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COOS BAY — Coos Bay’s Downtown Urban Renewal Agency continued its discussion Tuesday night about a lot on Front Street that the URA hopes to purchase and convert into a public parking space.

The lot’s current use is an old scrap yard, which has caused the property to become contaminated by the various junk piles it held over the years.

“We’ve identified the contaminations and we’re working with the Department of Environmental Quality on a proposed remediation of that property,” said Rodger Craddock, city manager.

The URA is still in negotiations with the current owner. A decision as to who will bear the brunt of cleanup coasts, or how they may be shared have yet to be determined.

Movement on the cleanup and construction of this Front Street public parking lot is expected to be swift. With all negations regarding the property expected to be done by April.

“We’re on a deadline right now with the property owner and DEQ, and we have to have everything done by the end of April,” Craddock said.

After negotiations are flushed out the URA hopes to begin construction of the parking lot as soon as this summer. City staff does have a negotiated price on the property of $200,000, but the cost to clean up the contamination is still uncertain.  

“Worst case scenario on cleaning that up could cost around $700,000. This is one of those things where if government doesn’t step in and do something, then in 50 years that property will still look like that, it’ll still be contaminated, and it’ll still be leaching in the soil. So this is a good way to get it cleaned up, and we have a need,” Craddock said.

Tuesdays night’s discussion was specifically regarding the consideration of Resolution 19-02, which if approved in upcoming council meetings would authorizes city staff to complete the request for funding process. The RFF process allows the URA and the city to negotiate the terms, and secure funding to complete the projects.

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Nicholas A. Johnson can be reached at 541-266-6049, or by email at nicholas.johnson@theworldlink.com.

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