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The Columbia Press

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Business and development tidbits for July 24

Gearhart Mayor Matty Brown
Thursday, July 30, 2020

Helicopter repair business

Port of Astoria commissioners approved a new lease on the executive hangar at Astoria Regional Airport that previously had been rented by Life Flight, which recently completed its new headquarters elsewhere at the airport.

Varlay Aviation, owned by Warrenton resident Steve Varlay, is the new tenant. Varlay is an airframe and powerplant mechanic licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration.

“I believe the use is a very good one for the airport,” Airport Director Gary Kobes said.

Brim Aviation, which flies bar pilots out to the Columbia River, and the medical transport agency Life Flight both operate from the airport.

He’ll pay the port $699 per month.

Future port asset?

The state has asked port authorities if they might be interested in buying a building at East Mooring Basin in Astoria that once was used as a seafood laboratory by Oregon State University.

The building, last used as a veterinary clinic, has been empty for a while.

The port has arranged for a walk-through of the building, Executive Director Will Isom told port commissioners on Tuesday.

Gearhart Fire

Residents of Gearhart have spoken and they’d like to see their new fire station built on North Marion Avenue.

The new Highpoint Station would be more than 60 feet high.

Property negotiations are under way, Mayor Matty Brown said, and building estimate are being finalized.

The high building at the chosen location – one of three recommendations – would survive 95 percent of tsunami flooding scenarios, Brown said.

Gearhart parks

The city recently received a $15,000 grant from Oregon Parks and Recreation Department to develop a parks and recreation master plan. The gift requires a $4,000 match from the city.

A citizens advisory committee appointed by the mayor met for the first time Tuesday night.

They’ll be tasked with assessing park facilities and their maintenance; ensuring the needs of underserved populations, such as the elderly and disabled, are met; coordinating bike and walking trails; and identifying future funding sources.

The process is expected to take a year to a year and a half.


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