SEASIDE - Seaside isn't standing still.

Yesterday, Seaside was a small town with a few tourist attractions.

Today, the city is a bustling resort community with lots of activities and some accomplishments.

Tomorrow, Seaside may be the gateway to the Oregon Coast, said Mayor Don Larson, who presented a "state of the city" speech Monday night.

Entitled "Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow," Larson's speech focused on how Seaside is on the move, repairing, rebuilding and ready to head into the future.

"One of our overarching goals is to communicate with our citizens. That's what we're doing tonight: communicating with you so you know what's going on in the city," Larson told nearly 80 people who attended the presentation at the Seaside Civic and Convention Center.

With a series of slides taken by public works Director Neal Wallace, Larson showed how the city is improving its infrastructure, including repairs to the police station, the Prom wall, convention center, bridges and local streets.

In the past few years, the city has installed tsunami sirens, built a new library, constructed a $4 million water tank and erected new restrooms at city parks. Volunteers have built playgrounds in Cartwright and Broadway parks and worked on emergency disaster plans.

Larson said city staff plans to address flooding on U.S. Highway 101; review the zoning map with a goal of retaining the "beach feel" along the Prom area where older, well-kept houses remain; rebuild the football and baseball fields at Broadway Park and improve Seltzer Park; and install sidewalks and place utilities underground along Holladay Drive from 12th Avenue south to Broadway.

Much of the funding for city projects comes from state grants and some federal stimulus money, Larson said.

Larson introduced Seaside resident and professional geologist Tom Horning, who spoke about the proposed development of a Necanicum estuary natural history park. The park will encompass the estuary surrounding the city as well as the mill ponds and all of the city's waterways, Horning said. It also will provide hiking trails into the woods and focus on several Native American archeological sites in the area.

"This could put Seaside on the map," Horning said. "I think it would be regarded as a gateway to the Oregon coast."

While work on the history park will get under way later this summer, more distant projects include building a new outflow system at the city's wastewater treatment plant, replacing several pumping stations and installing an automatic lime system to treat sludge coming from the sewage treatment plant.

In addition to Larson's speech, the results of the city's two-year-long "Vision 20/20" plan also were presented by the Vision project's co-chair Bill Hubbard. City Councilor Gary Diebolt also co-chaired the committee.

Hubbard said 65 people participated in the process, which looked at what the city should do to prepare for the future. Six committees, ranging from city services to social services, gathered suggestions from residents, then organized the suggestions into recommendations for the City Council. The full report will be available this summer at City Hall.

Hubbard noted that "visioning" reaches far into the future, but, he added, "Many visions like this started on the back of napkins."

Among the 53 recommendations in the Vision 20/20 plan were:

? Build a park on South U.S. Highway 101;

? Extend the Prom to the Cove;

? Develop a design review board for commercial properties;

? Relocate the post office;

? Build a bridge on Avenue U;

? Improve drug enforcement;

? Provide more child care;

? Offer more affordable housing;

? Begin a farmers market;

? Enhance wireless Internet access throughout downtown;

? Increase cultural education, especially local Native American historical sites;

? Develop a dog park;

? Plan a Necanicum estuary natural history park;

? Create a performing arts center.


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