Bay City grapevine

Over The Back Fence
John R. Sollman, Editor and Publisher

Bay City Grapevine

BAY CITY, January 20, 2016 — Happy New Year, wet as it has turned out to be. Sorry for the long delay in keeping you informed about goings-on in the City, but it’s been a very busy time for the Sollman household.

And the Rains Came
Quite a shower we had Dec. 7 and 8. I swear, I saw the animals pairing up and looking for some kind of Ark to carry them safely to dry land.

On Tuesday, Dec. 8, I poured three inches of water from my rain gauge. Quite a bit of rain for a single day. But on the morning of Dec. 9, only 22 hours later, I poured out five and one quarter inches. Now that’s a load of rain in anyone’s book. But my voyage of discovery was only just beginning.

As I drove down my gravel drive, I saw that most of my gravel had been washed down onto Portland Ave., the water having scoured out several channels down my drive. When I reached Portland Ave., looking to the west, I saw what appeared to be a miniature version of the forest I saw in the middle of Portland Ave. following the storm of Dec. 2007.

A lot of dirt and brush had sloughed off the properties bordering Portland Ave., and the place was a mess.

Later in the day, when I turned onto 9th Street, I found that the southbound lane had been lost in a big sinkhole. It doesn’t appear that 9th Street will be reopened any time soon.

Bob Miles, whom I saw at the Center Market, told me that Patterson Creek had overflowed its banks in the Al Griffin Memorial Park.

I’m sure that I have just scratched the surface of the storm damage in Bay City.

Later in the day, the City crew had cleaned up most of Portland Ave., including some of the gravel that had washed down from my drive. Looks like I’m going to need to replace some rock. But much of it had become rounded over years of use, so it’s probably time to get some new, sharper rock anyway.

T.J. Robinette
T.J. Robinette’s need continues, and will for some time.

T.J. had corrective surgery earlier in November, and his mom, Heather, said he is doing well.

She told us that he was looking forward to eating his favorite foods, but he’s impatient having to go at it so slowly. He has found that, after a long period of minimal use, his innards have to rebuild their muscle tone to be able to handle all of his favorite goodies.

An account, the Robinette Family Fund, is still accepting donations at Umpqua Bank.

Burning Season
Remember, this being a new year, you’ll need to renew your burn permit before doing any burning. Burn permits can be obtained at the City Office, and there is no charge.

Please note that the City Office remains open half days, until the new employee, Debbie Pohs, is fully up to speed. And, Debbie, welcome aboard, if you’ll pardon the Navy lingo.

Dog Lovers Take Note
The new year is upon us in all its fury. But, in addition to working on our abominable taxes, we need to do something for our pooches as well. They need to get their licenses renewed. I did the deed in December, and my dog got an interesting number. It’s 007. But she doesn’t behave much like a master spy, but more like a cuddly ball of fur in search of treats.

City Council
Once again, the City Council has held two meetings since I last published the Back Fence. I will try to summarize them because so much time has passed, and old men tend to forget things if they wait too long to write about them. Like me!

On December 7, the City Council, at its monthly workshop, heard a report from Scott Bailey on the condition and restoration of the culverts along Patterson Creek. Little did he, or the Council, know what was about to befall the City over the next several days. The culverts were about to get a real workout.

Bailey noted that repair or replacement of the culverts would also involve some revisions to the wastewater collection system as well.

The Council meeting was rescheduled to Dec. 15, owing to the flooding and other problems arising from the massive rainstorm the week of Dec. 7.

The Council held a public hearing, and adopted Ordinance 668, the revised Personnel Ordinance, and declared an emergency to permit the ordinance to take effect immediately. The ordinance revises the pay scales by renaming the lowest level and adding a level at the top. The ordinance also brings the description of the Fire Chief’s duties up to date and adds a description for the duties of the newly-created position of Code Enforcement Officer.

The Fire Chief’s revised stipend of $1,200 will be retroactive to July 1, 2015.

Fire Chief Darrell Griffith reported that the Fire Department had 19 active volunteers, of which two are trainees and one a cadet. He also discussed mitigation of emergency conditions around the fire station, and sand bagging if necessary.

He added that storm damage in Bay City was less than some areas in Tillamook.

Darrell also reported that he had activated his Department Operations Center during the storm, posted signs and cones to route traffic around problem areas and placed warning signs on U.S. 101 to warn motorists of the high water in the northbound lane near Tillamook Ave. He said he was advised of plans to evacuate the Tillamook Bay City RV Park, with some campers choosing to shelter in place. The Department also closed several roads in the vicinity of Patterson Creek flooding.

Public Works Superintendent Brian Bettis reported that the culverts at 7th, 8th and 9th Streets were not in good shape following the flooding, and that there was a log in Patterson Creek between 4th and 5th Streets.

“Extremely high storm tides and more than seven inches rain make for a no-win situation,” he commented.

Under Unfinished Business, Joanne Schaeffer’s request to rebuild her retaining wall into the Seattle Ave. right-of-way was postponed to January.

The Council approved Mayor Shaena Peterson’s appointment of Dee Harguth to the City Council, and Dee was sworn in by Attorney Lois Albritght.

The Council also declared a “partial state of emergency” following the December storms. This will allow staff to apply for disaster relief funds.

A request from the City of Rockaway Beach for a letter of support for a grant from TLT (Transient Lodging Tax) funds to make improvements to their Civic Facility Kitchen led to a discussion of the need to upgrade the Bay City kitchen to meet public health standards for kitchens serving the public. Darrel noted that the County has gotten much stricter in approving public feeding events, and said a qualifying kitchen would enable the Bay Community Hall to shelter people following a disaster.

Shaena presented her list of goals for 2016 and beyond, and set a meeting following the January Council workshop to review them.

She also commented on the Salmonberry Rails and Trails project, and urged that the City sign on to the Year of Wellness being promoted in Tillamook County.

The Council’s January meeting was held January 12.

First item of business was committee assignments and appointments. The Council also approved Shaena’s appointment of Mark Harguth to the Planning Commission.

Joanne Schaeffer’s request to build her retaining wall into the Seattle Ave. right-of-way was taken up as the first item of business. Engineer Rich Gitschlag had written a report on the proposed retaining wall rebuild, and Joanne made a short presentation.

In his written report, Brian Bettis said that the extension of the brick retaining wall would neither help nor hinder the City. He said the extension might help the downhill property somewhat. If the retaining wall is not permitted, then a ditch would have to be dug and a culvert placed under the downhill property’s driveway.

Following a brief discussion, the Council denied Schjaeffer’s request to rebuild the retaining wall into the Seattle Ave. right-of-way.

County Librarian Sara Charlton discussed renewing the library’s contract with the City of Bay City for another five years. Attorney Lois Albright had reviewed the contract and noted there were some provisions that would have to be modified. Lois said she would draft her suggested modifications and forward them to Sara for her review. The contract would be considered at t future meeting of the Council.

Darrell reported on a number of goals for the Fire Department in 2016. Also, he requested that the City reactivate the Emergency Management Mitigation Committee, noting the weaknesses the recent flooding had brought to light in the Department’s inter-city communication plan and the department’s own equipment inventory. The Department needs to improve its signage and access barriers, and obtain high-visibility clothing to be worn during extended emergencies.

Darrell also reported on recruiting new volunteers to get ahead of attrition. He also reported that the 1999 Ford will need to be replaced in the foreseeable future. Although it has only 7,000 miles on it, the stress on the vehicle’s body parts will result in failure and heavy repair costs.

Brian reported that the Portland Ave. slide would cost approximately $217 thousand to stabilize and repair, with the 9th St. sinkhole costing somewhat less. He will know better after he meets with FEMA.

Shaena reported that Harold Weber had appeared before the Jan. 11 Council workshop and agreed to have the sewer connection completed. He presented the City with a check for $550 to cover the connection fee. That is the rate he would have paid had he connected when the City annexed the area in 1983.

The Council set June 10 as the date by which the work must be started, and August 10 as the date by which the work must be completed.

The Council approved a contract with Aha Inc. for $3,000 to design a new Web site for the City.

Shaena reported on the Goal Setting committee, and scheduled a Town Hall meeting on Goal Setting for Feb. 25.

Darrell reported that the shell pile at Pacific Oyster is larger than he has ever seen it, and noted that oyster shells are being dumped into the bay. Councilor Dave Olson said the shells are transported to Washington to grow oysters there, and that he would speak to the people at the oyster plant about the problem.




Back Fence continued. . . Past issues 2015

2014 2013 2012

Bay City Boosters
The Boosters Club’s efforts to provide the City’s first Christmas lights got washed out. The display was beautiful when it was turned on after Thanksgiving. But the December storms came upon the City and the Boosters’ beautiful lighting got drowned. Talk about Scrooge! The Boosters had obtained a grant from Tillamook P.U.D. to light the sign and provide connections for the Christmas lighting in the red rock area.

I’m sure that the lights --- waterproof lights --- will grace the red rock area next Christmas season.

The Boosters held their Christmas Party on Friday, December 18, at noon.

The next Boosters meeting will be at noon, Friday, January 29. Bring an auction, and some nonperishable food for the Food Bank.

Little Fish
Diane Griffin reported that the fish eggs placed in the library fish tank in late December have hatched, and the little guys, egg sacs and all, are swimming about. She said the fish would be released into Patterson Creek in late February or early March.

Stop by the library and check their progress.

Reservations for the DAV Van
County Service Officer Bill Hatton announced recently that there has been a change in the scheduling of the DAV van that carries veterans to their medical appointments in the Valley. Dispatching of all vans statewide is now centralized in Portland. To schedule a ride, you must call 800-949-1004, ext. 57804, or 503-721-7804, at least four business days before your appointment. Appointments scheduled between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. are eligible for a return trip on the same day.

When scheduling a reservation, provide your pick-up city and date, name and last four digits of your SSN, your phone number, and time and location of your appointment.

Volunteers Needed for Vets’ Service
County Veterans’ Service Officer Bill Hatton is seeking volunteers to drive the van to clinics in Hillsboro and the Veterans’ Hospital. You do not have to be a veteran to drive the van. If you’re interested in a very worthy cause, helping our county’s veterans, give the Vets’ Service Office a call at 503-842-4358.

Veterans’ Service Office
Veterans’ Service Officer Bill Hatton announced recently that the office has been moved. The Veterans’ Service Office is now located in the basement of the Court House. Handicapped parking is available near the rear entrance to the Court House.

Bill also wants veterans to know that the DAV van will continue to depart from the Transportation Building on 3rd Street.

VFW Activity
VFW Post 2848 held a modest Christmas celebration in December. With all the weather problems and flooding, many members chose to remain home and dry.

Members of the Veterans Day committee met with Phyllis Rice and the Air Museum employees to thank them for the outstanding job they did hosting the Veterans Day Celebration.

The post next meets Thursday, January 21, at 1800 hours.

Worn Flags
I often get calls about disposal of worn U.S. flags. Worn flags are to be burned respectfully, and never thrown in the trash. Respectful burning does not mean throwing them in the burn barrel, either.

Our VFW post has accepted many worn flags for disposal. We take them to Waud’s Funeral Home, where they are cremated with the remains of veterans who have died. I can’t think of a more respectful way of disposing of a worn flag than having it accompany a fallen comrade when he or she is being cremated.

“Fresh,” Formerly ArtSpace
Sadly, Fresh is no longer open for business. With luck, perhaps they will change their minds and reopen next summer.

Bay City Arts Center
January Artists of the Month are the BCAC members themselves. Their offerings will be on display the entire month.

I’ve missed the Pancake Breakfast for January, but there will be another on February 20, the third Sunday

BCAC is getting its Toddler Art program back up and running. Contact Leeauna at the BCAC office, (503) 377-9620, for more details.

The Yoga program is currently suspended. Watch for further announcements.

To you Arts Center members, if you have an event you would like included in the weekly member update, please email the Arts Center with “Add to Weekly Update” in the subject line.

And, for all you artists out there, BCAC is looking for people who would like to participate in the Artist of the Month program. If you’re interested, please call Leeauna Perry at the BCAC office. Selected artists will be featured for a month during the calendar year. This is a great way to get your work featured and generate some art sales.

Follow BCAC on Facebook to learn the latest details and current schedule of events.

The Arts Center depends upon volunteers to make its many programs possible. Volunteers help host events, do public relations work, or build membership. They also help prepare and serve breakfasts and other meals or refreshments, work on grants, or help out in the greenhouse.

The Arts Center could always use a broad range of items, such as dish towels, toilet paper, paper towels, printer paper, pens, sticky pads, legal size envelopes, tape, toilet bowl cleaner, trash bags and stove pellets. Anything you can contribute would be much appreciated.

If you have questions about the Arts Center or its coming events, please call (503) 377-9620. The email address is:

Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad

During the summer months, OCSR offers round trips from Garibaldi to Rockaway Beach. There may be some special trips posted on the OCSR Web site.

Costs of round trips to Rockaway Beach are: Adults --- $18; Seniors, 62+ --- $17; Children, 3--10, $10; and locomotive cab rides go for $50.

For information about OCSR, you may also call (503) 292-5055.

Bits and Pieces
I am truly sorry for the long delay in getting out my Back Fence. In addition to our frequent trips to the doctor to deal with the process of aging, I lost one of my best friends. And, of course, we have had some pretty bad weather.

So, I have not been able to publish my Back Fence to keep my readers up to date on happenings within the City. I hope to be able to do better in the months to come. Sharline is not able to do as much of what she normally does, so I’m finding myself filling in. And, she doesn’t like it any more than I do.

On the positive side, we are pleased to report that the deer have reappeared. We spotted them the other day as we were heading to Downie’s for one of their wonderful breakfasts.

We sometimes cut up apples and toss them out in the yard, and within a few days, they’re gone. Sharline and I wonder where those critters go to get out of the rain, of which we’ve had a lot during the past two months.

We wish all of you a very happy and successful new year.

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