SEASIDE — It’s a smooth road ahead for the Venice Park local improvement district.

The district, which has been on the city’s public works agenda for several years, received its final approval from the Seaside City Council Monday night.

Bids for the project will go out within the next month, and work should begin in the fall. The project could be completed before winter rainstorms arrive, said city Public Works Director Neal Wallace.

Plans call for paving gravel roadways on Pine Street between 25th and 26th avenues, on 25th Avenue between Oregon Street and Neawanna Creek and on 26th Avenue between Oregon and Pine streets. Storm sewer mains and gutters also will be installed.

Residents in the district will each pay approximately $5,531.50. The assessment will be stretched over 20 years, at 6.25 percent interest. However, a lump sum payment can be made any time, said City Manager Mark Winstanley.

Until the city accepts the bids, however, the final amount to be assessed won’t be known, Winstanley said. However, he added, the current estimate of $144,000 for the project is high, so the actual assessment could be lower.

Samantha Krettler, a Pine Street resident, said in a public hearing Monday night that she favored the district but had questions. “We have lived there for 11 years. I’m tired of the dust and the potholes; we keep losing our car,” Krettler said.

She asked Winstanley who would be responsible for maintaining the road. He told her the city would take it over.

Kevin O’Keane, a Pine Street resident who led the effort to pave the area’s streets for more than a decade, expressed surprise that some residents on 25th Avenue east of Queen Street opposed the improvement district. “I hate to throw a burden on other people, but I think a majority are for it,” O’Keane said.

The City Council approved the district 5-0. Councilors Stubby Lyons and Jay Barber were absent.

“This is a super deal,” said Mayor Don Larson. “We are all interested in improving Seaside. There are some nice homes there; it’s a neat area.”

In other business, the City Council accepted a $200,000 check from Mike Hinton, chairman of the Sunset Empire Park and Recreation District. The money will be used to improve the Broadway Park field.

Park District General Manager Mary Blake offered the funds, which had been saved in the district’s building fund, to the city. Although the money had been reserved to construct new indoor space for district programs, the park district was able to use a county-owned building, known as the “Scout Hut” for its programs and decided not to construct more indoor space.

The $200,000 originally came from the sale of the Abel House, which had been donated to the park district. The district sold the Abel House to the city so the city could use the land to build the library.

The total cost for all of the planned improvements at Broadway Park is $1.6 million. The city has also received grants and other donations toward the project.

Larson thanked Hinton for the district’s contribution.

“Without the park district board, we wouldn’t have this,” Larson said about the park’s improvements.

 Larson noted that many volunteers have contributed time to work on the field, including Seaside High School students.

“Volunteers are saving us and our people a lot of money,” Larson said.

Renovation of the ball field is expected to be completed by the end of September, in time for the high school’s homecoming game in October. Wallace said the artificial turf for the ball field will be installed later this week.


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