Following Seaside’s lead, Gearhart accepted the donation of a beach wheelchair from Randy Anderson.
Early this summer, Anderson teamed with Seaside’s Sunset Empire Park and Recreation to make wheelchairs available to visitors who otherwise might not be able to enjoy access closer to the water.
In July, Anderson appealed to the city of Gearhart to make a similar service available, and the City Council unanimously endorsed the plan.
With a donated wheelchair and administration provided by Gearhart by the Sea, the only cost incurred to the city is a $13 per month insurance policy, according to City Administrator Chad Sweet.
The first wheelchair is now available for visitors, managed Gearhart by the Sea and stored at their North Marion location in McMenamins.
The wheelchair will be stored in the lobby of the office, with a sign saying that it is available for rental, front desk manager Tami Gandy said.
Users will sign a waiver and go directly to the beach via the 10th Street access road.
While Gandy said she hadn’t had experience with this type of wheelchair, one was used at her sister’s wedding in South Carolina to assist a family member. “They were marvelous to work with,” she said. “We’re excited to have this program and we’re hopeful to have another one as soon as possible.”