Reservoir site

The reservoir site east of the new middle and high school campus in February. The city is seeking ownership of the property.

As a 5-million-gallon, $5.6 million reservoir nears completion in the Southeast Hills, the city and Seaside School District are still carving out a deal to apportion costs. The final terms and deed to the property the reservoir sits on remain in negotiation.

City Manager Mark Winstanley asked councilors last week to reimburse $831,000, covering the city’s portion of cost for roads, communications and other expenses paid by the school district associated with the project.

The reservoir, funded by the city, will provide water to the new middle and high school building, as well as Pacific Ridge Elementary. It will also serve portions of Seaside.

“Not only for the school, but it allowed the city to expand its infrastructure and in the future as the city expands in the east hills, this was an opportunity for us to work with the school district to improve the services the city of Seaside provides,” Winstanley said.

Before distributing the city’s portion of reservoir infrastructure funds to the school district, city councilors Tita Montero, Randy Frank and Seth Morrisey sought assurances that ownership of the 3.28-acre reservoir property would be transferred to the city.

“I’m really concerned we would go ahead and close this with the school district without having full closure on the land part of it,” Montero said.

While an intergovernmental agreement for the parcel was signed last September and the property annexed into Seaside, transfer of the property to the city was deferred.

Ownership of the site, which sits on the 130-acre property donated by Weyerhaeuser Co. in 2016, is one of “a couple of different areas we are still talking with the school district,” Winstanley said. “We do not have deeds in hand yet.”

Another property of interest to the city, Winstanley said, is the portion of the Broadway Middle School property owned by the school district where the chamber of commerce and visitors bureau building is located.

The middle school remains on the market as a single parcel, listed at $2.9 million.

“The city is certainly very interested in retaining that property,” Winstanley said.

Along with the chamber of commerce building, public restrooms are partially on city and partially on school district property, he said.

School district construction project manager Jim Henry said the school district fully intends to “gift and title” the reservoir property to the city.

“Yes, that’s our intent, to give the city the land,” he said. “As long as there is no money involved at all, we have approval from Greenwood Weyerhaeuser. That part is in place. It just hasn’t been executed by the school district and the city.”

At Tuesday night’s Seaside School District meeting, Henry said, the school board will authorize the superintendent or her designee to negotiate and execute the IGA.

The agreement is still in rough draft he said, the general scope laid out from beginning in mid-2019.

Division of the Broadway Middle School property or negotiations about other district properties, including the chamber of commerce building property, have nothing to do with the reservoir project, he added.

“That has nothing to do with what we were talking about,” Henry said. “They (the city) would love to have that conversation. The district isn’t interested in pursuing that at this point. This property here is not linked to anything that may happen at the chamber.”

Councilors unanimously approved $831,000 for utilities related to the water tank.

Before casting her vote, Montero added: “We’re approving the amount for payment — not the distribution of funds.”

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