Newport seeks input on how to spend final round of South Beach urban renewal dollars
Newport is seeking public input on how to spend a final round of urban renewal dollars in the city’s South Beach neighborhood.
An urban renewal district sets aside a portion of property tax dollars in a specific area to spend on infrastructure improvements and other public amenities. The South Beach district was created in 1983 and will expire in a few years.
Newport’s Community Development Director Derrick Tokos said it’s helped revitalize the part of the city south of the Yaquina Bay Bridge.
“Sometimes you don’t see the underground stuff...the extension of water mains and sewer mains and stormwater improvements, but they’ve all allowed that area to continue to grow and develop into what is kind of a pretty unique mix of marine research and tourist-oriented attractions,” he said.
The area includes popular tourist attractions such as the Oregon Coast Aquarium and the Hatfield Marine Science Center, two projects that Tokos says have benefited from urban renewal funds.
The city is asking residents to prioritize how the last $9 million or so will be spent. A list of options includes public art, bike paths and retail space. Residents are invited to respond to a survey on the city's website, with a deadline of Friday, Oct. 15 to respond.