CANNON BEACH - Leaders of the Children's Center in Cannon Beach will receive the grant they requested thanks to a unanimous vote by the Cannon Beach City Council Tuesday.

Board members, center staff and parents were on hand to testify on behalf of the center.

Board President Buzz Johnson said there were two primary reasons the center found itself in dire financial straits - the first being a repair and remodel of a room that cost approximately $30,000 and a loss of revenue thanks to the opening of an after-school child care outside the center.

"I would say it's a call for the city to ask 'Do we really want this?'" said Johnson. "It is my feeling that we need this in our town."

Carol Lynch, the director of the center, backed up Johnson's claim of a need within the community, saying the center has a waiting list.

"I have parents calling every day, desperate for child care," said Lynch.

Johnson also spoke of a habit that began in the 1990s of siphoning off funds from the endowment fund to cover regular operating costs.

The grant of $65,000 will be split amongst three allocations for the center. The first $45,000, the traditional request made by the Children's Center, will be applied to operation costs.

The additional funds requested will go to cover lost revenue and to shore up the endowment fund which was drained earlier this year for the room repair and remodel.

Permit is amendedIn other action, Debra Stowers, owner of the Grey Whale Inn, appealed a decision to discontinue her permit-granted access to maintain a garden in a city-owned right-of-way.

It was Stowers' contention that her garden was being maintained within the areas specified in a permit she was granted in 1999.

The city received several complaints from Stowers' neighbors that she had expanded the garden beyond the scope of the permit and was discouraging people in the community from using the right-of-way, despite it being public land.

Both complaints were disputed by Stowers.

"In 1999, the city had no interested in maintaining the right-of-way and that has not changed," she said. According to Stowers, she has done all the maintenance work associated with the right-of-way since her permit was granted in 1999.

After the council heard from both sides, the permit granted to Stowers in 1999 was amended.

She will be allowed to maintain a garden in the eight feet directly adjacent to her property and must remove all other vegetation beyond that eight-foot area by Sept. 1.


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