Mad River Union
MANILA – The future of a dilapidated observation deck perched atop one of the tall dunes in Manila will be discussed Thursday, Nov. 17 by the town’s board.
The Manila Community Services District Board of Directors meets at 6:30 p.m. at the Manila Community Center, 1611 Peninsula Dr.
The observation deck is located just southwest of the community center in the Manila Dunes Recreation Area and commands spectacular views of both Humboldt Bay, the Pacific and the peninsula itself. The deck, however, is falling apart, do to the unstable environment it's built on along the constant vandalism that routinely plaques public facilities.
Several years ago, the steps leading up to the observation deck failed, and the district closed it down because it had become a hazard. The area was surrounded by sand fencing to slow the erosion and repairs were made. However, the sand has once again washed away and, according to a report from district staff, the steps need a total replacement.
Another option that may be considered is to just scrap the whole observation deck. Although that may seem like a logical choice for the district, there’s a catch – the deck was installed using state grant funds. If the district removes the deck, it may have to pay that grant money back to the state.
The staff report for Thursday’s meeting does not indicate when the deck was built or how much it cost. Another option is to lower the structure’s floor down to the level of the sand so that the steps are no longer needed. Or the district could move it to another location. The district has earmarked $1,500 in its capital improvement budget to deal with the deck.
Also at Thursday’s meeting, the Manila board will once again revisit its policy on board members who have conflicts of interest. The board will also discuss plans for installing signs at the entrance to the Manila Community Center. Several options will be shown.