The Columbia press. (Astoria, Or.) 1949-current, April 24, 2020, Image 1

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    T he C olumbia P ress
50 ¢
C latsop C ounty ’ s I ndependent W eekly
April 24, 2020
City banking on a‘lot’ downtown
Plans are part of a
revitalized core
Vol. 4, Issue 17
Man dies after
arrest involving
stun gun
B y C indy y ingst
B y C indy y ingst
The Columbia Press
The Columbia Press
A Warrenton man arrested after
creating a disturbance downtown
died while in custody.
Alexander Jimenez, 34, of War-
renton was pronounced dead at Co-
lumbia Memorial Hospital later that
Officers had used a stun gun on the
uncooperative man.
“He’d been running around in the
road and somebody had to do some-
thing,” District Attorney Ron Brown
said. “We’re trying not to put people
in jail for lesser offenses, but there
was not a lot the cops could do other
than get him out of the road.”
Police were called to the disturbance
at 5:03 p.m. April 17 at Main Avenue
and Southwest First Street, near the
post office.
A few minutes later, dispatchers
asked medics to respond when he
began experiencing some medical is-
sues from the stun gun.
Toxicology tests were sent to the
An unpaved parking lot in the heart
of downtown Warrenton is the focus
of current revitalization efforts.
The lot, just south of City Hall, will
benefit from some new decorative
lighting going in at the bench in front
of the fire station and in the adjacent
City Hall parking lot.
Warrenton’s Urban Renewal Agen-
cy approved a $43,791 contract
with Columbia Electric Supply of
Longview, Wash., for Holophane
lights and materials. A second con-
tract, for $30,800, was awarded to
Bogh Electric of Warrenton to install
the six pre-cast concrete bases, light
poles and fixtures, all to be controlled
by photo cells.
Community Development Director
Kevin Cronin is working on a design
for more direct improvements to the
lot. Paving is at the top of the list,
but other additions include electri-
cal hookups, a covered seating area,
public picnic tables and a gray-water
The Tres Bro’s food truck is the lone occupant of a gravel lot that’s be-
come a linchpin in Warrenton’s efforts to improve downtown’s economic
viability. The future location of Arnie’s Cafe is nearing completion on the
disposal site for future
food-pod tenants.
Lack of an electrical
hookup discouraged
Sasquatch Sandwich
from locating a food
truck next to Tres
Bro’s earlier this year.
“We’ve talked about
this project for years
and years and years,”
City Manager Linda Engbretson said of
the lot improvements. “It was in the
original urban renewal plan.”
But nearly all the tax money raised
the first decade in the urban renewal
district, which includes downtown
and properties south almost to the
high school, went to fund an expen-
sive overhaul of Warrenton Marina.
The urban renewal agency is now
well into its second decade.
“Since we have to put lights in this
See ‘Lot’ on Page 6
See ‘Stun gun’ on Page 6
Marina’s bench teeters on the edge, resident warns
The Columbia Press
The city has cordoned off a sec-
tion of eroding beach near Ham-
mond Marina.
The picturesque site on a small
bluff includes hiking trails and a
bench for gazing at the Columbia
River and boat traffic.
The bench is teetering at the ero-
sion line and the city needs to do
more to prevent those tempted to
use it from getting hurt, a nearby
resident contends.
Kathleen Hudson and her hus-
band regularly walk to the marina
and have enjoyed the bench and its
views many times.
“Today we noticed how much the
beach has washed into the sand
bank,” Hudson said. She asked the
city to take action.
The bench and its installation
behind St. Francis de Sales Catho-
lic Church was donated to the city
many years ago by the nonprofit
Northwest Coast Trails Coalition.
“One of the problems for that area
is the erosion caused by off-road
vehicle use that really should end,”
Tessa Scheller, chair of the coalition,
wrote to Hudson and city officials in
an email. “It is a dedicated trail, not
a roadway, as detailed in the 1994
and 2008 city waterfront and trail
City Manager Linda Engbretson,
Police Chief Matt Workman and
Harbormaster Jane Sweet assessed
the problem on the strip of land
where the bench is located.
A large bench perched at the edge of a
There have been drug problems in bluff overlooks a rainy Columbia River on
See ‘Bench’ on Page 4 Wednesday.