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Business and development tidbits for May 31

The historic Fenton Grocery Building has a new tenant. (Cindy Yingst)
Thursday, June 6, 2019

Life Flight expects to begin construction next week on its new base at the Astoria-Warrenton Regional Airport. Construction contracts were signed last week for the new 7,680-square-foot hangar, which will include offices and sleeping quarters for pilots and medical personnel. Life Flight signed a 20-year lease with the Port of Astoria late last year for land adjacent to Lektro, near the center of the airport. The nonprofit medical transport company received a $665,000 ConnectOregon state infrastructure grant to pay for the hangar, and is using some matching funds.  The new facility is expected to open by March 2020.

A Fast Lube and Oil has opened at the former Putnam’s Pro Lube on Marlin Ave. Putnam’s closed shortly after Jim Putnam died of lung cancer in July 2018. The automotive shop had been in Warrenton since 1993. Fast Lube is part of a small chain with stores in Astoria, Scappoose, and Aberdeen, Wash.

The historic Fenton Grocery building soon will be home to a consignment and thrift store. The owner of Hustle n’ Heart hopes to be up and running in June. The large brown structure at Main Avenue and First Street, in the heart of downtown, is owned by Russell Maize and once housed his parents’ grocery store, Maize’s Market. The top floor of the building has apartments that are rented, but the ground floor has been vacant since a thrift store moved out several years ago.

City Hall will get a new roof. Commissioners unanimously approved using $170,000 of the city’s emergency reserve fund to fix the leaking roof. “It’s a 20-year item and we need to bite the bullet and fix it,” Commissioner Rick Newton said. Commissioner Mark Baldwin compared it to buying tires for an expensive new fire truck. “It’s the second most important thing on the building … after the foundation.” City Manager Linda Engbretson said the work could begin within the week.

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