Canoe enthusiasts will have a new dock at Broadway Park that will make it easier to get into and out of the Neawanna River.
The City Council unanimously approved the dock’s purchase at its meeting Monday night. In other action, the council also unanimously approved specific amounts on taxes of medical and recreational marijuana.
Seaside Public Works Director Neal Wallace told the council that the dock, called an “EZ Launch,” will make it easier for canoes and kayaks to slide in and out of the river by the use of guide rails and rollers. The floating platform adjusts to changing water levels.
It will replace an older dock that was destroyed by a large wave coming down the river following a “king tide” on the ocean, Wallace said.
To pay for the $60,000 dock, the city will use a $40,000 grant from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife in addition to $18,000 donated by the Hood to Coast Relay this year and another $2,000 from the Sunset Empire Park and Recreation District.
The dock will enable people with disabilities, children and senior citizens to enter canoes and kayaks easier than the previous docks. It will include a transfer bench for transfers from wheelchairs and transfer slide boards with two heights for different watercraft sizes.
This is the second time the city has received the $40,000 state grant. Negotiations with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over water mitigation policies weren’t completed in time last year, and the grant had to be returned to the state.
“We had to watch it drift away,” Wallace said.
Because the dock will be 170 feet larger than the original dock, the city was told more mitigation was required to ensure protection of local streams.
But a suggestion by Melyssa Graeper, director of the Necanicum Watershed Council, that the city donate 200 more Christmas trees to be used for salmon habitat in the Mill Pond area won approval from the Corps of Engineers, and the city received permission to install the dock.
For several years, the city has worked with the Boy Scouts, who collect Christmas trees after the holidays. The trees are placed in local waterways, where they provide protection for spawning fish.
Graeper and Justin Cutler, director of the park and recreation district, traveled to Tillamook Oct. 3 to request that the city be given the $40,000 grant again.
Wallace said pilings for the dock can be driven only between Nov. 15 and Feb. 15 and that work is expected to begin in January.
In other business, the council approved a 5 percent tax on medical marijuana sales and a 15 percent tax on the sale of recreational marijuana and marijuana-infused products.
The vote was unanimous among City Councilors Randy Frank, Don Johnson, Tita Montero and Mayor Don Larson; City Councilors Jay Barber and Dana Phillips were absent.
Although the council approved the establishing of a tax on marijuana several weeks ago, it had not set specific amounts. The taxes are in anticipation of possible passage of the statewide Ballot Measure 91, which would allow the possession and sale of recreational marijuana. So far, the city hasn’t approved any medical marijuana dispensaries.