Aberdeen looks to close all access to RiverCity camp on May 1

Tonight at the Aberdeen City Council meeting, Mayor Erik Larson is requesting that the council “consider whether life safety, public safety and public welfare concerns” at the City-owned River Street property warrant closing the site to public access.

On the amended agenda for the meeting is the first reading of Bill No. 19-05 to prohibit access to the River Street property that has housed numerous homeless individuals for some time.

According to the ordinance, a number of safety concerns on the site are bringing this topic forward again. This includes reports from railroad workers that people are crossing the tracks and risking safety, citing the incident when a woman lost her legs after being run over by a train and damage to the tracks that could lead to derailments.

It also states that there are no permanent sanitary services are installed on the land, access is limited to a single dirt road that limits emergency response, and zoning concerns.

According to these issues, it states that the River Street property in its current condition is unfit for human habitation or open public access and any licenses to remain on the property in place would expire on May 1, 2019 and will not be extended, prohibiting all public access at the signing of the ordinance.

The City Council is scheduled to meet April 10, 2019 from 7:15 pm – 9:15 pm with the ordinance and other items on the agenda.

If the council passes the first reading of the ordinance, a public hearing will be at the second reading on April 24, 2019.