WARRENTON - The Warrenton and Hammond marinas are going high-tech.

At Tuesday's regular meeting, the Warrenton City Commission gave a unanimous thumbs-up to installing automated pay stations that accept debit and credit cards as well as cash. The Commission also approved a contract amendment and change order that will allow a pump station to be added to the South Water Reservoir Project, adopted a local improvement district (LID) ordinance to amend the existing ordinance and made appointments to several city boards and committees.

The pay stations for the marinas are stand alone pedestals that resemble ATM machines in both appearance and function. One will be located at the Warrenton launch ramp, another near the Hammond Marina launch ramp and the third near Hammond Marina's parking lot A. The machines will help with accountability, free employees for other duties and reduce long lines during busy fishing seasons, Jane Sweet, assistant to Warrenton Harbormaster Keith Pinkstaff, told the Commission.

The pay stations will be supplied by Northwest Parking Equipment Co. of Seattle, which also provides them to Fort Stevens and other area locations. Each machine costs $15,000, plus a $45 per month server fee and $45 month wireless fee. There's also an annual subscription fee of $495 and an annual software processing fee of $795 for the total installation.

Cost of the pay stations was a hard pill for the Commission to swallow at first, but City Manager Bob Maxfield expects the machines to pay for themselves by increasing collections and freeing staff. "I think we'll see an increase in use and payments (at the marinas)," Maxfield said. Mayor Gil Gramson noted that the machines will also satisfy auditors' concerns about the former cash payment system.

"I've been anxious to see an automatic pay station at our marinas since I got on the Commission," said Frank Orrell. "I support it." The rest of the commissioners joined him in voting yes.

The Commission also voted yes to a change order for the South Water Reservoir Project, which is an enclosed tank on Clatsop Plains that will hold 3.5 million gallons of water. The change order includes $170,000 for additional design services and an additional $11,170 for geotechnical costs for bridge abutments.

The Commission accepted Barry Smith's resignation from the Planning Commission. Gramson praised Smith for his service and civic involvement. The Commission also approved appointments and reappointments to boards and committees including the parks advisory board, budget committee, library board and community center advisory board.

There were three applicants for two vacancies on the Warrenton Business Association board: Patti Atkins, of Seaside, Steve Fulton, of Astoria, and Mary Iverson, of Warrenton. The WBA recommended Fulton and Atkins for the positions. The Commission approved Fulton, who works for Martin Nygaard, but nixed Atkins after Commissioner Terry Ferguson pointed out that he didn't know Atkins and she lives in Seaside. After the meeting, Gramson said the Commission preferred to appoint people who live in the local community. Atkins works for Providence Seaside Hospital, which operates a clinic in Youngs Bay Plaza in Warrenton.

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