May 21, 2019
Meeting was called to order by Carol Johnson at 7:33am. Debby F. led the flag salute.
No minutes presented for May 14.
Jeanette Painter, Assistant Director of Arts Northwest
Carol stated Kaj Ahlburg is a candidate for the Vice President role vacated by Shenna Younger. She called for any other nominations, Dave N. moved to nominate Kaj, seconded by Jack G. Carol called a second and a third time for additional nominations. Dick moved to close nominations, second by Bob F. Motion passed.
Andrew gave a chamber report including Westport’s new cabinet shop, city pier railing, the Railroad Avenue designation, and traffic cameras. The chamber and PABA are moving ahead together. Thursday is the Chamber After Hours.
Dan G. said there is a public outreach open house at the airport terminal building, Thursday at 4pm to meet with consultants.
Colleen McAleer said Port master plans call for public input so these meetings are very important. As EDC Director she said three areas of focus will be on supporting NOLA, Opportunity Zones, and workforce training which the port can now fund. Kaj added an important element is also facilitating small businesses needing funding, such as COIN.
Sam P. moved to extend the meeting for up to 15 minutes, second by Dan G. Motion passed.
Program: Cory Delikat, Parks and Recreation Director
Cory said the department is focusing on their existing facilities with a $3.5M budget. They have completed projects like Civic Field, city pier floats, Quinn Redlin Kintner Memorial Park, and the BMX track, and have also started the annual Day of Play.
He talked about losing the park maintenance shop during the wind storm, work towards a restroom placement program, and the Veteran’s Park fence. He said the park was purchased by the Lions Club in 1976 for $10K and all money has been raised for the fence which can always be taken down.
Gen II Dream Playground new plans will be revealed June 5 at the Vern Burton and a new five year facility use agreement with the Lefties will be presented to the city tonight.
Questions, Comments and Answers from membership:
Pier floats were obtained with federal money. Pier railings were tested for density of metal and they cannot be sanded down to paint.
There are 22 restroom facilities in the city and they will focus on opening 5 at 5am. Having the Lefties helps the city justify other grants they couldn’t apply for before and most of the Lefties improvements were around home plate.
The city can’t kick people out for loitering per state laws. The best way the business community can help is to be advocates. The city has built the infrastructure without the ability to maintain it.
The Discovery Trail is the city’s responsibility and he is concerned about erosion at the waterfront. He has no time to research parks as surplus and is focusing on making them usable to the public. He has a good relationship with the ODT coalition for raising money to maintain it.
At one point the Planning Commission wanted to be a tree city but Cory doesn’t have time to work on that. Everything they do is in house and he can’t find employees. Due to healthcare requirements they can only hire for 4 months. Discussion followed about trouble hiring and a lack of work ethic.
Carol said there is no meeting on the day after Memorial Day.
June 4: Forum with Rep. Mike Chapman, Rep. Steve Tharinger and Sen. Kevin Van de Wege
Meeting adjourned at 8:41am.