Event planned for Astoria

community development candidates

Two candidates for Astoria’s long-vacant community development director post will be introduced at a public meet-and-greet event on July 30.

The event will give the community a chance to meet the candidates and ask questions ahead of a round of formal interviews. The candidates’ names will be released at the event.

An event had been scheduled for earlier in the month but was postponed after the candidates asked for additional time to prepare for the public interview process and gather information about Astoria.

City Manager Brett Estes has struggled to fill the community development director position since Kevin Cronin left the job nearly two years ago. Estes has come close to making a hire several times, but people withdrew their names for personal reasons.

The City Council approved a pay bump for the position, following a recommendation from the recruiting company Estes hired to help with the search. Estes said one hurdle has been when a candidate, moving from a more urban area, has a spouse who may struggle to find comparable employment on the North Coast.

The meet-and-greet event will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Clatsop Community College, Columbia Hall, Room 219, 1651 Lexington Ave.

County seeks comment on

Astoria Marine cleanup

Environmental firm Maul Foster Alongi is seeking a conditional use permit to begin the long-awaited cleanup of the former Astoria Marine Construction Co. shipyard on the Lewis and Clark River.

The shipyard began to manufacture and repair wooden-hulled vessels in 1924. During World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, the company made military vessels, at one time employing 400 people.

Investigators found petroleum, heavy metals and tin-laden organic compounds in the groundwater and soil around the shipyard and surrounding riverbed. The state Department of Environmental Quality in 2017 finalized a plan to excavate, replace, cover and cap contaminated soil.

The cleanup is expected to cost between $3 million and $3.5 million, paid for by $3.8 million Astoria Marine recovered from insurance policies issued in the 1960s and ‘70s.

Carson Bowler, an attorney for Astoria Marine, has previously said the cleanup will be completed around the end of the year.

Clatsop County is taking comments on Maul Foster’s application until 4 p.m. Monday. Email comments to comdev@co.clatsop.or.us or mail them to: Community Development Department 800 Exchange Street, Suite 100 Astoria, OR., 97103.

Brownson to hold meet-and-greet event

Astoria City Councilor Tom Brownson is holding a “Meet Your Councilor” event from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday at 3 Cups Coffee, 279 W. Marine Drive.

Residents are invited to express their thoughts about what’s going on in Astoria.

The Astorian

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