the biggest threat to
Clatsop County residents?
See ‘Emergency’ on Page 5
Improvements coming to Highway 101, Ensign intersection
The Columbia Press
Concerns about excessive colli-
sions at what has become the city’s
busiest intersection has prompted
Oregon Department of Transpor-
tation to make some changes there
this weekend.
An ODOT crew will remove the
flashing yellow arrows at the High-
way 101 intersection with Ensign
Lane. Beginning Saturday, the north/
south left-turn lanes on 101 will be
“protected only,” which means trav-
elers must wait for a green arrow
before turning. There will no longer
be “permissive” left turns with the
flashing yellow arrows.
The city of Warrenton asked ODOT
to evaluate how the flashing yellow
arrows were working and the results
made it clear a change was needed,
according to Lou Torres, ODOT’s
public information officer.
There were seven crashes caused
by turning movements at the inter-
section between May 2015 and May
2016, the latest information avail-
able. Since Walmart opened, the city
has noticed a further increase.
Cindy Yingst/The Columbia Press
Cars queue up on Ensign Lane at the intersection with Highway 101.
While most of the crashes during the
study year caused only property dam-
age, ODOT’s policy is to run “protected
only” left-turns if there are more than
five crashes in a 12-month period.
Last month, the city commission
delayed action on a zone change
near the intersection because of
concerns about traffic problems
School district
approves lease
on city’s library
B y C indy y ingst
The Columbia Press
School officials approved a five-
year lease Wednesday night with
the city of Warrenton on the
building that houses Warrenton
Community Library.
The city had signed a lease for
just one year when it moved into
the building last summer. The
former library, housed in the old
city hall building in Hammond,
had structural problems that
made keeping it as a public li-
brary unfeasible.
The five-year lease runs through
May 2023, with the city paying
the school district $2,085 per
“The most expensive repairs
have been done,” Superinten-
dent Mark Jeffery said when
board member Dalan Moss asked
whether the district’s costs could
go up.
The district has owned the build-
ing for years and most recently
had rented the 2,295-square-foot
former bank to Serendipity Café.
The building got a new roof in
2009 and Olson Alphalt Mainte-
nance of Seaside recently paved
the parking lot as a gift to the li-
On Aug. 14, the city signed an
agreement with the state to re-
ceive a $36,566 grant to auto-
mate the library. An intergovern-
mental agreement with the city
of Seaside was signed Aug. 28,
allowing the two cities to share an
integrated library system, sharing
books, materials and a part-time
employee to oversee the automa-
tion process.