Last night’s city council meeting had some valentines for the audience, in the form of some good news. Councilors heard an update on the planned Navigation Center to help disadvantaged and homeless people from Kenny LaPoint, head of the Mid-Columbia Community Action Council, who defined the concept this way:
“A shelter that has multiple agency offices co-located in one site, with those agencies’ offices supporting the service needs of those experiencing poverty or houselessness, including those who are residing in our shelters. So we’re in some ways, creating a one stop shop for folks, where they’re not having to run all over the community to access an array of different services. We’re putting all those services in one place.”
The center would also have a community meeting room, classroom spaces, a commercial kitchen, and drop-in child care. LaPoint said the cost of the shelter will be $5.8 million, and that they’ve raised nearly half the funds already. He also announced the location for the Navigation Center:
“We landed on this 2.6 acres of land off Seventh Street, so 2505 West Seventh Street. It’s a vacant piece of land. We’re very, very fortunate that a community member donated this property to Mid-Columbia Community Action, and it’s been deeded over to us. It’s a great site – large, has the ability to meet all the needs we have for the site.”
LaPoint said that the project had received $1.5 million in funding from the state legislature and half a million from the City of The Dalles, among others. The Mid-Columbia Community Action Council serves Wasco, Hood River and Sherman counties, and LaPoint said The Dalles had been his first stop, and he would be seeking funds from counties and cities in the area.
Another great milestone that brought cheers from the council was the awarding of bids for pipe for the long-awaited project to replace the 100-year-old wooden pipeline that brings water to The Dalles from Dog River. By ordering the pipe early, construction can start soon after those bids are awarded, and Public Works Director Dave Anderson said that’s not far off:
“We’re currently scheduled to advertise the construction contract for the pipeline with an award in late April or early May.” Construction should be concluded by the end of 2023.