The Columbia press. (Astoria, Or.) 1949-current, January 29, 2021, Image 1

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    The Columbia Press
50 ¢
Clatsop County’s Independent Weekly
City signs up for
e-permits, a
boon to builders
January 29, 2021
Crime rate drops, thanks to pandemic
By Cindy Yingst
The Columbia Press
The Columbia Press
Contractors who do work in War-
renton will have an easier way of ob-
taining building permits soon.
The city is joining the state’s e-per-
mit program. Clatsop County joined
a year ago.
In addition to making it easier for
contractors, the program should also
lessen the load for one of the county’s
smallest planning departments.
“The whole department is pretty ex-
cited about the process,” City Manag-
er Linda Engbretson said. “We wait-
ed until the county had put it in place
and worked out some of the bugs, so
we’re ready to move forward.”
The e-permit system was developed
in 2008 and allows contractors to ap-
ply for building permits online, there-
by making the process more flexible
and lessening the need for on-duty
city staff at all hours.
Nearly 50 cities and 29 of Oregon’s
36 counties use the system.
“In my first term, I heard a lot of
complaints about the planning direc-
tor,” City Commissioner Rick Newton
See ‘E-permits’ on Page 7
Vol. 5, Issue 5
Walmart accounted for 34 percent of Warrenton’s police calls.
The pandemic likely contributed to a de-
crease in crime during 2020, Warrenton’s po-
lice chief said.
There were fewer opportunities for bad be-
havior, such as drunken driving, because eat-
ing and drinking establishments were closed,
fewer tourists were in town, and residents
were asked to stay home.
Traffic collisions and other infractions took
a 34 percent dip, going from 2,461 in 2019 to
1,629 in 2020.
“I see this as a direct effect of the pandemic,
with fewer people on the roadways during the
tourist season, a change in patrol tactics mak-
ing fewer stops at the beginning of the pan-
demic, moratoriums on expired plates, etc.,”
Chief Matt Workman wrote in his annual re-
port, which he presented to city commission-
ers at their Tuesday night meeting.
The department also was short-staffed
throughout the year, which meant there were
fewer officers handling traffic calls, he said.
Instances of drunk or drugged driving
dropped 35 percent, from 46 in 2019 to 30 last
“Again, this can be attributed to the same
reasons for the decrease in traffic events,”
Workman said.
Even drug offenses were down in 2020
See ‘Crimes’ on Page 4